The Chapel Hill Police Department is committed to strengthening its relationship with the residents of Chapel Hill in order to enhance the quality of life in our community.
In the winter of 2010, the Police Department began the first step toward the development of a comprehensive strategic plan. A series of community input sessions were held in partnership with the Justice in Action committee. These sessions were designed to gather input from the community on their expectations and desires for the Police Department. Additionally, the police department held a series of internal meetings to gather input from its employees.
Six common themes were identified from these internal and external input sessions:
- Customer Service
- Transparency of Policies
- Technology and Online Resources
Police Department employees with varying levels of experience and work assignments were chosen to serve on the strategic planning committee. The committee was charged with developing a strategic plan that reflects the basic premises of community policing. The committee developed new mission and vision statements for the Chapel Hill Police Department that will help us fulfilling the expectations of our community.
The committee developed five goals that are measurable and representative of community and employee input:
- Foster a relationship of mutual trust through consistent, honest, and timely customer service. (Partnerships)
- Provide a professional and nurturing work environment that promotes accountability through fair and consistent treatment of our employees. (Professionalism)
- Reduce crime through a strategic and data-driven partnership with our stakeholders through prevention, accountability and enforcement. (Crime Reduction)
- Build relationships within our community that enhance the sense of security through problem-solving, visibility, and education. (Secure Relationships)
- Promote vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian safety through education and enforcement. (Promote Safety)
The committee developed strategies for each of the goal and prioritized them based on need and scope. The strategies were broken down into immediate, middle, and long term.
Partner with our community to foster a relationship of mutual trust through consistent, honest, and timely customer service
- The Chapel Hill Police Department has implemented a system which aids in analysis of complaints to determine their causes. This information is provided to the Town Manager and Town Council on a quarterly basis. These quarterly reports are also available to the public on the Police Department’s website. This system provides us the opportunity to hold employees accountable and improve our training system.
- We conducted a thorough analysis of our field training program and have instituted a new training program which better prepares new officers to focus on customer service.
- We have implemented a system to ensure that officers get updated information from victims when taking reports. This helps ensure that victim’s needs are addressed effectively and completely.
Provide a professional and nurturing work environment that promotes accountability through fair and consistent treatment of our employees
- The Chapel Hill Police Department developed a plan to improve the quality and consistency for inspections of equipment and uniforms. This helps ensure that officers are prepared to provide the highest level of service each and every day.
- A plan was developed and implemented to streamline our hiring process and ensure that we are hiring individuals with an understanding of the importance of customer service and community policing.
- A plan was developed and implemented to better train our supervisors and to prepare officers to assume supervisory positions in the future.
Reduce crime through a strategic and data-driven partnership with our stakeholders through crime prevention, accountability and enforcement.
- A plan was developed and implemented to use daily crime analysis to inform officers of trends, problem solve, and effectively deploy our resources.
- The Chapel Hill Police Department developed and implemented a plan to increase community outreach opportunities. These include community watch, security surveys, etc.
- We have implemented a plan to enhance crime scene processing by providing better training to officers on each patrol shift, preparing them to process crime scenes of nearly any type.
Build relationships with our community that enhance the sense of security through problem-solving, visibility, and education.
- We have developed a new vision and mission statement along with departmental values that are to be followed by all employees. Posters with these concepts are found throughout the Police Department to remind officers why we are here and for whom we are performing this job.
- We have implemented a plan to improve the quality of the information that is disseminated to the public and to the media.
- We are utilizing social media sites (Facebook and Twitter) to inform the public of ongoing events, successes, and other timely information that may be of interest to the general public.
- We have implemented a plan to ensure that new employees understand the unique concept of policing in the Town of Chapel Hill.
Promote vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian safety through education and enforcement.
- We are working to analyze the areas where frequent vehicle crashes occur. We will use that information to develop a plan to reduce the frequency of crashes and improve safety.
- We are also working with other law enforcement agencies and state agencies to improve overall traffic safety both on and off-campus.
After identifying the immediate strategies, employees were tasked with developing action plans to assist in the implementation of strategies. Many of these strategies have been implemented and others are near implementation. The middle priority strategies have been assigned to departmental units for development and are currently either in progress or under review by the committee.
The Strategic Planning Committee recently held another series of public input sessions showcase our progress and to solicit community input on our efforts so far. Again, these meetings were held in partnership with the Justice in Action Committee. Comments from these sessions will be compiled by Justice in Action and our Strategic Planning Committee will use them to make any necessary adjustments to the plan.
Our strategic plan will evolve as the needs and desires of the community and the police department change. We are committed to this plan’s success and we look forward to future opportunities for community input.