The officers assigned to the Community Oriented Policing (COPS) unit have a variety of responsibilities and are involved in several programs. They provide such services as residential and commercial security surveys, presentations to community groups on crime prevention and related topics, coordinating neighborhood watch programs and providing statistical data to the public upon request.
COPS officers partner with the community to identify problem areas located within the city, such as drug houses, or juvenile complaints and then work with other police and non-police resources to effectively resolve and eliminate the problems. They meet with apartment complex management to provide information to assist property owners with various topics concerning their rental properties. These meetings cover areas such as tenant screening and evictions, crime data and crime prevention tips, and they also provide information about compliance to avoid civil fines, and code enforcement.
The officers in the unit recently attended training and were certified in the strategy of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). CPTED theories contend that law enforcement officers, architects, city planners, landscape and interior designers, and resident volunteers can create a climate of safety in a community right from the start. CPTED’s goal is to prevent crime by designing a physical environment that positively influences human behavior. The theory is based on four principles: natural access control, natural surveillance, territoriality, and maintenance.
The officers assigned to this unit work a flexible schedule rather than the rotating twelve hour shifts. This allows them greater flexibility to work with the citizens and community in crime prevention efforts.