Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Police - Courier - Summary of DCA recommendations, 2004

Published in the Courier News, August 11,2004

Plainfield Police Division:
Summary of recommendations

It is essential that ordinances be reviewed periodically as to consistency with current operations and consistency with current statutory law. The Division of Local Government Services therefore makes the following recommendations:

- Review ordinance that establishes the staffing levels of the police department.

- Review, enact/amend an ordinance that codifies and/or establishes the basic rules and regulations of the police department.

- Review and adjust the work shift schedule so that each patrol officer is not working with a 27-hour annual deficit.

- Civilianize some of the administrative positions currently performed by police officers and move the officers back to patrol.

- Continue ongoing reviews of traffic signage and ordinances within the city. Replace, remove or correct where necessary. This will lead to better and more consistent traffic enforcement. Conduct an assessment of both officer and community education. Assess state education programs and their applicability to the education of Plainfield's modern police force. Enhance existing community education programs with an emphasis toward current issues within the community.

- Replace the lieutenant's supervisory position in the traffic bureau with a sergeant.

- Revise outside employment guidelines to charge an appropriate administrative rate.

- Complete a feasibility study regarding an upgrade of the police department facilities. It is acknowledged that any renovation/expansion/building will be a capital expense. Therefore, any feasibility study must be accompanied with a short-term and long-term fiscal plan. Explore the possibility of installing a video security system in the police facilities.

- Continue to meet with and expand neighborhood watch programs and continue neighborhood education programs. Explore the feasibility of re-establishing the neighborhood watches in areas where they have been reduced or have become non-functional.

- Implement a Professional Standards Unit for staff inspection and containing the Internal Affairs Unit.

- Explore feasibility of revenue enhancement in several areas including towing, secondary employment and alarms.

- Staffing adjustments through attrition:
a. Recommend the reduction of the police captains ranks from seven to four.

b. Recommend the reduction of police lieutenants ranks from 10 to nine.

c. Recommend the reduction of police sergeants ranks from 25 to 23.
- Create a temporary task force for "Problem Oriented Policing." This task force will target certain specific areas for a cohesive concentrated effort of policing. Create a Burglary/Robbery Task Force. As current crimefighting needs of the community are identified by the administration, focus the Problem Oriented Task Force toward these identified needs.

Source: State report of Plainfield police operations by the state Department of Community Affairs' Division of Local Government Services

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Plainfield resident since 1983. Retired as the city's Public Information Officer in 2006; prior to that Community Programs Coordinator for the Plainfield Public Library. Founding member and past president of: Faith, Bricks & Mortar; Residents Supporting Victorian Plainfield; and PCO (the outreach nonprofit of Grace Episcopal Church). Supporter of the Library, Symphony and Historic Society as well as other community groups, and active in Democratic politics.