A Tale of Two Police Departments :. oPD Vs. csPD. Introduction. Are all police departments “created” equal? If they are different, how can you tell? What makes one department “better” than another. What About These Two Cities?.
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oPD Vs. csPD
Are all police departments “created” equal?
If they are different,
how can you tell?
What makes one department
“better” than another.
The Omaha Police Department (OPD) and the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) are often used as comparable cities for labor negotiations.
But, are they comparable? Is one department
contemporary and the other
Let’s take a look.
to analyze trends and
patterns of crime.
OMAHA COLORADO SPRINGS
Population: 408,958 428,277
Area: 131 sq. miles 194 sq. miles
Police Dept: OPD CSPD
Sworn 786 688
Non-sworn 205 = 991 309 = 997
911 Calls 229,933 295,517
Budget $98,765,052. $85,989,131
* All data based on comparison of 2010 OPD Annual Report and 2010 CSPD Annual Report
Herman Goldstein developed “Problem Oriented Policing” in 1979, focusing on analytical responses to crime.
The Center for POP opened in 2001.
POP is now the standard for policing.
Old-fashioned policing does not solve the root problem of crime or community problems; POP addresses root problem;
Individual police officers have a wealth of
under utilized community knowledge
and ideas on how to solve immediate
Community needs to be involved in solving
Analytical problem-solving model, monitored with rigorous data collection.
OPD: Problem – gun violence.
OPD: Solution – more random patrols,
more police presence,
more random traffic stops,
enlists two officers and meets with
stakeholders in community,
implements solution, measures
solidifying this important department value.
and well-organized. It is forward
thinking, problem solving, innovative,
and pro-active. The use of both
COPS and POP strategies and tactics
is widespread. CSPD engages with
COPS and POP strategies.
OPD has little useful or available information to draw comparisons – it is a closed, opaque department. No data.
OPD does not do department-wide surveys, so we do not know their courtesy rating – it does not effectively use community policing strategies. No feedback.
OPD uses little or no social media, electronic, or digital technology to communicate with the public. No connection.
OPD’s community outreach, education, or partnering are minimal.
OPD’s volunteer services are not converted into savings.
OPD has NO POP projects or strategies in play.
CSPD is a dynamic part of the community – the department is welcome and a part of all community events.
CSPD has a 94% courtesy rating based on community surveys.
CSPD utilizes civilians and non-sworn officers.
CSPD widely uses volunteers – in 2010, 352 volunteers contributed 47,396 hours of work valued at $959,754.61.
CSPD is on Facebook and Twitter, has an award-winning webpage, and has libraries of helpful PSA’s videos and information to provide the community.
CSPD has hundreds of successful POP projects.
A Contemporary, Smart Police Department
Bicycle Registration / Document Valuables
Child Occupant Protection Program
Citizen Advisory Committees
Explorer (Cadets) Program
Impound / Vehicle Auction
Internet Crimes Against Children
Lock & Pocket Your Keys
Property / Evidence
Refuse To Be A Victim
Ride Friendly Program
Senior Victim Assistance Team (SVAT)
Victim Advocacy Unit
Victim Advocacy Unit - Espanol
"Our mission is to promote the quality of life in Colorado Springs by providing police serviceswith integrity and a spirit of excellence, in partnership with our Community."
We believe that we (the Police) derive our powers from the people we serve. We will never tolerate the abuse of our police powers. We recognize that our personal conduct, both on and off duty, is inseparable from the professional reputation of the Police Department. We are committed to protecting the constitutional rights of all individuals. We view the people of our community as our customers who deserve our concern, care, and attention.
We support an organizational climate of mutual trust, and respect for one another. We encourage the pursuit of higher education by our employees. We are committed to contributing to the advancement of the Police profession.
Civilians: CSPD has wisely allowed many expensive sworn officers to retire and have replaced
them with as many civilian and
non-sworn officers as safely possible.
CSPD has a civilian Commander in
charge of Management Services,
numerous civilian employees,
and non-sworn officers.
Community Service Officer Program
Community Service Officers (CSOs) are specially trained, non-sworn personnel who perform some non-critical duties.
CSOs handle primarily cold calls that do not involve viable suspect information or injuries.
CSOs free up a significant amount of time for sworn personnel to respond to high priority.
CSOs result in a cost savings to the department and the City of Colorado Springs.
CSO cruisers and officers are distinctively identified by the cruiser markings and uniform. Also note a Code Enforce-
ment unit and a regular cruiser denoting
the various assignments.
POP Projects: Downtown Area Response Team (DART)
In response to increasing gang activity and violence in 2009 in the downtown area (DTA), a pilot project was initiated with a sergeant and two police officers.
The Sergeant and Officers conducted over 150 community contactscreating relationships with the bar owners, managers, bouncers, and bartenders.
CSPD hosted monthly multidimensional meetings with stakeholders in the downtown clubs like cab companies, non-profit entities, and military personnel.
Planning sessions were held to create a new vision for the success of downtown.
The downtown officers also enlisted the help of the Fort Carson Department of Emergency Services.
of Police-DynCorp International
Civilian Law Enforcement
Military Cooperation Award.
The DART Project, nationally recognized by an IACP Award, partnered CSPD with downtown merchants and military command to make downtown Colorado Springs safer:
Homeless Outreach Team (HOT)
Since June 2008, the City of Colorado Springs experienced a dramatic increase in the number of homeless camps on public land adjacent to recreational trails and creek beds. The number of homeless individuals living in tents swelled to over 500.
