Our Mission: To provide a safe community where people can live, work, and thrive.
During 2016, the Detention Services Unit (DSU) was able to streamline booking and holding procedures for the Gilbert Chandler Unified Holding Facility (GCUHF). This year, the Unit processed over 7,000 detainees which is a 5% increase from 2015.
This year, command staff from the Mesa Police Department toured the facility for some insight on the Unit’s achievements. As a result, Mesa commended the GCUHF staff on their professionalism, the Unit’s operational procedures, and its efficient scheduling. Mesa staff also indicated that they will take some of what they learned to improve their own facility.
The Detention Unit transports inmates daily to and from court for trials, initial appearances, and mental health hearings. Of notable accomplishment, the Unit is proud to report that all staff members that drive transport vehicles have maintained the medical and physical requirements for recertification of their commercial driver’s licenses (CDL). Due to the size and special handling requirements of prisoner transport vehicles, this license is a necessity. The Unit currently has seven employees that have CDLs, with three more in training.
Another function of the DSU is the processing of high profile and dangerous arrestees. Special operations – such as DUI task force events – necessitate a large number of detainee processing in a relatively short timeframe. For this reason, GCUHF is of vital assistance to both the Chandler and Gilbert Police Departments for ensuring safe and effective arrests. Further, Maricopa County Probation Officers have come to value GCUHF staff for their assistance with arrest procedures.
New this year, a field training process was introduced for new detention officer (DO) hires. Three existing DOs were selected to formally train new staff over a three month period while maintaining responsibility for their normal tasks. To date, these employees successfully trained three new detention officers.
In 2016, crime prevention remained a fundamental goal of the Chandler Police Department. To this end, the Crime Prevention Unit assigned a dedicated Crime Prevention Officer (CPO) to each precinct. These officers work with the precinct commanders and police investigative specialists to identify crime trends in their areas and then develop a plan to address the issue. This year, the CPOs trained patrol officers in the use of tracking technology. As a result, the Department made several arrests with numbers expected to go up as confidence and experience with these devices increases. Further, CPOs attend monthly Chamber of Commerce meetings to establish contacts and develop partnerships with City business owners. The CPOs continue to conduct free child fingerprinting services, most often done at business sponsored events. Finally, the CPOs are trained in the concept of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) and make themselves available to City departments to review building plans for public safety concerns.
In January 2016, the Crime Prevention Unit rolled out new “C3 Chandler Multi-Family and Housing Program.” This program now offers participants access to state of the art technology in order to more effectively combat crime in apartment complexes and facilitate better communication between Crime Prevention Officers and apartment complex mangers.
The Crime Prevention Unit is also comprised of the Chandler Police Explorers. This year, the Explorers hosted their annual 18th Tactical Competition at the Chandler Fire Training Facility in central Chandler. Fifty-four teams from around the southwest competed in 28 events. Moreover, there were over 1,000 in attendance, which included explores and advisors. In March, the Explorers assisted at the Annual Ostrich Festival held at Tumbleweed Park. They were in charge of reuniting lost children with their parents. Additionally, they were assigned to patrol various areas inside the fairgrounds.
The Unit’s Housing Officer completed over 350 background investigations on City housing applicants. He also assisted City Housing personnel with countless hours of contacts, assists with court-ordered evictions, and working on cases with the Criminal Investigations Bureau in instances that the crime occurred in City housing properties. Finally, he administers the Section 8 Housing Program in which he has over 480 houses in the City that he is required to check throughout the year.
The Unit’s Park Rangers, over the course of the year, conducted thousands of hours of foot patrols of City parks. They responded to and handled incidents that occurred at locations such as libraries, Tumbleweed Recreation Center, Snedigar Sports Complex, and the City’s skate and bike parks. In numerous instances, they’ve provided assistance to patrol officers with traffic control and calling in suspicious activity. Finally, the Park Rangers continue to use vehicle jump packs and lockout kits to assist community members in need.
