Community Oriented Policing in Vernon/Rockville
The focus of Community Oriented Policing is problem solving. Sometimes through the problem solving process we are able to determine the problem is not a police matter. This is when the police can direct the concerned citizen as to the proper town or state agency that can help assist with their particular problem.
By helping the citizens to work through their problems and direct them to the proper services the number of non-emergency calls decrease, and benefits to our citizens increase. The benefits are:
- Officers are able to spend more time working with citizens to solve crime and disorder problems
- With better police-citizen communication, officers can more effectively use and share crime information with the public
- Officers who know both a community's problems and its residents can link people with other public and private agencies that can help solve community concerns
- No single agency can solve complex social problems alone. A combined community-police effort restores the safety of our neighborhoods and business districts
Examples of Community Oriented Policing in Vernon/Rockville
- The revitalization of the Rockville Community Block Watch program consisting on an active Board of Directors, Block Captains, and an organized membership all working toward a common goal.
- Citizen's Police Academy, helping the citizens of Vernon/Rockville to have an insiders view as to what the police do on a day to day basis and gives the citizens an opportunity to get to know the police on a personal level.
- Community interaction through civic events, such as Day in the Park, July in the Sky, Safety Day, Parades, as well as through civic safety lectures.
- Bike Patrols and Foot Patrols. This allows the citizens to interact with the police on patrol so that the community and the police have an opportunity to communicate and exchange ideas on how to keep things safe.
Problem Oriented Policing
Problem Oriented Policing is the primary strategy of Community Oriented Policing. The community and police work together analyzing community problems and developing customized responses to them.
How are problems identified and addressed? Problems are identified by the community as recurring incidents or matters of concern. Problems are addressed with a four step process known as the SARA Model.
- Scanning: Problems are identified
- Analysis: Questions are asked to learn everything possible about the problem
- Response: Based on careful analysis, a custom-made response to the problem is tried
- Assessment: The response is evaluated to see if the problem was solved or reduced
Examples of Problem Oriented Policing
- The police and the citizens worked to attack drug and gang problems in the Rockville area. Those efforts have led to the revitalization of the Rockville Community Block Watch and a reduction in criminal activity.
- The Oak Street area had been a common area for gang fights and loitering problems due to the street being darkly lit and over grown with trees. A study was conducted by the Vernon Patrol Division and suggestions were presented to the Vernon Traffic Authority to add more street lights and to trim back the shrubbery. The suggestion was accepted and implemented and there has been a marked difference in the number of problems associated with that location.
- Calls for service in the Cottage Street area had been on the rise during the spring of 2006. To combat this spike in criminal activity, the police department focused their efforts in that area, and within two months the problem was entirely eliminated returning the area to the citizens who live there as opposed to letting the criminals run the streets.