An old philosophy being enhanced
By Captain Dave Samson
Community Policing will return Sheriff's deputies to the neighborhoods. It is a simple
process. When policing and law enforcement first started, the only way an officer could
be mobile was to walk his neighborhood. This area was eventually called his "beat." When
an officer walked his beat, he became familiar with the people. This made him approachable
and fostered relationships with individuals in the community. They exchanged information
and worked together to solve problems. Then, police started using cars to patrol their
beats. Officers were less approachable and many people in the community did not get to
know their officers unless they had an occasion to call them. This caused a communication
break down between the community and the police. Consequently, law enforcement became less
effective in the community.
Over the last eight years, The Sutter County Sheriff's Office has changed its philosophy.
For many years, law enforcement in general has been "reactive." Meaning that officers
patrolled an area until they received a call. Most of the time, officers would respond
after the crime occurred. The Sutter County Sheriff's Office has practiced the "proactive"
law enforcement philosophy and year by year, effectively reduced part one crimes. We are
now below 1991 statistical levels. This was accomplished by actively seeking out criminal
activity and taking action.
Now, under our new administration, the Sheriff has enhanced our proactive philosophy. By
empowering our office's members to become innovative entrepreneurs in the community, we
will form partnerships with the people to help solve community problems and concerns.
Deputies will be assigned specific areas and will get to know the people in those areas.
Together, they will use available resources to "proactively" solve problems. Consequently,
many different types of beneficial programs are developing. You will see that the deputies
are now implementing several programs to enhance our community.
Partnerships with the people in the community are the key to effective Community Policing.
"The public are the police and the police are the public. The police, are only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties that are incumbent upon every citizen in the interest of community welfare and existence."
--Sir Robert Peel, father of modern law enforcement, 1829