Community Policing TEAM & Team Area Coordinators
Sgt. Larry Matzen (616) 355-1720
The 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" has come to be a reality!
For more information on the history and implementation of Community Oriented and Team Policing, please visit the Community Policing Pages and The Community Policing Consortium websites.
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 that police departments 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
• Developing trust & working partnerships
• Create problem solving
• Mentoring for the future
Each Police Officer has an assigned area to patrol and work within. Some officers are assigned to the K-7 school in that area. We believe that the consistent and frequent presence of these officers in the schools has greatly improved police-community relations. Officers on the beat are now besieged with requests for police "ball cards" and autographs from kids. The tide of youth violence and gang involvement is now turning. Although the hard statistics are not in, we have seen dramatic improvements in the young kids who are at greatest risk of making "bad choices".
Team Area Coordinator (TAC) officers host and manage the HDPS Citizens Police Academy. The HCPA is free of cost to participants and is held once a year, allowing citizens to educate themselves on the policy and procedures of the HDPS Police Operations. It also serves to present an overview of the Holland-area Criminal Justice System.
During warm weather months, Community Policing 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.