The reduction of actual crime and providing for citizen safety in the community is the primary reason we exist as an organization. In addition to actual crime, the fear of crime and victimization can have a crime-enabling impact on the community and its citizens. Fear of crime is especially threatening for the City’s most vulnerable citizens. To meet this goal the Department will prioritize responses to crimes that most impact community safety and fear and to develop crime prevention efforts that create crime-resistant neighborhoods.
The citizens of the City of St. Johns have a shared responsibility with the Police Department to reduce crime and fear of crime. To achieve this objective, the Department will work with the City’s citizens to develop and maintain community partnerships, improve a customer service orientation, provide an open and responsive communications process and enhance community involvement in problem-solving and public safety services.
The police officers and staff of the Police Department play the most significant role in the reduction of crime and the fear that follows a criminal act. They have the first contact with the citizen, are first on scene and have the most interaction with the City’s citizens. As a result, it is important that personnel feel they are empowered to act to ensure citizen concerns are addressed immediately and into the future as necessary. The Department will maintain a work environment that encourages customer service, innovation, personal accountability, and ownership. The Department will develop training practices and Department policies and procedures that are consistent with the City values and the community’s expectations, and that will enhance the development of a community policing philosophy. To ensure that personnel have adequate time to respond to community needs, the Department must maintain appropriate staffing levels and implement effective deployment schedules. To maintain a high-performing organization, the Department will ensure that recruiting, hiring, training and retaining Department personnel consistently meet the highest standards of excellence.
The use of technology will never replace an officer on the street responding to citizens’ calls for assistance. However, the appropriate use of technology can and will enhance the ability of the officer and other Department personnel to meet the needs of our citizens more efficiently, effectively and quickly. The appropriate type and use of technology can enhance citizen and officer safety, identify crime trends and patterns, and improve traffic safety. Through the budgeting process, the citizens of St. Johns have provided funds to purchase newer and more effective technology. To ensure the value of the new technology is maximized, it will be important that Department personnel receive current and ongoing training on the use, application, and maintenance of the equipment. It will also be important to be aware of new technology that might become available in the future.
Improvement to the Department’s service delivery process is continuous and never ending. The Department’s goal is to continue to maintain, improve and create new and innovative ways to meet community and employee expectations and to strengthen planning, analysis, and budget and fiscal management.