June Update

On June 6, the Town Council approved the final budget for FY14 which includes three police department positions, one lieutenant and two civilian patrol assistants (soon to be titled civilian patrol technicians).  Sergeant Pete Rangel will be promoted to lieutenant and assigned to Patrol.  Officer Patrick Portee will be promoted to sergeant and will fill Pete’s spot.  This will enable us to fill the current gaps in coverage in the patrol lieutenant schedule.

Patrol staffing allocations are based on patrol officers, crime suppression team officers, teleserve, and civilian patrol assistants.  The new CPAs will be included in the allocation to meet the requirements for staffing that have been identified by our staffing analysis system.  We will be broadening their job duties and responsibilities.  It will include conducting initial investigations of property crimes offenses (burglary, theft, vehicle burglary, auto theft) where there is no known suspect. They will conduct the initial investigation of the scene and conduct processing duties (collecting physical evidence, etc).  This will free up officers to handle calls for service that require a sworn response.  The CPAs will continue to investigate certain traffic collisions (such as non-injury and minor injury, non criminal incidents), abandoned vehicles and parking offenses.  Their tentative schedule will be: 0600-1600 Monday-Thursday, 1200-2200 Wednesday-Saturday, and 1200-2200 Sunday–Wednesday. This schedule may change based on a further analysis of calls for service data.  We are planning to recruit for these positions in October and have them hired in January, 2014.  Barring any unforeseen circumstances, these additions should provide us with sufficient staffing to maintain our current levels of excellent service in a cost effective and efficient manner.

Police staffing requirements are based on an analysis of patrol-related data, which combines calls for service data, along other workload data, and service goals.  Non-patrol positions are based on a ratio of patrol positions to planned build-out projections, or specific needs that are identified through benchmarking and needs assessments.  These are based on a variety of variables including current service goals, changes in legislation, caseloads or the needs of the community. Our department conducted a benchmarking study of 17 suburban communities with a population greater than 150,000.  Our study included other Arizona agencies as well as nationwide data from agencies included in the Benchmark Cities Survey (compiled by the Overland Park, KS, Police Department).  The following information was extracted from the benchmark analysis:

BENCHMARK

2011   AVERAGE

2011   GILBERT

Notes

Citizens per Sworn Officers

675.5

944.8

3rd Highest

Officers per 1,000 Residents

1.49

1.05

3rd Highest

% Sworn Line Officers

82.5%

84%

N/A

% Sworn Sergeant

12.3%

11%

N/A

% Sworn Lieutenant

3.9%

3.5%

N/A

% Sworn Command Staff

2.51%

1.3%

N/A

% Sworn Assigned to Investigations

14.3%

13%

N/A

 

% Sworn Assigned to K9

1.5%

1.3%

N/A

% Sworn Assigned to Patrol

54.5%

62%

N/A

% Sworn Assigned to Traffic

5.5%

7%

N/A

% Sworn Assigned to Narcotics

3.2%

3%

N/A

% Sworn Assigned to Schools

2.9%

5%

N/A

Dispatched Calls for Service per 1,000 Residents

544.6

295.3

2nd Lowest

Avg. Emergency Response time

5.57 Min.

4.0 Min.

4th Best

Part I Property Crimes Per 1,000

35.6

19.6

3rd Lowest

Part I Violent Crimes Per 1,000

3.0

0.96

Lowest

Total Part I Crimes per 1,000

38.6

20.6

3rd Lowest

Property Crime Clearance Rates

20.4

21.1

5th Highest

Violent Crime Clearance Rates

51.3

69.7

2nd Highest

Traffic Citations per 1,000 Residents

163.8

108.2

DUI Arrests per 1,000

4.95

8.75

2nd Highest

Collisions per 1,000 Residents

19.14

11.5

2nd Lowest

At-Fault Officer Involved Collisions per 100,000 Miles

1.4

0.4

Lowest

NOTE:  Staffing percentages = the percentage of total sworn officers in the position or assignment.

What does is this information tell us?  It shows us that we are continuing to operate with a very lean command and management staff, and that our supervisor staffing levels are slightly below the average.  Despite our lean staffing, we continually provide high levels of service and where possible use civilian employees to respond when sworn response is unnecessary.  This helps to control costs and to efficiently use our sworn personnel to carry out our mission of preventing, detecting, and deterring crime.  I am proud that we continue to meet success with most of our service goals and maintain very low crime rates and dispatched calls for service.  This is a result of our effective partnerships, effect tactics, and strategies.  At a recent IPTM Patrol Commanders course attended by Commanders Buckland and Smith, our department was repeatedly recognized by the instructors for our effective utilization of resources and tactics to reduce crime and develop community partnerships. We will continue to strive for excellence and to serve as a leader in public safety.

Using these studies and resulting data, we were able to show that the requested items and positions in the FY 13/14 budget were essential for maintaining our current levels of service.  The benchmarking data will be used to support future budget requests and identify needed areas of improvement.  We will continue to use our staffing analysis and needs assessments to adjust our staffing plan as necessary to meet the needs of our community and our department.

We continually work to identify cost containment measures to provide cost effective services to our citizens.  For example, a recent adjustment to the detention officers’ schedule is saving a significant amount of money each month.  Additionally, we have instituted audits of our detention invoices, which have identified potential overpayments to Maricopa County.

Please join me in welcoming home Officer Andrew Bates following his deployment to Afghanistan with the Arizona Army National Guard.  Andy will be recognized in the Town’s Operation Welcome Home ceremony.  We look forward to his return to his Gilbert PD extended family.

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