The Edison Police Department has begun the new Community Oriented Policing Initiative. Under a problem oriented policing strategy, units within the police department will be aligned to support the goal of solving problems. This new paradigm will be transformational in how Edison leads the way into the future of policing.
On October 1st, with a budget in place, the Mayor gave us the resources we need, hiring 19 new officers and promoting 23 supervisors. With a new deputy chief, captain, lieutenants, sergeants, and most importantly, 19 new officers, we now have the flexibility to restructure in a way that we can begin this new transformation. The reader should be cautioned, the effects of promotions and hiring is not realized instantly but might take up to a half of a year or longer. New employees need to be trained, oriented and acclimated. The October group of 19 will be released to their probationary year early in 2021.
Immediately after the Mayor made promotions and hirings, we moved forward with the plans to implement the Community Oriented Policing Initiative. Centralized under the Chief’s Office, Police Administration Bureau, a new Traffic Unit and Community Oriented Policing Unit (COP) were formed. It has been over a decade since the police department had the resources to staff such units, and these units will develop under a new paradigm with new goals and objectives. Under a community oriented policing umbrella, units such as COMPSTAT, COP, TRAFFIC and STREET CRIMES will collectively work and collaborate, solving problems in the community.
The framework for the new initiative is simple. There is one goal. The goal is to solve problems. The objectives that define the strategies to accomplish the goals will be developed by the team to address each identified problem. The police department will not define community problems. Instead, the police department will listen to the community, identify the problems that the community presents, analyze the information, and begin to work on solving problems. Some solutions will be within the department’s scope, some will require collaboration with outside resources, and others will require referral.
As we head into the year 2021, the Edison Police Department is redefining the measuring stick by which we determine success. Decades ago, units like CPU or Traffic might be analyzed by numbers, statistics, or ratios. Numbers were safe and they provided a quantified result that could be easily measured. But they lacked a qualified component that could measure the quality of the work or a real success.