The Aspen Institute Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 150 2017

Policing Philosophy

Community Oriented Policing (C. O. P.) is the philosophical perspective that guides the Mott College Department of Public Safety in its daily operation.

C. O. P is a process of building relationships between the police, the campus community, local government, and community members to identify and address issues of crime, disorder, and other quality of life issues. This collaborative effort identifies areas of crime and disorder and engages as many elements of the college and community as possible in developing long term solutions to these concerns.

C. O. P. is a flexible philosophy that applies its core elements (Partnerships, Problem Solving, and Change Management) to the specific community served. Mott Police and Public Safety realize that the college community is unique and C.O.P. addresses that specific community in creative ways.

The Department of Public Safety has taken a unique approach by being 100% committed to the C.O.P. process. The Department works to support and enhance the C.O.P. process among all of its members and the campuses it serves so that a safe college environment can become a reality.

Mott College Pubic Safety utilizes three core elements to enhance it C.O.P program:

  1. Partnerships:

    Police Officers seek to develop trust and open up the lines of communication between them and the people they serve in their buildings or assigned areas. Sergeants work with students, staff and faculty to develop and maintain a secure and safe environment, within their assigned building or areas. The college community, emergency response team members, and their Building Officers will work together to identify problems that concern the staff in their areas. Both parties will then use the problem solving method to come up with a variety of responses to the problem.
  2. Problem solving:

    Problem solving identifies the specific concerns that the college community members feel are most threatening to their safety and well-being. These areas of concern then become priorities for joint police-community interventions. The officers and various building members then form problem solving partnerships to develop responses that they can both use to eliminate or minimize the problem. In order to properly resolve these problems the Public Safety Department has adopted a process using the SARAModel(Scanning, Analysis, Response and Assessment) to identify and address problems.
    • Scanning:
      Problems that occur more than once are identified by the officer in a collaborative effort with their building or area. These incidents often have patterns that can be identified and assessed.
    • Analysis:
      The targeted problem is then studied so that factors that contribute to its existence are fully understood. This is the most crucial part of the SARA process because the issue must be fully explored so that responses are based on facts rather than guesses. Information must be gathered to begin understanding the three legs of the crime triangle (Victim, Offender, and Location) as related to the identified problem. Guardians are also identified during this process. Guardians are agencies or people who could assist in changing the issues as it relates to the Victim, Offender or Location. For example, if a problem involved poor lighting in a location, guardians could be college lighting committee or Facilities and Construction. This Model is also applicable in service related situations when there is no Victim or Offender.
    • Response:
      Creative responses are then developed to address the causal factor of the problem. The responses should address two legs of the crime triangle. Guardians are then used to assist in implementing the responses.
    • Assessment:
      Quantitative and qualitative data is collected so the effectiveness of the response can be determined. Once the data has been analyzed the response can be continued or new responses can be developed.
  3. Change Management:

    Change management requires a clear recognition that forging community policing partnerships and implementing problem-solving activities will necessitate changes in the organizational structure of policing. Properly managed change involves a recognition of the need for change, the communication of a clear vision that change is possible, the identification of the concrete steps needed for positive change to occur, the development of an understanding of the benefits of change, as well as the creation of an organizational wide commitment to change.

    The Department of Public Safety has trained Community Police Officers on Staff but continues to enhance their training and provide training for the non-sworn staff in Community Policing concepts and philosophy as well. The department is also implementing a Steering Committee to guide the department through this process of organizational change. The Committee is made up of police sergeants, civilian staff, and faculty representatives who will work together to provide input on external goals (partnership building, educational outreach programs) and internal goals (creating a participative team environment and increase training opportunities to deliver effective services).

    The College Administration has created the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee (LEAC). The mission of the LEAC is to assure that the Department of Police and Public remains responsive to the needs of the campus and local communities and to provide the College Administration and the Director of Police and Public Safety with regular input on issues surrounding crime and fear abatement, law enforcement, public safety, and emergency preparedness. The major role of the LEAC is advisory and consultative in nature. Its primary directive is to enhance the Public Safety Department’s community oriented public safety philosophy.

    The Department of the Public Safety is committed to providing all campus sites a committed and responsible C.O.P. Community Policing extends beyond law enforcement to include safety and service concerns as well. The department's mandate is to provide and maintain a safe and secure environment for the entire Mott College as well as the surrounding community.

May 9, 2016
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