Many of our residents have heard the term Community Policing, but may not understand some of the different aspects of community policing. Trying to define community policing in a concise way is difficult, but I’ll try. Community policing is a philosophy and practice of working with the community in a variety of ways to solve policing issues. The SPD also refers to community policing as Neighborhood Oriented Policing.
The Sahuarita Police Department, through its employees, continually strives to establish relationships with community members, groups, businesses, and organizations. These relationships foster lines of communication with residents. We strive to collaborate with residents, businesses, and profit and non-profit groups to better understand community needs and expectations. These relationships are valuable and build trust among the police and public. They allow our employees to connect with people outside of calling 911.
Our employees have and continue to be part of our community not only serving as police officers, but they also serve on boards, in community groups, and organizations both in and out of Sahuarita. Our employees are also involved in or volunteer with a variety of community groups and activities. Listed below are just some.
Օ Coaching local sports
Օ Veterans Administration
Օ School Volunteers
Օ NRA Firearms Safety
Օ Food Drives
Օ Love of Reading
Օ Police Explorers
Օ Volunteers in Police Services VIPS
Օ Special Olympics
Օ Neighborhood Watch
At their “regular” job, they fully embrace the community policing philosophy and practice of problem solving. Part of this is done by tracking issues or problems in neighborhoods and being responsible for a successful solution to issues that can range from spikes in curfew violations, to vandalism, to traffic collisions, to thefts.
The SPD follows community policing best practices. We track community policing issues, possible crime trends, and assign officers to specific parts of town or “beats” so they can continue to be aware of issues in their beats. This makes them more familiar with their neighborhoods, the residents, and businesses. They know they are responsible to solve issues as best they can and want community input. Our officers also share community policing issues among fellow officers that work different shifts or days of the week.
Collaboration is an important part of community policing. For example, the Sahuarita Unified School District and the SPD have worked together and established a School Resource Officer (SRO) program. We now have SROs at both our public high schools. Our SROs address policing issues that may arise in school, but also instruct students in classrooms and mentor students, helping them make good decisions.
Not all issues that come to our attention are true policing issues, but do impact quality of life. Part of our community policing practice is to sometimes serve as a conduit to relay information. We do this by forwarding information about issues to another town department, other government agency, or organization that can assist. We work with local, state, and federal resources on a regular basis.
As part of our community policing efforts, you will see our officers involved in numerous community events such as, but not limited to, Fiesta Sahuarita, Fourth of July, Madera Hometown Heroes, Spooktacular, Winterfest, Pecan Festival, Coffee with a Cop, Tip a Cop, Shop with a Cop, and National Night Out.
SPD Vision Statement:
We will be recognized as a premier law enforcement agency dedicated to Community Policing, Safety, and Service.