Community Policing Subcommittee Banner

Draft Recommendation: Develop a Moorland Neighborhood Pilot Project

Presentation to the Task Force

The Community Policing Subcommittee will be presenting these draft recommendations to the Community and Law Enforcement Task for on Monday, December 8, 2014 at 6:00 PM. 

Summary

These recommendations focus on creating a community policing, outreach and engagement plan, developed and agreed upon by residents and law enforcement, in the Moorland area in Southwest Santa Rosa. This project will serve to build trust, reduce crime and improve the quality of life of Moorland neighborhood residents. It will also act as a pilot project that may be replicated in other priority areas in the County.

Brief Overview of Process

The Community Policing Subcommittee received reports from the Sheriff’s Office (SO) and Santa Rosa Police Department (SRPD) about current and past community policing initiatives in the Roseland area. Subcommittee members also attended meetings of the Moorland Healthy Neighborhood initiative, where local residents developed an assessment of the recreation and well-being needs in the Moorland neighborhood, reviewed the County’s 2014 A Portrait of Sonoma County disparities report, researched existing programs on a local and national level that carry out best practices in community policing and discussed the request of Moorland residents for more law enforcement patrol services and an improved relationship between the Moorland neighborhood and law enforcement with representatives of the SO.

Recommendation

Develop a Moorland Community Policing Plan and Project, as a 5-year pilot, which would include the following elements: High levels of collaboration with local school resource officers, faith-based organizations, businesses, community-based organizations, and County/City departments and local residents, with the purpose of developing, implementing and supporting the pilot;

Rationale:
Stronger partnerships with local stakeholders will lead to greater well-being for residents and a more effective law enforcement presence in the community.

Through a facilitated series of conversations and meetings, development of a public safety plan for the Moorland neighborhood that is agreed upon by residents and law enforcement.

At a minimum, the public safety plan should include: [1] A community safety survey and dialogue that addresses neighborhood issues regarding trust, current neighborhood policing practices, community and law enforcement concerns and enforcement priorities, and other issues and topics, as agreed upon by participants; [2] regular data collection and reporting regarding the number of traffic and pedestrian stops, interrogations, and arrests categorized by race/ethnicity, age, gender and County trends; [3] regular data collection and reporting regarding other law enforcement topics of interest to the community; [4] a detailed community engagement calendar developed by the LEA and community stakeholders; [5] establishment of a neighborhood council that will assist in implementation of the public safety plan and will assist in providing notice of meetings and distributing information about law enforcement activities in the neighborhood.

Rationale:
The creation of the plan and implementation of its goals will result in methods for readily sharing information about crime, police operations and social issues in the neighborhood. Long-term assignment of deputies will lead to expertise and trust that promotes trust and problem solving.

Assignment of two deputies to the Moorland for a minimum of five years each. The deputies will be tasked with identifying and solving neighborhood law enforcement issues and concerns, getting to know and establishing relationships with neighborhood residents, leaders and local organizations, and leading local engagement efforts on behalf of their agencies.

Dedicated offices in or near the neighborhood with phone and web access where law enforcement officers can conduct work and schedule meetings with local stakeholders;

Rationale:
Moorland neighborhood residents have very recently requested increased Sheriff's Department patrol services in their neighborhood and that CALLE participate in an effort to improve the relationship between residents and law enforcement (see attached Moorland Health Neighborhood Project summary). Increasing Neighborhood policing practices will result in decentralization in the command structure and decision-making

Resources needed:
Two full-time deputies with full access to resources (patrol cars, bikes etc.) and with specialized training in community policing practices. Office space in neighborhood; preferably at a local school or community-based organization.

The deputies must have at least 5 years of experience in the SO, be bilingual (Spanish/English), have attended cultural diversity trainings, and be active with a local CBO as a Board Member or dedicated volunteer. The public safety plan will specify the percentage of daylight shifts that each deputy will patrol on foot or bicycle in the Moorland neighborhood.

In collaboration with local stakeholder, creation of neighborhood youth oriented events not related to policing. Such activities could include annual recreational and sporting events, volunteer service projects, and local school and educational engagement projects such as the United Way’s Schools of Hope.

Monthly neighborhood meetings between LE and community to review data and neighborhood issues and concerns. The neighborhood deputies shall arrange monthly meetings with residents and appropriate CBO and County and City department representatives. (The first few meetings should be facilitated).

Development of a youth police academy or other youth-oriented policing project and increased outreach and facilitation of adult ride-alongs. The purpose of these activities will be for local residents to gain a better understanding of the work of local law enforcement agencies and to facilitate increased communications between the community and law enforcement officers.

Creation of a local advisory board similar to the “El Protector” Program in Nashville Tennessee (see attached document).

Rationale:
Law enforcement agencies are given the responsibility and power to use force against citizens and to detain and arrest. The community and neighborhoods should be full partners in the exercise of this vast power. To do this, a pilot project in the Moorland neighborhood will enable the neighborhood and law enforcement (SO and SRPD). To gain expertise in building trust and developing a neighborhood specific public safety plan. The safety of the neighborhood's residents will be improved.

Many residents in the Moorland neighborhood do not have experience seeking enhanced or improved government and police services. Hence, the concentration of resources is necessary in order to build the trust and expertise necessary to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood.

Timeline/implementation recommendation

  • Ninety days to recruit and place two deputies
  • Six months to develop neighborhood/ SO public safety plan.

Performance indicator(s)

1.1 Reduction in calls for service and crime, including violent crime, in the Moorland area.
1.2 Increase in trust and satisfaction with LE.

Additional considerations/alternatives explored

It was assumed that the Moorland area would not want any increase in the presence of the SO in the Moorland area due to Andy Lopez's death. But the neighborhood ranked increased patrols, combined with improvement in the relationship between the area and the SO as the highest priorities in addressing the recreation and well-being needs of the area. See Moorland recreation and well-being plan.

Contact Information

Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Address
Sonoma County Administration Building
575 Administration Drive
Room 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403