HOT documented 155 people becoming employed and self-sufficient. HOT has made 3,585 outreach contacts and 82,968 referrals.
HOT participated in 44
clean-ups of vacant camps with
Keep Colorado Springs Beautiful,
a local non-profit
HOT has made 57 felony and
168 misdemeanor arrests.
HOT won the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing 2010 International Herman Goldstein Award For Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing and the Colorado Springs City Council recognized their efforts with a Resolution of Appreciation.
Grants, Planning & Research Unit:
- In 2010, alone, applied for 31 grants and received $2.6 million and administered 50 grants;
- Conducted and provided research on numerous topics, including using
Civilian Investigators in
the Internal Affairs Unit
and how to operate a
Public Safety Volunteer
Internal Affairs Unit:
- In 2010, conducted 299 Level I complaints, down from 305 in 2009 and 346 in 2008. Level I complaints are more informal, can only result in a 2-year reprimand, and may be resolved by mediation;
- In 2010, this unit conducted 23 Level II investigations. These are more serious matters and may result in termination. These investigations have been sustained at a rate of nearly 90% in recent years;
- In 2010, this unit also tracked department-wide awards: 723 awards were given to sworn personnel and 72 awards were given to civilian personnel.
- The 911 Communications Center was re-accredited by its accrediting agency, IAED;
- CSPD’s Communication Center was the 18th in the world to be awarded the highest distinction from the IAED for Medical Priority Dispatch.
- In 2010, this unit provided 40 in service sessions where 575 sworn personnel were in attendance;
- Topics covered included: American CPR, Emotionally Disturbed Persons, Excited Delirium, PTSD, Tasers, Photo Line-Ups, Show-Ups, Handcuffing, Control Holds and Takedowns;
- In 2010, this unit also conducted 8 hours of in- service training for civilian personnel. This training focused on customer service, communications, and leadership.
These examples only scratch the surface of the level of achievement CSPD’s Annual Report recounts in nearly 70 pages. Many of the other traditional units like, Gang, Graffiti, Robbery, DUI etc., likewise have similar accomplishments to report. See, below.
Grants, Planning and Research
Public Information Office
Community Service Officer Program
Crime Prevention Officer
License Plate Reader Unit
Property Crimes Unit
Response Team (DART)
Homeless Outreach Team (HOT)
Copper Thefts Unit
Burglary Pattern Unit
Drugs and Counterfeit Money Unit
Guns, Drugs, and Human
Sex Offenders Unit
Aggravated Robbery and Stolen Vehicles Unit
Guns and Money from Robbery Unit
Crowd Control Team
Digital Voice Recorders
for Patrol Officers Report
Financial Crimes Unit
COCCA Case Unit
Fort Carson Soldier Arrested for Ponzi Scam Report
The Colorado Internet Crimes
Against Children (ICAC) Task Force
Computer Forensic Unit
The Robbery Unit
Victim Advocacy Unit
Strategic Information Center
Metro Crime Laboratory
Family Crimes Unit
Records & Identification Section
Liquor Enforcement Unit
Special Enforcement Unit
Undercover Narcotics Operations
Public Safety Event Unit
Protective Security Section
Airport Police Unit
Tactical Operations Section
Unit Canine Unit (K-9)
Regional Explosives Unit
COMMIT (Community Impact Team)
Code Enforcement Unit
Graffiti Removal Program
Parking Enforcement Unit (PEU)
Special Events Coordinator
Major Accident Unit (MAU)
Civilian Military Policing Collaborative
With all of these examples of excellence, what about the condition of equipment, facilities, technology etc. at CSPD. Take a look:
Community Policing Yes No
Good Community Relations Yes No
Up-to-Date Technology Yes No
Modern Facilities Yes No
40 Hours In-service Per Year Yes No
Expansive Civilian Personnel Yes No
Volunteer Savings Captured Yes No
Effective Internal Affairs Yes No
Implements POP Projects Yes No
Transparent and Accountable Yes No
Award-winning Yes No
CSPD polices a slightly larger population than OPD does.
And patrols nearly 60 more square miles than OPD.
CSPD answers nearly 65,000 more calls for service than OPD.
CSPD employs over 100 more civilian personnel and nearly 100 fewer sworn officers than OPD.
CSPD’s facilities, fleets, technology, and equipment are modern and up-to-date.
CSPD’s training far exceeds OPD.
CSPD partners with its community and uses both COPS and POP strategies.
CSPD has award winning services.
AND IT COSTS $13MILLION LESS THAN OPD!!!
Why doesn’t OPD resemble CSPD?
Are more police departments like OPD or CSPD?
What about the departments in OPD’s labor array?
If we are quantitatively compared to other departments, then why isn’t there a qualitative comparison too?
Is Omaha getting the policing it is paying for?
If not, why not?
Where do we go from here?
New Orleans Police Report
Police Discipline Report
http://lincoln.ne.gov/city/police/documents.htm See, Lincoln Police Department Five Year Strategic Plan
Tristan Bonn is an attorney and an adjunct professor of Criminal Justice at Buena Vista University in Iowa. She has a B.A. from the University of Arizona, a Masters in History from the University of Colorado, and a J.D. from Creighton University.
From 2001 through 2006, she was the first and only Police Auditor for the City of Omaha. She was fired by Mayor Fahey for releasing a report critical of the Omaha Police Department.
Currently, she speaks frequently about smart policing and civilian oversight.