Desert Breeze Precinct
As 2017 closed, members of the Desert Breeze Precinct reflected on another year of service, dedication, and accomplishments. Throughout the year, Desert Breeze focused on improving the overall quality of life for citizens and businesses within the Precinct. Measures included crime suppression, program development, and improved community relations. In addition, the precinct boasts numerous employees who have not only embodied the values of the agency, but are shining examples of individual dedication to duty and community service.
Crime suppression efforts in Desert Breeze entailed the following:
- Personnel logged hundreds of hours in a directed enforcement capacity, which is intended to reduce crime through the use of intelligence and the identification of crime trends. Many of these trends, and the intelligence on which they are based, have been identified by Police Investigative Specialist, Laura Jordan. The end result has led to hundreds of traffic stops, dozens of arrests, and countless community contacts, all of which has had a positive impact on the community.
- This year saw the employment of some innovative crime suppression techniques including the Deterrent Vehicle Program and the Bait Program. Both of these programs were diligently administered and monitored by the precinct’s Crime Prevention Officer Dan Chavarria. Over the year, the Bait Program resulted in numerous arrests while the Deterrent Program seems to have done its part in preventing crime in the densely populated retail districts. In recent months, there has not been a reported crime at any of the locations where the deterrent vehicle was deployed.
- The Precinct continued to practice community outreach as a critical component of its policing efforts. Over the past year, Precinct employees continued to build and develop relationships with places of worship, businesses, community groups, and HOAs. Over the latter part of the year, officers made a concerted effort to identify new businesses and community groups in order to reach out to them. Additionally, Precinct members continued interact with and educate the community through such events as Coffee with a Cop, Adopt-a-Cop, Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods (GAIN), child fingerprinting, rape aggression defensive training, the Department’s C3 multi-housing program, safety presentations, and Neighborhood Watch.
- This year, the Precinct was proud to present three of its officers with the Department’s Life-Saving Award, one with the Purple Heart Award, three with the Critical Incident Award, and three with the Employee of the Quarter Award. Each of these officers has demonstrated an exceptional level of commitment to their profession, their agency, and their community.
The Mission of the Chandler Police Department is to provide a safe community where people can live, work and thrive. The Department has instilled this philosophy throughout its Strategic Plan, which is the roadmap that drives the members of the Main Precinct to fulfill its mission. Officers and professional staff worked diligently throughout 2017 to develop, strengthen and sustain partnerships, provide effective police services and prevent crime.
In 2017, the Department implemented the “CompStat” model of policing. As a result, the employees of the Main Precinct focused their attention on the prevention and reduction of burglaries and on addressing quality of life issues. Some of this year’s accomplishments and highlights are as follows:
- Team 8 developed the School-Lunch-With-A-Cop program, in which the officers would eat lunch with the elementary students. This outreach program was so successful that it was implemented Citywide. Additionally, officers have taken the time to visit the schools at the first day of school, during special events, and just to say hello.
- The Precinct held its first Barbershop outreach at Ageez Hair Center on Arizona Avenue. The event was successful and gave the public an opportunity to meet with police. Due to its success, the outreach program garnered attention from other police departments, and Tempe and Scottsdale Police Departments are now looking to do the same.
- The Precinct continued its “Coffee with a Cop” outreach events. Each event was well attended, and gave the public an opportunity to meet with the Precinct’s Crime Prevention Officer, patrol officers and command staff. The citizens were able to discuss several issues and take photos with the officers.
- Officers also continued to support the community outreach efforts in the Main Precinct by attending community meetings, Home Owner Association (HOA) meetings, Mayor’s Listening Tours, Hispanic Meet & Greets, Si Se Puede, Boys & Girls Club activities, ICAN activities, to name a few.
- To further the CompStat objectives, the Precinct’s patrol teams conducted directed enforcement and special details throughout the year in an effort to drive down crime and address quality of life concerns.
- Officer Balsewicz streamlined the Business Trespass Program in an effort to generate more buy-in from the businesses, and to aid patrol officers with the ongoing concerns involving repeat offenders. The Business Trespass Program was approved by City Legal and adopted by Code Enforcement as well.
- The Main Precinct officers and professional staff have been recognized throughout the year during the quarterly and annual awards ceremonies for the amazing work they have done. Additionally, officers and professional staff were recognized for their exceptional efforts with the City’s Exceptional Merit Award. Many other acts of kindness were shared through the Department’s website, social media and the mainstream media.
Chandler Heights Precinct
The focus for the personnel at the Chandler Heights Precinct continues to be the strengthening of partnerships with the community and provision of exceptional customer service. Some key components included education, community outreach, and pro-active patrol measures. As one travels throughout south Chandler, it is clear that there is an influx of new businesses and residential construction. There has also been a steady increase in the population, which will continue over the next few years. This creates new challenges that personnel at this Precinct embrace.
