Brigantine Police & Social Media

Brigantine Police Department

Lieutenant Tim Reed

I felt that the department needed more senior officers like myself that are eager and willing to guide and help junior officers. Guiding these officers will not just benefit the officer but the entire department and ultimately the residents of Brigantine.

Assigned to the Detective Bureau as Supervisor I have encouraged other detectives  to use innovative and creative solutions to solving problems. Since returning to the Patrol Division three years ago I feel that I have taken steps with my squad to instill some of my ideas that will help them become better officers and future supervisors.

Watch the WMGM-TV 40 news feature about our social media efforts. 

 

I have encouraged them to be open minded, to ask questions, to act on their own initiative, and to be proactive. I have explained to them that my job as their supervisor is to guide and teach them as well as utilize and foster their strengths and to improve their weaknesses. Taking some of these steps provides the officer with self –satisfaction from solving problems.

Another area that I felt the department needed to improve, prior to Chief Stone’s appointment, was Community Policing. Some of my ideas that were initialized when Chief Stone took office I feel are going to help the department not for just 3 to 5 years but for many more years to come. Over the years we were just a “Service Department” basically handling the calls of service as they came in. I felt that the department as a whole was not being proactive. Previous practice had become handling and processing criminals/crimes instead of trying to stop crime before it started. Communication between the Police Department and the Community was almost non existent.

Now officers are encouraged to get out there and do some sort of community policing which will make Brigantine a much safe place. When Chief Stone took office I also told him that we needed to get more involved with social media which would help my goals of improving community policing. To help achieve this goal I developed a website (www.brigantinepolice.org) for the department which would keep the public informed of any information/news and events hosted by the police department. We also needed to form a partnership with all community organizations on the island. Forming a partnership with the local organizations would increase the lines of communication between the Police and the Community.

Social Media, Partnership with the Community, and our website are not just short term goals that I have in mind, but hopefully what we do today will last a long time. With the economy as unstable as it is each end every member of the department needs to think of ways to do more with less. Communication is the cornerstone of policing. We need to communicate with the community and through a well-established partnership they can assist us in being a proactive police department. Community Partnership Policing will benefit the Officer, Community, and the Department not just short term but for many more years. Today we have to really take a look at the Economy, and reduced funding, which has a big effect on the way we do policing. By becoming more efficient, we can provide a higher quality of service to the community. Every member of the department needs to understand that we work for the people, and it’s their money. With forming a Community Partnership we are dealing with residents that we never before had the chance to talk with.

Encouraging officers to do some sort of Community Policing and speaking to the residents prior to a call to service will have a total effect on that call and future calls. What our officers need to understand is that one of the most fundamental reasons for community partnership policing and problem-solving is acknowledging that the police can’t solve all community problems by themselves. But by forming a partnership with the community will make their job a lot safer and easier. When there is a problem within the community the police won’t have to ask, the community will provide the officer with the information that he/she needs to solve the crime or the problem. The residents will become your eyes and ears. By developing a closer relationship with the residents we will build a trust with them, and as a result people will provide us with information related to crime.

Officers should be encouraged to spend considerable time and effort in developing and maintaining personal relationships with citizens, schools, businesses, and community organizations. As I said before forming a community partnership has to involve the entire department and not just a few. Ranking officers need to encourage their officers to spend a significant amount of their available time out of their patrol cars talking with the public.

We will know that our community partnership is working when officers are common sight in the local businesses, schools events, town events, community meetings, and the new recreation center. When most officers want work the street by choice and not having to be told, and are doing so as an expected part of their job duties.

Community Partnership Policing will increase citizen support for our department programs and budgets. By us opening the doors to the department and the way we operate to the community we allow the community to see the quality and the amount of work that we do with our limited resources. By us fostering a relationship with the residents of Brigantine we will gain support for funding of department operations and initiatives.

Some of the steps that we have already done I believe are pointing us in the right direction to making Brigantine Police a Community Policing Department in not just 3-5 years , but for many more years to come. Social Media, Partnership with the Community, and our website are positive steps that are working. Some other steps that we can do are encouraging all officers to come up with new ideas on how to better themselves and the department. We convey information to the Brigantine Residents concerning crime prevention and public safety. (e.g. by means of Social Media , Newsletters, Flyers, and our Website).

There is no set of plans in place for community policing, but by encouraging our officers to do some sort of community policing by getting out there an interacting with the community is the real message I’m trying to get out there.

Some ideas that I do have are to hold regular meetings with local businesses, community leaders, senior citizens ,  have officers attend homeowner’s association meetings, get feedback of problems within the community, incorporate community policing into performance evaluations , increase officer discretion and accountability for solving problems at their level, encourage all officers to propose innovative solutions and ideas to issues or problems , form a community partnership team to think of ways of promoting the department, give officers latitude in developing innovative responses to problems, build community policing into the mission of the Brigantine Police Department, conduct community surveys to identify problems and evaluate performance of those issues, encourage and enable our officers to think about problem-solving when responding to calls for service.

Most important Community Partnership Policing provides the community with a safer and friendly place to live. Our goal is to improve the quality of life in Brigantine, the Community in which we serve.

 

 

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