When the established a Police Department in 1996, the City had 25 officers. That staffing model allowed to City’s Police Department to adopt a motto called “no call too small.” This is one of the components of community-oriented policing – having sufficient staffing to take time for officers to work with residents on issues in their neighborhood, not just “take the report and go.”
Today, with a staffing of 16 officers and a growing demand on public safety services, that motto has been severely impacted. UPPD officers still respond to all types of calls for service, but our response time may be delayed compared to year’s past. Also, we ask citizens to complete online reports for several types of crimes to avoid dispatching officers to help maximize their time. This is not the most effective way to address crime problems. While online reporting may be convenient for some citizens, it does not provide the most efficient way to document and review a criminal incident. Most citizens are not report writers and either don’t know what to include or how to write it accurately. Also, they may miss evidence or important details that can be helpful in an investigation. Online reports are still reviewed by a UPPD supervisor, but the process still doesn’t allow for the most effective response to a reported criminal incident.