Pillar 4: Community Policing & Crime Reduction

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21st Century Policing in PlymouthCommunity policing promotes organizational strategies supporting the use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques that proactively address immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues. Through the past few decades, rates of both violent and property crime have dropped dramatically across the country. However, some communities and segments of the population have not benefited from the decrease as much as others, and some not at all.

Community policing combines a focus on intervention and prevention through problem solving by forming collaborative partnerships with schools, social services and other stakeholders. In this way, community policing not only improves public safety, but also enhances social connectivity and economic strength, which increases community resilience to crime. Law enforcement’s obligation is to reduce crime fairly while protecting the rights of citizens. Any prevention strategy that unintentionally violates civil rights, compromises police legitimacy or undermines trust is counterproductive. It must also be stressed that the absence of crime is not the final goal of law enforcement. Rather, it is the promotion and protection of public safety while respecting the dignity and rights of all.

Recommendation   Description  Completed
4.1 Law enforcement agencies should develop and adopt policies and strategies that reinforce the importance of community engagement in managing public safety.  Completed
4.2 Community policing should be infused throughout the culture and organizational structure of law enforcement agencies.  Completed
4.3 Law enforcement agencies should engage in multidisciplinary, community team approaches for planning, implementing and responding to crisis situations with complex casual factors.  Completed
4.4 Communities should support a culture and practice of policing that reflects the values of protection and promotion of the dignity of all, especially the most vulnerable.  Completed
4.5 Community policing emphasizes working with neighborhood residents to co-produce public safety. Law enforcement agencies should work with community residents to identify problems and collaborate on implementing solutions that produce meaningful results for the community.  Completed
4.6 Communities should adopt policies and programs that address the needs of children and youth most at risk for crime or violence and reduce aggressive law enforcement tactics that stigmatize youth and marginalize their participation in schools and communities.  Completed
4.7 Communities need to affirm and recognize the voices of youth in community decision making, facilitate youth-led research and problem solving, and develop and fund youth leadership training and life skills through positive youth/police collaboration and interactions.  Completed

Examples of ways Plymouth demonstrates Community Policing and Crime Reduction

  • The PPD has policies addressing customer service, discrimination and impartial policing.

  • Officers are encouraged to visit with the public during their shifts by stopping into schools, daycares, businesses, neighborhoods, parks and more to get to know the community.

  • The PPD participates in programs like Crime Free Multi Housing, Night to Unite, Music in Plymouth, Fire & Ice and the Citizens Academy to be visible and connected with the community to help reduce crime and the fear of crime.

  • The PPD utilizes diversion programs for adults and juveniles for certain crimes instead of issuing citations or charging someone with a crime. 

  • Officers are encouraged to issue verbal and written warnings for some traffic violations instead of issuing a citation.

  • The PPD added a fifth patrol district due to the city's growth, which helps balance call load and allows officers more time for community engagement.

  • The PPD is currently reviewing its report writing systems and policies to allow officers more time to visit with the community.

  • The PPD participates in regional response trainings.

  • The PPD utilizes CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) to assist with critical incidences.

  • The PPD has a full-time public safety education specialist and a full-time community relations officer.

  • The PPD works with programs such as Community Outreach for Psychiatric Emergencies (COPE) to provide help and additional resources to those in a mental health crisis.

  • The PPD utilizes a City Chaplain program for officers and community members in need.

  • The PPD has a Police Reserve program that utilizes community members who work with the department on a volunteer basis.

  • The PPD participates in programs such as the Along for the Ride, CERT, Police Explorers, Police Reserves, DARE, Neighborhood Watch and the Ride-Along Program.

  • The PPD has school resource officers on staff at public high schools and middle schools who work closely with youth and schools in a collaborative manner.

  • The PPD utilizes email to allow community members to report issues to the Police Department.

  • The PPD hosts a Home Alone Workshop for youth in the community.

  • The PPD is currently working towards initiating and implementing a Teen Citizens Academy.

  • The PPD utilizes the iWatch program which works to reduce crime by educating the public about behaviors and activities that may have a connection to criminal activity.

  • The PPD utilizes the File of Life program.