Community-Based Policing

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In September, the Provo City Police Department began its transition from community-oriented policing to a department-wide Community Based Policing (CBP) initiative.

In this new program, the police are focused on building a partnership with the community to better fit the needs of the citizens, as stated in their mission statement.

“We work with citizens to improve quality of life, solve problems, safeguard liberties and stop crime,” the mission statement reads. “We provide proactive service in a professional, compassionate manner.”

Police Chief Rick Gregory is a supporter of the new program and finds it better suited for Provo.

“Community Based Policing is a more operational program than community oriented policing,” Gregory said. “It adds partnership, prevention and problem solving into the heart of what we are doing and it is easier to measure our success.”

Gregory said the new initiative has many benefits, like being able to have a proactive partnership with the community and being able to decrease crime reduction, fear of crime and disorderly activities.

“CBP allows our officers to take ownership of areas and to be aware and involved in the community,” Gregory said. “It also allows officers to develop relationships with the community they are working in so they can know the business owners and where the problems are.”

Since the initiative involves geographical policing, it allows officers to make connections with the citizens in their area. This connection helps build the partnership that is vital to the program.

The public is a key to the new initiative.Gregory said to educate the public they have presented plans to neighborhood chairs, expanded their volunteer police force and are actively using a website, Facebook and Twitter.

“Allowing citizens to have a voice is important,” Gregory said. “It not only measures our success, but it validates and verifies that we want a partnership.”

Trust is a critical part of this new program.

“Having the community engaged with us not only leads to trust, but enhances trust,” Gregory said.

Gregory said it is important citizens feel safe here. The police department is always looking for feedback on its website.

Elric Birchette, a UVU student from Spanish Fork, studying criminal justice, is aware of the CBP initiative and is supportive of it.

“People trust the police more now,” Birchette said. “The community can get to know them, see what they do and take action. The new program is a great opportunity for citizens to build bonds with police officers.”

Birchette said he feels the more the community learns about the program, the more people will show interest and participate.

On the police department website, it says cooperation is necessary for creating a safe city.

“Take the time to make recommendations or suggestions about this program and other activities you are involved in daily,” the police force said on their website. “We share in our success and share in our failures. Together we can make this program a model for others to follow.”

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