The Chief's Blog
February - 2015
It’s no secret that there has been a large amount of unrest in the public’s relationship with law enforcement, in many communities across our great country in recent months. Specific incidents aside, I believe that this tension rests largely in the public’s lack of trust for those sworn to protect them. Where does this lack of trust come from, you ask? It is my belief that, in most cases, it does not stem from specific incidents of wrongdoing, but rather a lack of understanding, deficiency in the manner and frequency of our communication, and the absence of transparency.
A law enforcement agency cannot seek to build trust during or after misfortune or tragedy strikes, but must constantly work to earn the trust of those we serve. Seeking to build trust through infrequent contact during events in which we are called to react to incidents of crime or wrong-doing, is imprudent and any trust garnered would be tenuous at best. Real trust must be forged through consistent interaction, immersion in the community, and a willingness to stand shoulder to shoulder with each of you to work toward common goals.
It has been just over a year since we at the Marysville Police Department launched our Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving Program, or COPPS, for short. While COPPS Programs are nothing new, they often differ greatly in application and meaning. I would like to take this moment to give a brief explanation of what COPPS means to the Marysville Police Department, how I feel it has improved our relationship with the community, and touch on some of the COPPS related highlights from this past year.
First and foremost, the Marysville Police Department COPPS Program is just that, a program. It is an instrument for funding designated for community related events; a vehicle in which we can set aside specific time and resources for civic-minded activities. But COPPS is much more than that to us.
COPPS is a philosophy in which our department lives by. A “contemporary” way of performing policing that really isn’t new at all. In fact, you may recognize it as being “old school.” It simply means becoming a piece of the fabric of the community. Walking the streets; knocking on doors in our neighborhoods, and entering community businesses, to simply introduce ourselves. COPPS means learning about what causes crime and discontent in our community, rather than simply reacting to crime itself; and understanding the problems and cultures unique to particular areas throughout the city.
By accepting and believing in the COPPS philosophy, I am certain our department and the community have mutually benefited. As part of our geographical COPPS concept, we divided Marysville into 9 separate geographical areas. Each of these 9 areas is assigned a police officer that remains the designated COPPS Officer for that area regardless of the shift or days of the week the officer works. This means that you can get to know the “cop” assigned to your area for weeks, months, and years to come; and the officer will get intimately familiar with the businesses, schools, residents, and issues specific to his or her beat. If you don’t know who your COPPS area officer is, call us and find out!
Lastly, some of the major COPPS related highlights of the past year were as follows:
- National Night Out (NNO) - August 5th 2014. Along with other city departments and council members, the Marysville Police Department participated in several NNO events around the city. It is believed that more Marysville citizens hosted NNO block parties than at any time in the 30+ year history of the event.
- Marysville Police Department Citizen’s Academy – The Marysville Police Department held our first ever Citizen’s Police Academy from late September through early-December, 2014. The 10 week course received full attendance and was a huge success! The second Marysville Police Department Citizen’s Academy will begin March 25, 2015. Get your application in before we fill up!
- Coffee with a Cop – In January, 2015 the Marysville Police Department held its first ever Coffee with a Cop event. I was proud to be the first “cop” to sit down and speak with many of the wonderful residents of the Yuba-Sutter region. Approximately 20 citizens attended the first event, held at the Brick Coffeehouse Café, and by all accounts the next event will draw even more attendance. Please join me for our next Coffee with a Cop event February 9th at the Courthouse Café (513 B Street, Marysville) from 9am to 10 am. Coffee is on me.
Aaron W. Easton
Chief of Police