From Judy Gilleland
In these days of shrinking resources, all divisions are seeking ways to continue to provide a high level of service without incurring additional costs. One of the ways the Division of Police (MDP)is trying to accomplish this is through the use of highly directed patrol. We have identified three sections of the city as high demand for service areas. This does not necessarily mean they are high crime areas, but rather they are areas that have a high number of police calls.
Different studies have shown that 10 to 20 percent of the populations are responsible for 70 to 80 percent of the calls for service. By performing proactive activities in these neighborhoods, we can make true progress in the fight against crime and disorder. While officers do not have a great deal of patrol time not already dedicated to responding to calls, doing reports or performing administrative tasks, we can use the times when activity is traditionally lower to perform these tasks. This idea represents just one more way every department is trying to maintain the level of service our community expects and deserves while we struggle through tough economic times.
Or, more to the point, directed enforcement of selected offenses, stopping suspicious persons more frequently, pairing up officers in adjoining beats and relieving them of the burden of answering calls for service so they can concentrate on the issues in the area.
Much of the activity will depend on what the issue is. For example, if there are a lot of thefts or garage burglaries the officers may work in an unmarked car, do surveillance or work specific offenders known to them. If the issue is public rowdiness, they may conduct frequent bar checks or concentrate on public intoxication. We have identified the high volume areas, the next step is to survey the calls for service to determine what type of calls they are, and then develop a plan to address those.