Community Oriented Policing

Community Oriented Policing is not a new concept, but has been a lost art since modern-day policing has become technologically advanced. Community Oriented Policing embraces the philosophy of law enforcement working in partnership with the communities they serve to enhance service, investigate crimes, and to solve problems.

After the turn of the century, most metropolitan cities had municipal police departments that provided law enforcement services. Several, if not most, of the officers patrolled city streets on foot; thus, the officers were more accessible to the public and the citizens they served. In a lot of instances, citizens could report a crime without calling the department because they spoke with officers who were walking the streets every day. With the advent and deployment of motorized vehicles an officer was able to patrol a much larger geographical area and could respond to calls in more timely fashion. An officer's patrol vehicle was great for deploying police personnel to major incidents and for response time, but caused officers to lose personal touch with the communities they served.

In modern-day policing, it would be difficult and strenuous for law enforcement agencies to revert back to officers being assigned a foot patrol "beat." This is why Community Oriented Policing is an excellent compromise to ensure officers' response times remain adequate and law enforcement doesn't lose touch with the citizens they serve.

For instance, the Red Bluff Police Department has divided the City of Red Bluff into five geographical locations, which are called "Areas of Responsibility." There is one Police Sergeant (Supervisor) assigned to each Area of Responsibility and at least two Patrol Officers in each area, as well. Police Officers are encouraged to contact the residents in their designated Areas of Responsibility during routine contacts, which do not involve calls for service.

Officers also use these citizen contacts for an opportunity to address a variety of neighborhood problems such as; parking complaints, routine disturbances, traffic complaints, and to assemble neighborhood watch groups. Neighborhood watch groups are a valuable resource to law enforcement agencies. When a group of neighbors collectively make an effort to report suspicious or criminal activity in their neighborhood; they can have a tremendous impact and assist law enforcement in solving crimes.

Anyone residing within the City of Red Bluff can contact the Red Bluff Police Department if they are interested in starting a neighborhood watch group.

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