Monday, October 1, 2007

DeKalb Police - Road to Success Action Plan


In the previous post, the County had a total of 966 officers in 2005.
The table above shows only 563 officers working in the precincts in 2008. Is the police administration and Special Operations that top heavy or have officer losses been that drastic?

Below are the highlights of Chief Bolton's Road to Success Action Plan, but the complete plan found in the link above shows 57 pages of information including proposed organizational charts, prospective costs, statistics on manpower, crime rates, and the use of deadly force.

This “Road to Success Action Plan” is a comprehensive roadmap that details the needs of the department (capital needs not included) to meet the demands of DeKalb County citizens. The police department can not continue operating at minimal levels. The department has to implement a long range strategy that is consistent with growing trends. This proposal outlines the essential tools needed to accomplish this effort.

Organizational Structure
First, a well defined organizational structure ensures operational objectives are met and provides effective communication and accountability. The structure must overlay the department’s transitioning from Traditional Policing to Interactive Community Policing. In doing so, the department will need to add positions that will support this new direction. The new structure implemented on June 15, 2007 is included within this report.

Additional Police Officers
Secondly, the staffing shortage within the DeKalb County Police department is at a critical stage and must be addressed. The department is understaffed by more than eight hundred (800) officers according to the national average. The national average is 2.7 officers per 1000 residents. DeKalb County currently has 1.4 officers per 1000 residents. The department should hire two hundred (200) police officers per year for the next four (4) years to improve staffing and provide police presence in the community.

Pay Enhancement
Thirdly, recruiting and retention will also be paramount during this process. In an effort to compete with other agencies, it will be imperative that the department develop an attractive compensation package for officers. In addition to an annual merit increase, the department is proposing an eight (8%) salary increase for sworn personnel over the next three (3) years.

Reinstatement of Tasers
Fourth, in an effort to preserve life, the department is seeking an additional alternative to using deadly force. After thoroughly researching the pros and cons of Tasers, the department has decided to redeploy Tasers to patrol officers. Currently, the department has one hundred thirtyfive (135) Tasers. An additional four hundred forty three (443) Tasers are needed to equip all patrol officers.

Video Cameras in Patrol Cars
Fifth, transparency is paramount as the department seeks to restore the public’s trust. Video cameras and audio systems installed in all patrol cars will provide a record for investigations for both police officers and citizens. This advanced technology will also enhance training throughout the department.

Take Home Car Program
Sixth, as the department transitions to Interactive Community Policing, it will be imperative that officers are readily available, equipped to address problems and react to community concerns. Providing officers with take home cars will not only satisfy this need, but also help retain seasoned officers.

Mobile Storefronts
Seventh, fighting crime and keeping DeKalb County citizens safe is the department’s number one priority. Adding three (3) additional Mobile Storefronts, used as mobile police precincts, will help combat crime, the fear of crime and allow the officers and the community to find new solutions to address crime. Finally, as you review this comprehensive “Road to Success Action Plan”, please note that the department is critically challenged on many levels and there is an immediate need for rapid improvements.

1 comment:

Trackboy1 said...

Buddy on the county police force said tons of veteran officers are leaving the force thse days. Toxic work environment. Hoping the next CEO will not constantly meddle with the police dept. as Vernon so often has.