Monday, November 7, 2011

It's not all about the numbers

As you might have seen in my earlier post, we compiled enforcement statistics in the violent crime hot spot areas we’re targeting. We tracked those carefully from Oct. 22 to 29, but I want to make sure that this isn’t a number-driven initiative. It also needs to be about community engagement. When something bad happens, police need to have solid relationships in place with citizens to help us.

The culture on this police department has long been that if you tell an officer he needs to arrest 15 people, he’ll go and arrest 15 people. I want to get away from that mindset and let our officers know that positive interactions with the public are just as important as how many felons they get off the street. That’s why, for this week, we’re going to take the statistic-driven model and turn it on its head.

Starting yesterday, Nov. 6, and lasting all week, we will be tracking the number of positive citizen contacts patrol officers have. This could be anything from knocking on doors to meet residents, stopping by talking to business owners, chatting with the folks at the barber shop or helping someone out by giving them directions. It could even be someone who gets a ticket but felt the officer did an excellent job and was very professional.

The community is our greatest asset in preventing and solving crimes, and building better relationships between the public and the police is one of my top priorities.

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