Community Policing Team
The Holland Department of Public Safety (HDPS) Police Operations stands as a proud leader in the Community Policing concept of policing. We have been nationally recognized for our programs and success stories. In November 2001, HDPS adopted the "Team Policing" philosophy of Community Oriented Policing. With two years of planning and community input behind it, the implementation of "Team Policing" became a reality!
Community policing is a philosophy of policing, based on the concept that police officers and people working together in creative ways can help solve contemporary community problems related to crime, the fear of crime, quality of life, and neighborhood conditions. The philosophy is predicated on the belief that achieving these goals requires those police departments to develop a new relationship with people by expanding their role in the community by involving themselves in efforts to improve the overall quality of life in their neighborhoods.
Community policing consists of a number of community-based elements that differentiate it from the traditional reactive model. Some community policing core ideas are:
- Broad police function and community focus
- Community input
- Concern for people
- Create problem-solving
- Developing trust and working partnerships
- Mentoring for the future
Each HDPS Police Officer has an assigned area to patrol, interact and work within. They spend much of their time responding to calls in their assigned area and following up on complaints and crimes occurring in their area. Each Community Policing Officer is assigned a smaller geographic area plus the K-7 school in or near their area. We believe that the consistent and frequent presence of officers in these neighborhoods and schools has greatly improved police-community relations. We have seen dramatic improvements in young kids who are at the greatest risk of making "bad choices".
HDPS Citizens Police Academy
Community Policing Officers host and manage the HDPS Citizens Police Academy every fall. The Citizens Police Academy (CPA) is free to participants and is held once a year, allowing citizens to educate themselves on the reality of police work with an inside look at our department and the policy and procedures of the HDPS Police Operations. It also serves to present an overview of the Holland-area Criminal Justice System.
Junior Police Academy
During summer months, Community Policing Officers host and manage the Junior Police Academy. The Junior Police Academy (JPA) is free to junior high aged kids and exposes them to a mini police academy in which they are taught the different aspects of Public Safety, the importance of integrity and respect, and the importance of teamwork and fitness.
Bicycles & Segways
During warm weather months, Community Policing (CP) officers will often use police bicycles and Segways for patrol and ordinary transportation. We also try to be out on foot whenever possible to increase residential contacts and maintain high neighborhood visibility. CP officers have established trusting relationships with residents which is responsible for increased citizen involvement and cooperation in fighting crime in their neighborhoods.