The Gilbert Police Department embraces the principles of Intelligence-led Policing and Community policing in our philosophy and daily operations.
Intelligence-led policing is defined as a business model and management philosophy where data analysis and crime intelligence are pivotal to an objective, decision-making framework that facilitates crime and problem reduction, disruption and prevention through both strategic management and effective enforcement strategies that target prolific and serious offenders.
Community policing involves the police working with the community in order to maintain a perception of safety, reduce fear, identify and solve problems and reduce crime. Effective community policing is based on trust and partnership.
Community policing programs and intelligence-led policing programs are not in conflict with each other; they complement each other.
Our leadership team utilizes technology, data analysis, and information sharing with our neighboring law enforcement agencies to identify crime trends, repeat offenders, traffic collision trends and neighborhood concerns. Resources are then deployed to address these concerns. Officers and leadership are provided daily and weekly maps and crime data which identify the type and location of criminal offenses. Intelligence-led policing meetings are conducted monthly, bringing together our leadership, patrol representatives, criminal investigators, crime suppression officers and our crime analysts to develop tactics and strategies to address community concerns and emerging trends, and to assess the effectiveness of on-going crime and collision reduction operations.
The Data-Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) Program analyzes multi-year data to identify a geographic area with a larger than average level of calls for police service, property related offenses and traffic collisions. Patrol officers, our Crime Suppression Team and traffic enforcement officers are deployed into this area and given specific goals to increase the number of citizen contacts in order to detect and deter criminal activity and to reduce traffic collisions. We have developed a Smartphone App, which is now available through ITunes, which provides information on our program, statistical data, and status reports on the effectiveness of the program.
Short term emerging crime trends and collision trends are identified based on a geographical grouping of similar calls for service, or an increased demand of overall calls for service in a geographical area. Resources are allocated to these areas, based on the nature of the problems. Tactics and strategies are developed by our command staff, to address the specific problems. This type of strategy is referred to as “hot spot enforcement”.
The Crime Suppression Team is comprised of eight specially trained patrol officers under the supervision of a sergeant. The team utilizes marked cars, unmarked cars, bicycles and foot patrols to address community concerns and detect and deter criminal activity. Working in partnership with our Special Investigations Team, crime suppression officers are tasked with addressing neighborhood concerns, to include possible drug related activity, based on tips and information received from the public through our on-line tip program. Repeat offenders and career criminals are identified through our Intelligence and Analysis Unit and the East Valley Fusion Center. Crime suppression officers work with probation and parole officers to maintain frequent contact with these offenders in an effort to discourage future criminal activity.
Our department is increasing our presence on social media in order to improve communications with our citizens, which in turn builds trust and confidence between the police and the public. We encourage open communications in order to identify citizen and community concerns and to solicit community assistance in crime prevention and reduction.
Our efforts are paying off. An analysis of Uniform Crime Report (UCR) data, by the Arizona Republic, indicates that Gilbert experienced a 13.2% reduction in violent crime and a 5.5% reduction in property crime from 2010 to 2011. Gilbert ranked 15th among the 16 valley communities in violent crime (Paradise Valley ranked 16th) and 16th in property crimes, based on the number of crimes per 10,000 residents. The analysis shows that Gilbert has had the most significant decreases in overall crime in the last five years. The other piece of good news is that our neighboring cities are also experiencing reductions in overall crime. This demonstrates that our partnership with our neighbors is working. We want to impact crime overall, not just in our own community.
We need your help in order to maintain success. Good news on crime rates can lead to complacency. Continue to report suspicious activity to the police. Get to know, and watch out for your neighbors. Don’t keep valuables in your vehicles. Lock your vehicles and secure your homes and garages.
There are some who believe that lower crime rates should be accompanied with reductions in police staffing and resources. The best way to reduce crime is to prevent crime. The majority of our activities involve crime prevention and reduction, utilizing intelligence-led policing and community policing. Many of our service demands do not involve a reported crime. Emergency medical responses, neighborhood issues, traffic collisions and enforcement, public order offenses and protecting life and property often times does not involve a crime, but a police response may prevent a crime or reduce the likelihood of injury or death to a citizen. The Gilbert Police Department takes great pride in the level of service that we provide our citizens and are committed to service. Gilbert already has the lowest cost per citizen for police protection and the lowest staffing levels of any police department, serving a community of our size in Arizona. We are also well below the national average. Working together, we can continue to maintain low crime rates and a safe community.