One of my (and the department’s) most ardent goals is to prevent and control crime and residents’ fear of crime for our city. This may sound like an easy task; however, anyone who has worked in the criminal justice profession certainly is keenly aware there are numerous factors that cause crime and, for the most part, only a few are within the control of the law enforcement agency.
Consequently, we must continually work on planning and developing crime-control initiatives that have proved highly successful within the criminal justice profession.
Since 2010, our agency has transitioned from the traditional policing philosophy that I deem “reactive policing” to that of the “proactive” community policing philosophy. This effort has certainly proven rewarding.
For example, I am so very pleased to advise our citizenry that “violent crimes” for La Marque has been reduced 5 percent for calendar year 2013 in comparison to what was reported for 2012. This is an enviable achievement for any jurisdiction.
I salute the committed men and women of the LMPD. Their hard work and dedication is undeniably the cornerstones of our agency. I am extremely proud of the effort that has been put forth by each employee. We now have 15 committed community watch groups throughout the city.
Our community policing officers are actively working with their assigned neighborhoods in developing a positive partnership with our agency: to take our streets back from the criminal element.
Now, we all are playing “hardball” with the crime and criminals that make our lives miserable. While we will continue to refine our community policing effort, we are not resting on our laurels and have also been successfully employing another highly effective and nationally successful crime control initiative: CompStat.
CompStat is an acronym for computerized statistics. By using our agency’s records management system along with the principles of CompStat, our agency has been tasking its shift supervisors (patrol sergeants) to work on developing action plans that prevent and control crime within districts that they have been assigned.
CompStat principles and goals are really basic — accurate and timely intelligence, rapid deployment, effective tactics and relentless follow-up and assessment.
A one-hour CompStat briefing is conducted on a monthly basis. At this briefing, shift sergeants elaborate upon crime conditions (i.e., patterns, MOs, etc.,) in their area of control, appropriate tactics they did or will deploy to address such conditions, and any revision to such tactics as necessary.
Besides addressing crime and fear of crime concerns, this monthly briefing with all key executives also provides a superb opportunity for all role players to interact via dialogue on many of the important issues and nuances that affect our agency.
Once again, I leave this crystal clear message for “those” that continue to commit crimes within our city: Crime business as usual is ending in La Marque.
Randall Aragon is chief of the La Marque Police Department.