Community Policing

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Community Policing

"Community Policing" describes a partnership between the Police Department and the residents of Palm Springs. We work together to prevent crime and solve neighborhood problems. Community policing is at the heart of the City’s official approach to public safety.

Community policing goes beyond traditional policing to build a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship between the police and the community by:

  • Encouraging active citizen involvement in policing efforts.
  • Focusing on issues of ongoing public concern.
  • Providing continuity of service to the community
  • Ensuring active involvement on the part of problem-solving officers and neighborhood services coordinators in the affairs of the community.
  • Encouraging beat officers, problem-solving officers, and neighborhood services coordinators to initiate creative responses to neighborhood problems.
  • Developing the capacity of residents to speak and act effectively on their own behalf.
  • Strengthening and building groups and organizations so residents can advocate for their own interests.

Community Policing calls on the community and the Police Department to work together. Each must play a specific role for the partnership to work. Scroll down to find out more about the answers to each of these questions:

  • What is the Community’s Role in Community Policing?
  • What is the Police Department's Role in Community Policing?

What is the Community's Role in Community Policing?

Community policing in Palm Springs is a geographically based crime prevention effort organized on three levels. At each level, residents are encouraged to participate in programs and work with Police Department staff and others to identify problems, prioritize concerns, and develop solutions which are then implemented collectively.

  • Block level (Neighborhood Watch, Merchant Watch, and National Night Out)

Residents and merchants learn crime prevention techniques and meet their neighbors so they can work together to solve minor, block-level problems such as abandoned vehicles, or a property blighted with trash and debris.

  • Neighborhood level (Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council - NCPC)

Residents bring problems they cannot solve on at the block level (e.g., drug dealing, abandoned property) to their NCPC so they can work with other residents as well as their neighborhood services coordinator and problem-solving officer to address such issues.

  • City Wide Level (Bi-annual Community Summit, Community Policing Advisory Board, and Neighborhood Watch Steering Committee)

Working with other leaders on a citywide level, residents network, educate, and advocate for community policing issues that impact the City as a whole.

What Is the Police Department's Role in Community Policing?

The Palm Springs Police Department is focused on building, strengthening, and maintaining long-term relationships with the community we serve. Police service technicians work with residents at the block level to develop Neighborhood Watch and Merchant Watch Groups. Problem-solving officers and neighborhood services coordinators work at the neighborhood level to help residents solve long-term, neighborhood-specific problems such as drug houses or homeless encampments. 

Neighborhood services coordinators and problem-solving officers monitor robberies, burglaries, and narcotics activity. They take initiative to identify problems, develop solutions, and collaborate with Patrol and other units. They are the face of the Department in individual neighborhoods: their responsiveness and competence helps build trust within the community.

Innovative partnering between the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office and the City is another important part of improved community policing efforts. In partnership with the Palm Springs City Attorney’s Office, the Department successfully created the Community Prosecution Program. For the first time, the City Attorney’s Office is authorized to charge misdemeanor crimes that contribute to longstanding problems or blight in our neighborhoods. 

The Department incorporates quality of life issues as a part of its approach to community policing. Quality of life sweeps include walking patrol and vehicle stops; truancy enforcement; arrests and citations for nuisance activities; and increased enforcement of laws against public intoxication.

Links to Neighborhood Services Division

The City's Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI) coordinates programs, events and functions that involve residents and merchants in the City's community-policing program. It builds grassroots leadership skills as residents work in partnership with the police to solve problems. Go to the ONI home page for more information.