The Rome Police Department will soon begin a new type of patrolling. Eyewitness News Reporter Jennifer Lee tells us how some police officers will be more interactive with the community.
"People call, they have a problem, we respond and we take care of the problem," said Rome Police Chief Kevin Beach.
Chief Beach says a lot of policing is reactive where officers drive their patrol cars and wait for something to happen.
But, Chief Beach says the department is trying to be more proactive, addressing problems in the community before they become an issue.
Starting next week, the Rome Police Department's Community Impact Unit or the CIU will begin a new type of patrolling over the course of three months.
"This is going to give us more of an ability to speak to people face to face," Chief Beach explained.
Instead of patrolling out in their normal vehicles, the police officers in the CIU will be out on foot and bicycles engaging with the community and various area business owners.
The CIU will have four patrol officers and detectives that will address quality of life issues including drugs, loitering, and disorderly conduct.
One of the CIU officers, Jeff Buckley says he's been with various law enforcement agencies in Central New York.
He says this type of patrolling will be completely different.
"We're going to be freed from taking regular calls on a regular basis to kind of go out and find the things that regular patrolmen may not get to do. I think we are trying to make it closer knit. Getting info from the citizens from the business owners and to prevent any more crime from coming in," said Officer Buckley.
Although the crime rate in the City of Rome may be low, Chief Beach says that doesn't mean they can sit back and relax.
"If you don't keep on your toes and you don't continue to stay after it. The crime rate will go up. Complacency kills," said Chief Beach.
The CIU will be hitting the streets starting September 4th at 8 a.m.
During the process, the Rome P.D. will be evaluating how effective the policing unit is. Chief Beach says if it's successful, the department will keep the program running.
If you would like to contact the CIU for non-emergency issues, call 315-525-8075 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.