Davenport Police ‘Community Impact Team’ hopes to build on success of NETS unit
DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The Davenport Police Dept. launched a new team focused on community policing techniques, aimed at addressing violent crime citywide.
The Community Impact Team, which started in November, builds off the success of the Neighborhoods Empowered to Succeed unit that began years ago and was focused on specific neighborhoods in the city.
“Instead of six officers confined to six defined areas throughout the city, we’re hoping that we’re able to pinpoint and get very specific and address issues in the entire city wherever they pop-up,” Davenport Police Lt. Jason Smith said, “Partnerships with the community, especially now are so important. That’s why we’re trying to bring what we’ve learned in the last two decades to even more people throughout the city.”
The goal is to partner with people who live in neighborhoods that might have issues by work with them and the city to address why crime happens -- before it does -- not only through enforcement, but with community outreach and programs.
“When we can work with the neighborhood that has identified a specific problem and get them the type of help they want and the type of help they desire, and we can work with them to solve that issue, it’s a win-win for us, and a win-win for the neighborhood that’s experiencing those problems,” Smith said.
The officers assigned to the team are also responsible for crime prevention education and awareness programs, including A.L.I.C.E training, as well as working with neighborhoods using the Good Neighbor Project.
According to the city and police department, the Good Neighbor Project is: “designed to help neighbors connect with each other and form functioning neighborhood groups. The project is a Davenport neighborhood program in which City staff and the Davenport Police Department collaborate with citizens to foster and encourage community engagement.”
In an Oct. 29 announcement of the Community Impact Team, Chief Paul Sikorski said:
“Over the past year, the Davenport Police Department has been challenged by the rise of violent crime in our community. As a department, we have responded by reallocating resources to address and prioritize response to calls for police service and violent crime throughout our community. As part of these internal adjustments, the NETS Unit will be replaced with a new Community Impact Team (CIT) beginning November 1, 2020.
I do not take these adjustments lightly, and I understand that the NETS program has been beloved by neighborhood groups who have developed relationships with NETS officers. I want to ensure you that the Davenport Police Department is committed to continuing these relationships through the new Community Impact Team.
The City of Davenport and the Davenport Police Department are committed to the health and vitality of all neighborhoods. The Community Impact Team will be available to all City neighborhoods and will focus on building positive and trusting relationships, including our former NETS neighborhoods.
It is important to note that the Community Impact Team will be collaborating with other City and community resources that are available to our neighborhoods. The Good Neighbor Project was launched earlier this year and is a fantastic resource for neighbors to connect with each other and collaborate with the City to address issues in their neighborhoods.
As we transition from the NETS Unit to the new Community Impact Team, I want to ensure you that the Davenport Police Department remains committed to the safety of our neighborhoods. The men and women of our department are dedicated to building positive community relationships, and will continue to do in the future.”
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