City to have new Deputies for Community Policing

DSC 5221As the City of New Carlisle moves into a new phase of law enforcement coverage for the city, the Clark County Sheriff’s office in cooperation with city council and City Manager Randy Bridge, all agree that increasing the number of dedicated contractual hours for the city is important.  Voters approved increased funding in May of this year that will go into effect in 2016.  The city wanted to make a show of good faith to the residents and has been able to work with Sheriff Kelly to provide around 64 hours per month of patrols to the city.

Chief Deputy Doyle Wright spent some time answering questions for the New Carlisle News as it relates to changes in the staffing and the introduction of “community policing” to the city.

Wright explained that when the staffing opened up due to transfers of the previous road deputies assigned to the city, the department followed union contract rules and opened the bid for New Carlisle to all of the “road deputies” in the county.  Once the bid closed with no change of duty requests, the opportunity to move from the jail to road duty was put out for bid per contract requirements.  This is the normal progression of changes of duty according to how Wright explained the way assignments are made.

Deputy Shelia Crews and Deputy Rachel Allender elected to make the change to road duty.  According to Wright, both deputies are currently participating in 6-8 weeks of the “Field Training Officer Program” with the department.  They ride along on patrol with deputies who have been on “road patrol” to achieve the experience they need for their new assignments.  This is the case for any deputy who matriculates up within the system.

We also asked Wright how the officers within the department who are assigned to New Carlisle and the various townships in Clark County are evaluated on their performance.  He explained that the deputies who take “special assignments” of this nature with a jurisdiction can in essence stay for their entire career.  The governmental agency that contracts for the deputy coverage is the one who decides if they wish to keep the personnel or if they wish to change.  The exception would be if an officer is promoted or requests a change of duty as was the case with the previous male deputies who recently left the city to return to road patrol.

When asked about promotions within the department, Wright explained that a deputy must have been employed with the department for five years with two of those years being outside of the jail service (road service) to be qualified to sit for the exam to be promoted to the next rank.  The department is limited as to when promotions can be made based on openings which would occur due to retirements, demotions or officers who elect to move on from the department.  Sheriff Kelly had 16 sergeants and 14 lieutenants in his department.  If there is a promotion from the department ranks, the assignments may be to the jail or other special areas in the department.

With the concept of “community policing” being introduced to New Carlisle, we asked Chief Deputy Wright about how this concept will work for the city. 

Wright explained that this is not “walking a beat”, but more of a concept where the deputies park the car and get out to meet the people that they will be serving.  They will in essence become a partner in the city to not only the citizens but the business owners as well. 

As explained in our article last week, the concept of this type of policing brings the city and the law enforcement officers to the same place when it comes to preventing crime, solving problems and partnering to improve the life of everyone in the city.

Wright explained that the solutions to the problems faced by New Carlisle recently due to the reduction in force has lead the city leaders and the sheriff to work toward “taking back the city”.  Wright described this concept as “an opportunity to work with the community” to partner with the citizens and the “dedicated people who live” and work in the city. 

The community policing plan of getting the deputies out of the car and walking up to families at the ball park or stopping by to check on a business owner is a way of partnering with the city.  The concept helps to solve crimes if they occur and gives not only the community but also the officer a feeling of connection. 

Another aspect of community policing involves getting groups as well as government agencies involved in making the city more secure.  Wright explained that the deputies assigned to New Carlisle and the townships receive a report three times per day that are the same reports coming to his desk from the shift sergeants in the jail and on the road patrol.  With the addition of computers to the cruisers, deputies have this information when they arrive for their shift.

Wright explained that the deputies are dedicated to patrolling and responding to the 2.5 square miles of the city when they are on duty.  The taxpayers expect to receive their coverage and the department has committed to this coverage.  The exception to this would be if an emergency call is received and an officer is needed to respond quickly.  This would be the case if a call on an officer needing backup, an officer down or a major incident occurs.

As the city moves to this more involved policing effort, the Crime Watch program will grow in importance.  This is a way for the deputies to get to know where the problem areas are in the city and will be able to work with those who attend to find solutions.  An example of where the visitor to the city or the residents who use the bike trail may observe unwelcome behavior.  By calling dispatch at 328-2560, a deputy can be sent to the area and work toward resolving the concern.  If you notice unwelcome materials along the trail, contact dispatch with information and the deputies can enter the area to observe or deter activity. 

Along these lines, the city is in the process of upgrading a bicycle that is available and an officer may be using it to patrol in the near future.  The sheriff is looking at training that is free of charge and may elect to offer this to the deputies in the city.

Communication with the deputies also takes place with updates from the Clark County Prosecutor’s office and the probation office.  This is part of the updates with the entire department and the municipal assigned deputies are given information specific to their duty areas.

All of the resources of the Clark County Sheriff’s office are available to the deputies contracted with New Carlisle.  The city is working to provide an additional vehicle and a bicycle for patrol.  They also were able to add the hours as the $180,000 contract for 2015 is a fixed amount.  The city pays the actual cost of the deputies and with the recent changes in personnel, the insurance costs and the “step” of the payroll also changed.  This resulted in providing some of the additional hours of coverage.

The hope for the community policing concept is that residents and business owners will make an effort to interact with the deputies and welcome them into the community.  Getting out of the car and taking the time to meet their new “neighbors” is what will make change in the city according to Chief Deputy Wright.  The city leaders are on board and they hope to increase awareness of the new program by being open to sharing with the news media to help inform residents.

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