Monday, August 1, 2011

Boots to the ground tomorrow

Our much-anticipated Foot Patrol Project begins at about 10 a.m. tomorrow with 14 brand new officers taking to the streets of the city's most crime-ridden areas. These officers have successfully completed their 10-week "break-in" training period with a field training officer after their graduation from the Kansas City Regional Police Academy in June. Please read my earlier blog post for some background on this project and a map of the areas where the Foot Patrol Project will be.

The officers will work in pairs or trios in two shifts from Tuesday through Saturday. The shifts will start at about 10 a.m. and wrap up at about 2 a.m. They've had some special equipment issued to them, like Camel Back water containers (which will be especially needed in this heat). They also will receive department-issued cell phones, and we expect them to give those numbers out to residents in the communities they will patrol. We want the good citizens and business owners of these neighborhoods to be able to reach the officers directly if they have a question, want to share a tip or just invite them over for a snack. The officers also have been assigned a car to park centrally in the area they patrol so they can have access to the in-car computer to write reports and other resources in the vehicles, like emergency equipment.

The officers also have received some additional training to prepare them for their unique assignment. In addition to hearing from foot patrol officers with the Philadelphia Police Department (whose program we're modeling), they received information from a number of our specialized and investigative elements to learn about the types of crime and narcotics activity specific to the areas they'll patrol. Their field training officers also spent additional time with them on skills such as pedestrian checks. And because of the heat, regular patrol officers in the area will be keeping an extra close eye on them. 

We're looking forward to seeing what these young officers can accomplish in the next 90 days of the project and hope the residents of the neighborhoods they'll serve look forward to it, as well.

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