The following is a list of some of the significant contributions that were made by the men and women of the Chandler Heights Precinct – whose passion and commitment made these possible:
- Chandler Heights introduced a new crime awareness program that encourages dog walkers throughout our community to assist as “extra eyes and ears”. The Dog Walker Watch program has proven to be a great success, with over 200 graduates now keeping a watchful eye in the Community.
- The Precinct continued its “Coffee with a Cop” events and added its first “Pizza with a Cop” lunch-hour event at MOD Pizza. Members of this precinct are always looking for new opportunities to meet with the public to discuss a variety of topics in a relaxed environment.
- The day-shift patrol teams made it a regular practice to visit elementary schools during their lunch hours. This practice has evolved into stopping in just to say hello and reading to younger students.
- The Chandler Heights Precinct and the Victim Services Unit conducted a “Teddy Bear Drive” with the A. Tom Wood Team and Bashas. This event was a great success, netting over 700 stuffed animals for our Victim Services Program. The back story for this toy drive began over 26 years ago when then 3-year-old Jeff Wood left home on his Big Wheel. Jeff was located by a Chandler Police Officer who returned him home with a new teddy bear. It was such a positive encounter for the Wood family, they decided to use that experience to provide future comfort to children who encounter our department by sponsoring a teddy bear drive.
- Patrol teams conducted traffic enforcement in a number of neighborhoods and community canvasses in which information was passed out to citizens explaining how to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime. This practice was expanded in an effort to further reduce preventable crime.
- With the Department’s heightened usage of social media, the Precinct was able to establish partnerships and significantly increase its ability to reach out to south Chandler citizens. This year’s push was “Lock it or lose it!”
Of particular interest, over this past year the Fleet team collaborated with the company Waymo, a maker of driverless vehicles. Waymo wanted to record lights and sounds of all types of emergency vehicles during day, dusk and nighttime hours. The goal was to update their computer programming so that driverless vehicles will yield to emergency vehicles. As a result, a wide sample of the City’s emergency vehicle indicators was obtained during an eight-hour recording session. This event generated national buzz as multiple news agencies reached out to cover this unique partnership.
In 2017, the Fleet team worked closely with the Department’s Vehicle, Equipment and Uniform (VEU) Committee and police administrators to redesign the exterior appearance of the patrol cars. A new black and white color scheme was the final result. From the onset, the team worked with a goal of maintaining cost neutrality in any design changes. This began with a close analysis of the “up-fitting” process of patrol vehicles. (This is the process of adding Department-specific equipment and customizations to the vehicles after delivery from the manufacturer.) As a result of this audit, the team was able to modify the process which freed up funding for the new paint scheme and graphic update.
With additional savings, a number of other modifications were made to the vehicles. These included:
- gate emitters which allow officers access to gated communities;
- a user-friendly console that holds the driver’s radio and light controls in an overhead position, allowing drivers to keep their gaze on the road when activating lights and sirens and when changing radio channels;
- freed up space in the center console area, facilitating easier access to the car’s printer;
- greater mobility options for the driver’s mobile data terminal.
To highlight these changes, a training video was made to educate the Department’s Patrol employees. This video was shared with two of the up-fitting product vendors. One, in turn, posted the video on their social media site, garnering over fifty-thousand views and many inquiries. Some agencies have reached out directly to the Chandler Police Department about this unique set up design. In appreciation for the amount of attention they received, one of the vendors donated two complete set ups to the Department for 2018 builds.
Leveraging technology for improved fleet management, the team worked with the Police Technology Section to create a paperless vehicle service ticket and damage log. This new system tracks all work requests and logs turn-around time for each request, while maintaining work history and mileage information for each vehicle. This eliminates the need for a paper log for when a vehicle sustains minor damage. A future project is to convert the vehicle inspection sheet to electronic format as well.
Other accomplishments this year include the following:
- the addition of new tools to vehicles, including new breaching equipment and a tactical vest carrier designed to stop rifle rounds
- the addition of a portable “incident command” board and a fold-out table and chair for patrol supervisor vehicles
- the development of a new light programming for patrol vehicles which includes night and day lighting options through the addition of a photo sensor to the light bars
- the participation in an internal and external vehicle audit
- a thorough examination of flare-related issues when stored in vehicle trunks, which resulted in altered storage procedures for flares to avoid accidental ignition and subsequent vehicle damage and loss
- the creation of “up-fitting” contracts with two vendors in order to obtain priority service status and to ensure high-quality work