Community Engagement Abstracts
Customer Service Improvement in Police Stations
Agency: Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) Police, General Directorate of Policing Operations
Year: 2015 Semifinalist
Contact: Quality Adviser Mahmoud Al Hayek - malhayek [at] adpolice.gov.ae
Constructed of 9 departments, this agency provides services through 20 police stations, 9 police check points and 10 centers for traffic and community services. When analysis of several indicators, such as complaints from customers and surveys, showed negative results, the agency set out to improve the customer service experience among all service delivery channels, including face-to-face interaction, phone enquiries and Internet-based communication. The project was built on 7 phases according to the Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle, and includes gap analysis, data collection, customer awareness, and employee recognition and follow up phases. The last phase was to obtain an international accreditation from a reputable certifying company. Annual survey results show satisfaction percentage for services was 85.5 percent from customers, and 95.1 percent for image and reputation from the community. The agency received 58 compliment letters and 475 improvement suggestions from customers.
Door Hanger Program
Agency: Alvin (Texas) Police Department
Year: 2014 Semifinalist
Contact: Patrol Lieutenant Tim Hubbard - thubbard [at] cityofalvin.com
As property values declined and aesthetic issues increased in this mostly rural community, the three-person code enforcement department was unable to address city ordinance/municipal code violations effectively. A solution was needed to beautify the city and improve property values without over burdening an already taxed police patrol division and code compliance department. Patrol officers were trained and challenged to identify appropriate code violations and fill out carbon copy door hanger friendly reminders. While police go about their daily patrol responsibilities they become force multipliers for the code enforcement department. This allows patrol officers to be the primary eyes of code compliance, and code officers can spend their time following up on stubborn issues. The result has been an increase in both the enforcement of code violations and in compliance, leading to an improved quality of life for citizens. A contributing factor to the positive outcomes was the unexpected buy-in of patrol officers.
You Have Options Program
Agency: Ashland (Oregon) Police Department
Year: 2014 Finalist
Contact: Detective Carrie Hull - hullc [at] ashland.or.us
This department launched a new, long-term campaign to increase sexual assault reporting. The partnered approach seeks to eliminate common obstacles, such as confidentiality and fear of not being believed, that prevent the majority of sexual assault victims from reporting their experience. Since implementation, this straightforward, successful concept documented a 106 percent increase in sexual assault reporting. Victims are given the ability to clearly control defined elements of the investigation, such as who is actually contacted. Options for victim-centered reporting include information-only, partial investigation and complete investigation. Victim access to advocacy and medical care is given the highest priority. While evaluating the growth of the program, the department monitored the rate in which sexual assault reporting increased and if that new increase remained constant or continued to grow. The project is available to police and non-police organizations.
Agency: Belton (Texas) Police Department
Year: 2014 Semifinalist
Contact: Chief Gene Ellis - (254) 933-5844
When this department learned of an elderly resident living alone and without heat in the winter, they conducted a welfare check. The police officers used their own money to purchase space heaters and other items to improve her living conditions. This incident brought to light the need for a way to check on elderly residents living alone. While there are automated systems to do this, the department wanted a personal, human touch for a population group that is often very lonely. RUOK? was developed using the existing volunteer program, Citizens Helping in Police Services or CHIPS. The department reached out to senior citizen support organizations, doctor offices and other groups to promote the program and register elderly residents in need of service. At least once a week, a police CHIPS volunteer makes contact by telephone with registered senior citizens. If unable to make contact, a police officer is dispatched to conduct a welfare check. During the first year, 806 contacts were made with elderly residents living alone.
Student Housing Crime Prevention and Resource Center
Agency: California State University, Fullerton Police Department
Year: 2015 Semifinalist; 2014 Semifinalist
Contact: Captain John Brockie - jbrockie [at] fullerton.edu
Historically, the home for the Crime Prevention Unit was in the police station on campus. Moving its location to the Student Housing Facility enabled the unit to become part of the facility and partner with the students and the Student Housing administration. By providing additional presentations, a safe place to contact law enforcement and increased police presence, the unit helps make the Student Housing Facility a safer place. The Community Services Corporal, who oversees daily operations at the Center, attends student housing staff meetings, resident advisor (student employees) and student association meetings. The department has become an integral part of the Student Housing Facility and an accepted resource for students and staff. Occurrences of theft and vandalism crimes were reduced by 43 percent in 2014 compared to the prior academic year, surpassing the goal of 15 percent. The program is so successful that business hours have been extended for the next year.
Faith Based Organization Outreach Program
Agency: Dearborn (Michigan) Police Department
Year: 2014 Finalist
Contact: Sergeant David H. Marshall - dmarshall [at] ci.dearborn.mi.us
This city and the surrounding areas of southeastern Michigan are home to the largest concentrated Arab populations outside of the Middle East. The terrorist attacks of September 11 had a polarizing effect on this diverse community, sparking significant community concern and escalating public distrust of law enforcement. Then several groups of religious activists chose the city as their venue for spreading their messages of disdain against non-Christian faiths. Citizen feedback suggested more effective ways were needed to establish positive relationships with faith based organizations to ensure public safety.
A project team met with community religious leaders as well as local, state and federal partners. A first-of-its-kind Faith-Based Organizations Tabletop Exercise focused on the interfaith communities. As part of an overall community-oriented approach, the program has been recognized locally, regionally and nationally as a best practice that is adaptable to other agencies and organizations.
Electronic Awareness Games
Agency: Dubai Police (United Arab Emirates) General Headquarters
Year: 2015 Semifinalist
Contact: Major Dr. Mansoor Alrazooqi - mansoor [at] dubaipolice.gov.ae
The aim of this project is to use an innovative and engaging delivery method for awareness messages to the community by developing games to communicate messages, concepts and different awareness lessons to strength national identity to different sectors of the community, especially students. Cutting-edge video game technologies were used to develop electronic awareness games that run on IOS and Android devices. All of the games were developed in house using Dubai Police personnel within the Virtual Applications Development Center. The games were developed through scientific and systematic cycle with the coordination of more than 40 entities from the public and private sectors. Students were also engaged in the process through focus groups of more than 1,000 students from different cities of the UAE. The games help to deliver awareness message not only in the UAE, but globally. The far reaching impact of the innovation is illustrated by the number of users, which has reached more than 9.7 million.
I.N. the Know (Identify and Notify) Program
Agency: Flower Mound (Texas) Police Department
Year: 2014 Finalist
Contact: Sergeant Colin Sullivan - colin.sullivan [at] flower-mound.com
In one year, four individuals, ages 18 to 25, died of a drug overdose in this town of over 65,000 residents, and the overall incidence of narcotics overdoses continued to grow despite enforcement efforts. Additionally, citizens directly affected by addiction viewed the police as part of the problem. This department’s proactive approach included holding a stakeholder’s meeting to identify narcotics used by school-aged youth, the total number of recent overdoses and rehabilitation programs available. This innovative program was developed to prevent overdose deaths, addiction and incarceration. It is not an enforcement program and relies on anonymity for the “outcry source.” Concerned family members, friends, teachers and others can report at-risk, school-aged children to police. In 36 of the 40 contacts since implementation, parents knew or suspected their child was using narcotics and were willing to discuss and accept support for the addiction.
Don't Be a Zombie to Crime Prevention Campaign
Agency: Halton Regional (Oakville, Ontario, Canada) Police Service
Year: 2014 Semifinalist
Contact: Dana Barnett - (905) 825-4888
Looking for an innovative, engaging way to reach individuals age 20 to 35 to prevent certain property crimes in the region, this police service turned to zombies. The campaign is a collaborative effort between community policing officers and the corporate communication division. The star of the campaign is a two-minute video produced, directed, filmed and edited using in-house technical resources. All the actors are members of the police service or their families. The team also used in-house resources to develop and produce a series of seven zombie-themed posters. The campaign was launched just in time for Halloween. Zombies could be seen sharing crime prevention messages on posters in local retail outlets, fitness clubs, on YouTube and in all district stations across the region. The campaign became a quick success and was regarded in social and traditional media as a creative, outside-the-box twist on conventional crime prevention approaches.
Frog-et Me Not Program
Agency: Palm Beach Gardens (Florida) Police Department
Year: 2014 Finalist
Contact: Administrative Specialist II Karen Cobb - kcobb [at] pbgfl.com
The Sunshine State has the unwelcome distinction of ranking second highest in the nation for heatstroke related deaths of children left in unattended vehicles. Determined to help solve this problem, this department created a self-funded safety program, which is provided free by police officers in partnership with community organizations and other law enforcement agencies. The goal is to heighten awareness of hyperthermia and child seat safety through education, public awareness and the use of a creative, recognizable symbol for child safety. A department employee designed a unique hangtag with a frog logo that is transferred from the car seat to the driver’s key ring when the child is placed in the car seat, and then put back on the car seat when the child is removed. A police cookbook helps raise community awareness and proceeds are used to purchase more hangtags and remain self funded. Officers attend community child safety events to check the security of installed seats, educate the public and present this program.
Connectivity Waterloo Region
Agency: Waterloo Regional (Cambridge, Ontario, Canada) Police Service
Year: 2015 Winner
Contact: Chief Bryan M. Larkin - bryan.larkin [at] wrps.on.ca
Similar to other communities in Canada, this region has a declining crime rate, fewer police officers and more than 80 percent of calls for service are non-criminal in nature, involving the effects of marginalization, addictions, mental health issues and poverty. This police service developed a creative response to increases in these kinds of call for service. The multi-sector collaboration connects individuals and families at acutely elevated risk to appropriate services and supports within 24 to 48 hours. The early-intervention program has fostered enhanced communication and cooperation among member agencies. Service providers actively engage at weekly meetings and report a significantly higher level of collaboration. Most significant has been a reduction in repeated use of expensive emergency and crisis response services. Since implementation, the program has responded to 179 situations, of which 139 resulted in individuals and families being quickly and appropriately connected with integrated services.