Organized Retail Crime Initiative
Agency: Leesburg (Virginia) Police Department
Year: 2015 Winner
Contact: Captain Carl Maupin - cmaupin [at] leesburgva.gov
Using evidence-based policing practices, this department identified an increase in organized retail crime that had been hidden within their statistical data. Hot spot analysis and a survey of retailers at outlets showed not only a consistent presence of shoplifting offenses that were not reported due to corporate policies but also losses far exceeding those reported to law enforcement. A three-prong approach was used to combat the trend. Strategies included high visibility patrols, victim education and interdiction operations. Each emphasized a unique approach to established law enforcement practices. Officers completed foot and mobile patrols, making eye contact and greeting people. Since implementation, there has been a sustained reduction in organized retail crime and an increase in proactive reporting of shoplifting offenses and associated losses. The department enjoys increased legitimacy and collaboration with retailers. The initiative has been expanded to become part of daily operations for other crimes.
Assertive Outreach Team - A New Model for Mental Health
Agency: Vancouver (British Columbia, Canada) Police Department
Year: 2015 Winner
Contact: Sergeant Lynn Noftle - lynn.noftle [at] vpd.ca
One section of this city’s downtown area was home to only 3 percent of the population, yet it accounted for 25 percent of all reported mental health calls to the department. This new mental health and addiction service model was created in partnership with the local health authority. Its purpose is to provide a short-term bridge for high-risk clients transitioning between acute care and community services. Both health and police data highlighted mutual clients with repeated admissions to hospital emergency departments and increased negative contact with police prior to receiving community mental health services. This program addresses these issues and partners a nurse with a police officer to conduct supportive outreach to clients. Results in all measures evaluated in the four-week post intervention period surpass expectations, showing significant reductions in police and health measures. For long-term impact past the 28 day cycle, results show even greater reductions in all categories.
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.