Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Andrew Smalling - Lauderhill's Police Chief

ANDREW SMALLING, the Jamaica-born police chief of Lauderhill, Florida, is now in his third year in office has been enjoying a downward trend in crime.  In the first two years,  Lauderhill has seen a 14 percent drop in crime, noticeably in violent crimes like murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault involving use of weapons, and violent crimes went down by 24 percent.

With a police force of 140 Smalling gives credit to an emphasis on intelligence-driven operations and insistence on accountability of the command staff for crimes in their area of responsibility.

Each area of the city has been divided into districts with its own crime profile.  This way problems and solutions in the district can be specifically addressed.  It also allows the police force to be proactive in preventing some crimes known to a particular district by using a Predictive Policing Program  purchased by the city.  The program looks a crime trends over the last few years and predicts where crime is likely to occur in the future.

Often criminals are creatures of habit so these programs help uncover these habits.  In the process it makes the police force more visible, and deters crime if criminals are seeing this police presence where they were going to commit a crime.  

Other programs being utilized in the city is community policing, having officers attend homeowner meetings to hear directly from residents, using an anonymous tip line using text messaging through TIP 411 so that information is given anonymously, placing more School Resource Officers who participate with students in their projects, and sponsoring a Citizens Academy and a voluntary Citizens on Patrol (which is part of the Neighborhood Watch Program).

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