Other accomplishments for the Crime Prevention Unit include the following:
During 2016, the Firearms Training Unit was especially busy with qualifications, weapons maintenance, on-going firearms training, and inventory tracking. Additionally, Unit members participated in a number of events and programs this year that included: Police Explorer Competition held in Chandler, police officer academies, citizen and youth academies, Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods (GAIN) event, the Safety and Veteran’s Expo, and firearms safety class for parents. Of particular note, the Unit helped to facilitate the purchase of weapon mounted lights and holsters for all sworn personnel.
Also this year, the Firearms Training Unit partnered with a software engineer, becoming the “beta” test agency for a new software program called GunTrac. This web-based program tracks inventory, distribution, and expenditures related to weapons and ammunition, individual qualifications, and annual firearms inspections. This software brought the Unit into the 21st century by allowing for paperless records and by combining three databases into one. Tablets are used to record necessary data, making the range more efficient. Additionally, the software helps to provide a more accurate projection for ammunition expenditures. It is also easier to track records for compliance purposes.
The Unit continues to have strong professional relationships with various local and federal agencies to include the Mesa, Apache Junction and Casa Grande Police Departments, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau, and Maricopa County Adult Probation.
Other accomplishments include the following:
In 2016, the School Resource Officers provided over 1200 hours of Law Related Education (LRE) instruction, reaching over 36,000 students. Additionally, they counseled approximately 1,700 students, made over 500 parent contacts and attended 90 school meetings. Also, SRO Fernando Gomez was recognized by the Arizona Department of Education, receiving the prestigious “LRE Officer of the Year” award. Finally, SRO Steve Dieu received “LRE Faculty Member of the Month” in November.
The Wilderness Youth Experience Program allows police employees to interact with “at risk” youths. Facilitated by the SROs, participants are mentored by officers while hiking and learning “no trace left behind” backpacking. This program encompasses instruction in the classroom and through field experience hiking wilderness trails in locations such as the White Mountains and Superstition Mountains. The program focuses on team building, cultural diversity, decision making, leadership, and communication skills. In 2016, this program completed four successful trips supporting 53 students from local junior high schools. In October 2016, the Co-ed Wilderness trip supported over 20 students. Students participating in these experiences have shown overall positive changes in their work habits, grades and conduct.
Every year, the SRO Unit organizes week-long Youth Academies over school intersession and summer breaks. During these classes, students are introduced to the different functions of the police department and participate in several activities reinforcing the lessons taught by each instructor. The insight provided by these academies gives each student an opportunity to identify positive contributions they can make to their schools, homes and their community. During Fiscal Year 2015-16, the SRO Unit held four Youth Academies and graduated 95 students.
Other notable accomplishments this year include the following:
The Training Unit continues to ensure that training offered meets the requirements and needs of Department employees. In addition to developing timely and relevant in-house training courses, the Unit and the City’s Human Resources Department met with several college and university representatives regarding continuing educational opportunities for employees.
In early 2016, the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy reached out to the Unit, asking for defensive tactics instructors to assist at the police academy. As a result, some of Chandler’s instructors provided “top-notch” training to new recruits. This assistance was well received and allowed Chandler instructors to network with their counterparts from other Valley agencies.
In June 2016, the Training Unit held training for the new Mobile Field Force Team. The Office of Domestic Preparedness led the three-day training at the conclusion of which, 24 officers were newly trained in riot control measures, marching drills, and arrest tactics. In addition, the Mobile Field Force Team held two subsequent training days focused on marching, equipment drills, and uniform/equipment cleaning.
Other items of note:
Over the last 23 years, the Chandler Police Department, as well as members of the community, have benefited from the dedication and service of the members of the Volunteers in Policing Services (VIPS) program. During this time, over 700 participants have been a part of this program – 46 of whom eventually went on to join the Department as full-time employees. They serve with a sense of duty and focus that is admired and respected. They take personal ownership in their roles and establish a level of commitment that surpasses expectations.
This year, the Police Department benefited through the participation of over 60 active volunteers. This equated to over 12,600 hours of service to the community. The amount of hours is the equivalent of five full-time employees. Accomplishments this year include the following: