COMMUNITY SERVICE UNIT
adopting the community service philosophy, the City of East Point was plagued
with pockets of violent crimes, drug trafficking, and various social ills that
facilitate crime. To further compound matters, the police department only
operated under the traditional philosophy of policing. As a result, a large
division between the community and the police department developed. The
community adamantly distrusted the police department, and envisioned it as a
force that constantly harassed neighborhood youths, targeted African-American
and Hispanic males, and protected and served a small minority. Consequently, the
police department mostly responded to incidents after they had happened.
There was not a tool in use to deter crime. Therefore, crime in most
categories continued to increase.
City of East Point and the East Point Police Department adopted the Community
Service Philosophy in 1995 to bridge the ever-growing gap between the community
and the police department. The Mayor and City Council, by resolution, adopted
the Community Service philosophy. The
Chief of Police implemented the organizational strategy to reach the goals and
objectives inherent in the philosophy. Below is a listing of many changes
implemented by the Chief of Police to ensure Community Service success:
Reorganization of the police department to give patrol officers more flexibility while maintaining a control and accountability.
Development of a Community Policing Service that targets residential neighborhoods, the business community, schools and youths.
Development of the Citizen’s Police Academy to educate the public in the Community Policing Strategy. This training also allowed citizens to be trained in the major categories of police department operations.
Development of the Police Athletic League to intervene in issues involving youth and mentor them before they are introduced to criminal activities.
Implementation of Problem-Solving strategies in collaboration with various community and neighborhood groups to address specific crimes and concerns.
Businesses were enlisted to re-invest in the community.
Neighborhood community policing sub-stations were established to deter crime and diminish the fear of crime that concerned many residents and businesses
business MPV3 patrols were started.
To develop departmental understanding of the Community Policing philosophy, the East Point Police Department set up the following annual training classes for patrol officers:
Community Policing training taught by the Director of the Criminal Justice Department at Georgia State University
Cultural Diversity training.
& Crisis Intervention training
In addition to instilling an
understanding of Community Service, we designed these courses
to give the patrol officers additional
resources in dealing with the public. It is our belief that if officers have a
better understanding of the communities and the issues that
concern them, he or she will be inure adept at analyzing incidents, responding
to those incidents and evaluating the success or failure of his or her response.
public has been extremely receptive. Complaints against officers have decreased
and positive comments have increased. The Cultural Diversity training has been
extremely instrumental in allowing officers to see issues from the perspective
of the public and deal with the issues or incidents objectively while also
understanding and respecting the cultural diversity issues of various group
within the City of East Point.
To create collaborative relationships between the police department, schools, businesses, community group, and local churches, community meetings are held. In these meetings, we allow that the public presented the issues that concern them and the police department takes those issues and implement programs to address the issues. If the issues are not under the jurisdiction of the police department, the public is referred to the appropriate agency. These meetings breed trust between the community and the police department. This is evident by the involvement of the community in policing their communities. They are taking more responsibility in addressing community issues and they are becoming more active in volunteerism. As a result, officer safety and incident resolution has increased tremendously