Anderson Police Department launches 'problem-oriented policing' unit

Feb 11, 2015 8:58 PM by Charlene Cheng

The Anderson Police Department staffs three to four patrol officers every shift, who respond to an average of 40 calls per day, but the crime problems aren't letting up.

"Most property crimes from 2013 to 2014 increased, so that would be burglary, larceny, things like that. We had a slight increase in robberies," Lt. Rocky Harpham said.

Now, Chief Michael Johnson is trying something new.

He's assigning three of his veteran officers and K-9 Aero to a "Problem-Oriented Policing" unit, or P.O.P. team, dedicated to augmenting the patrol division by checking up on repeat offenders, addressing problem areas, taking on long-term projects, and interacting with residents.

"A lot of it is arrests, but also it's about pointing people towards the appropriate resources and educating the community, as well," Detective Casey Day said.

This strategy focuses on finding the root of criminal issues and eliminating them from the source, as opposed to only having officers react to individual incidents.

Other departments, including the Redding Police Department, have instituted similar models to great success.

"Our goal is to reduce crime. Our goal is to hold offenders accountable, to resolve these major issues, to make the city of Anderson a better place to live," Day added.


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