Week 1: The Tampa Citizen Police Academy
The Mark & Carrie Experience
Welcome, Chief Castor and Command Staff
Tampa Police Department Division breakdown
What a HUGE Honor it is to be accepted into the Fall 2013 Tampa Police Dept. Citizen’s Academy. We hope you enjoy this fun 9 week blog. There are 2 classes with 25 students selected each year. We knew a couple of people in our fall class. From Attorneys, bank officers, students and general community leaders that were selected to help their local community.
The introductory class started with all the top Tampa Police officials introducing themselves. Cookies & drinks were provide. Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor then took the stage. If you ever get a chance to hear Chief Castor speak, do go. She is one of the most interesting & fun public speakers we have ever seen. Chief Jane has served under former Mayor Pam Iorio & current Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
Over the past 10 years Tampa has seen a 81% deduction in crime. Chief Castor talked about how the city was cut into 3 districts and is now run like a major business. The new Police Mission Statement was changed from lawyer talk to very day lay terms to, “The Mission of the Tampa Police Department is to Reduce Crime and Enhance the Quality of Life Through a Cooperative Partnership with all Citizens.”
In the USA there is a national crime database, U.C.R. (Uniform Crime Report) The Chief realized if she were to focus on 4 main areas in Tampa the UCR would drop. This became known was the “BIG 4”. The areas of crime in the Big 4 are burglary, robbery, auto burglary and auto theft. Other new groups include “The Quad Squad” focusing on street level drug sales & distribution, “ROCK SQUAD” and the “WOW” (Worst Of the Worst) program.
Tampa PD Public Information Officer Laura McElroy was introduced and talked about communications with the public. Laura comes from 16 years as a TV anchor & news reporter.
Assistant Chief John Bennett gave a very interesting talk about the Tampa Police New Police computer software. It used to be that when a police report was filed by the officer, then taken in to supervisor, then post. This could take 3-5 or more days The new software lets the officer post his report in the field instantly. This new online system is made up of 4 parts. Part 1- the Data, part 2- Blogs, part 3- Validate & part 4- the reports. It is much like a doctors patients chart except for crime. All officers can add to it at any time. There is a civilian version like this at www.raidsonline.com
There is also a searchable data base to. Example… search for burglar thru dog door in xyz area. If several crimes popped up similar they probably are looking for the same person. This logical and common sense approach has caught the eyes of many law enforcement agency’s across America. Even the US Military are taking a closer look at this Tampa produced program. Talk about making you PROUD OF OUR TAMPA POLICE FORCE!!!
The remainder of our first class we went over the up coming weeks classes. Next week we will be at the Communications Center learning about 911 Tapes, Live dispatch and call center facility tour. We can’t wait to tell you all about it!!!
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