Community Policing is a broad term used in law enforcement. The definition and application of this concept varies widely from agency to agency. In Oxnard, community policing is not just regarded as a term or concept, but is an ingrained part of agency culture.
For over 30 years and under the command of four police chiefs, the Oxnard Police Department has been working at engaging the community, and partnering with other agencies, groups and organizations, to better serve the residents of the City.
Community Policing is the responsibility of every member of the Department, and is led by four teams. The Department expanded on prior successes and created a Neighborhood Policing Strategy (NPS). The NPS is based on four distinct patrol-led teams that focus solely on crime, traffic safety, and quality of life issues at the neighborhood level. Officers working at the neighborhood level are assigned to district teams and use a combination of vehicle, bicycle and foot patrols in the course of their duties.
Patrol officers remain in the same beat for six-month deployments and are part of a “beat team” which regularly meets and communicates on beat issues with the district teams. To aid in that communication, a departmental intranet “beat blog” was created in 2008 which has provided an effective and timely means in which to rapidly disperse pertinent information, right from the front seat of a patrol car.
The Neighborhood Policing Strategy’s concept has developed into a structure where everything from management oversight to service delivery is tailored to individual neighborhoods. Neighborhood teams are dedicated to solely addressing crime, traffic and quality of life issues in their respective areas in a proactive fashion, directed by problem analysis.