In 2004, the city went from seven police patrol divisions to two. The East and West division model gave the department the flexibility to deploy officers where they are needed most. Officers were assigned car beats, but many took calls in a wider area during their shifts. The city has maintained the model saved millions of dollars through more efficient staffing and less building space.
Residents felt they lost their connection with police officers, who were patrolling a much wider area of the city.
The next big change?
Perhaps restructuring the department from its current East/West division into quadrants, with the downtown detail as the “doughnut hole,” Sheppard said.
(Councilman Adam) McFadden and (police union president Mike) Mazzeo, typically on opposite sides of crime-related issues, would welcome that change, and want Sheppard and Richards to restore the seven-section model the City Council chose to eliminate in 2004.
Critics of the 2004 move perennially push to restore the sections.
McFadden and Mazzeo say the current East/West model inhibits relations with the community, and fosters a lower morale among officers who do not feel a connection with the neighborhoods.
“We have lost a lot of the valuable relationships we had under the old system, people feel as if they’ve lost support and lost contact with the officers,” McFadden said.
The Center for Governmental Research helped the city design the reorganization. It looks like CGR last analyzed the results in 2005. Perhaps it should be engaged to take another look at how the reorganization went. Such an analysis could look at crime, response times, overtime, management and community input.
Links of the Day:
– The Syracuse Post-Standard slammed patronage in Onondaga County government.
– The state assembly will vote on a bill barring welfare recipients from withdrawing cash at bars and strip clubs.
– SUNY spent $300,000 for a conference on “systemness.” The cocktail party alone exceeded $30,000.
– An op-ed in the New York Times urges the Catholic church to place saving schools above all else.
– When you’re an atheist in a tragedy, you don’t have to ask why God allows such awful things to happen.