Posted by Heather Rutz on Jun 16, 2017
Community policing is a philosophy, not a program.
Community policing is a philosophy, not a program, not a building, not a ‘flavor of the month’ fad, Lima Police Chief Kevin Martin said Monday.
For it to be successful, the philosophy must be embraced not only through an entire police force, but by the public it serves, Martin said.
Martin, who joined the department as a corrections officer in 1986 and became chief in 2011, said community policing is about partnering and problem solving. The concept is not just about opening substations; those are one tool of community policing that create improved access to officers and coordinated services.
The philosophy is shared, it has a customer service orientation, and it’s proactive, not reactive, trying to prevent crime, rather than just reacting after it happens.
Martin discussed the many partnerships his department has with other law enforcement agencies, other government agencies, nonprofits, schools, private businesses, neighborhood groups, houses of worship and individuals.
“The most important aspect is that police can’t do it alone,” Martin said. “I and all of our officers need input from the community.”
Martin also addressed crime numbers in the city, and said in general the numbers are trending downward.
In 2016, the city saw a spike over the previous year, however through the first half of this year, those numbers are already trending back down. In 2015, violent crime was down 40 percent from 2008, the year prior to the department’s pinpoint policing program that focuses on crime hotspot locations.
In other Rotary business:
Next Monday’s meeting will be a special one, as Rotary hosts the Special Olympics Torch Run in connection with Lima Police Department and Allen County Sheriff’s Office. The torch will arrive in Town Square about 11:45 a.m. and then there will be a banquet held with Special Olympics and Rotary.
The Field of Dreams is nearly complete. The rubber is down and grass is planted. Fencing and dugouts are next. Rotary and UNOH plan a ribbon cutting for August, and a donors’ celebration for the end of July.
Speaking of baseball, Rotary night at the Lima Locos is June 24. Free tickets are available.
Paul Swartz invited Rotarians to a 30th anniversary celebration for Swartz Contracting on June 29. RSVP with Paul.
The Lima Rotary Foundation accepted a check from Lima Memorial Health System for $14,765. The funds are proceeds from the spring blood clinic.
The golf outing has a new date, July 19. Chair Andy Wannemacher will have a golf committee meeting Monday after Rotary to give an update.