"Try us; I know you will like us"
Over the past several years, many Police Departments throughout our country have formed community and corporate partnerships within their communities. These partnerships act as a conduit, providing for better police services and an understanding of police actions, while affording those police departments’ additional eyes and ears within the community. All too often we speak about the “Partnerships” but fail to follow through to ensure that the partnerships operate as intended.
When selected to serve as your new Police Chief some five and a half years ago, I arrived in Green Cove Springs with the belief and understanding that there was a need to open up all lines of communication between the Police Department and the community we serve. Based on this belief, steps were initiated to remove any and all obstacles faced by citizens in their understanding of the operations of their police department. All the members of the Green Cove Springs Police Department were charged with the responsibility of actively opening up the lines of communication in the community by adopting and adhering to the “Community Policing Philosophies” as our business practice.
From the beginning, I have had an open door policy with all members of the community and this policy has been utilized by over 230 citizens, over the past three and a half years. In fact, I was quoted in the local press stating “Try me, you might like me” regarding the changes I envisioned for the Green Cove Springs Police Department. To further my message, I have attended over 150 different homeowner association meetings and community functions, taking every opportunity to advise citizens about the changes currently underway at their Police Department. To date, we have had 85 different citizens take advantage of our “Police Ride Along Program”, giving them an opportunity to spend time in a patrol vehicle with a Community Patrol Officer, seeing firsthand the issues their police officers face on a daily basis, when answering different police related calls for service. My focus continues to be on opening up all aspects of the Green Cove Springs Police Department to the community we so proudly serve.
In closing, I challenge every citizen of Green Cove Springs to take the time to visit their Police Department and get to know their Police Officers. This will afford for a better understanding of the duties their Police Officers perform on a daily basis, protecting and serving the citizens of Green Cove Springs. And, yes I did write “their” Police Officers, because I truly believe as Sir Robert Peel stated some 250 years ago, “The Police are the community, and the community is the Police”. No truer words could have been spoken by the father of modern policing and a belief adhered to by every member of the Green Cove Springs Police Department.
Serving with S.P.I.R.I.T.
Safety, Professionalism, Integrity, Respect, Innovation, Training