PRESCOTT VALLEY - Police Chief Bryan Jarrell has reorganized his department's neighborhood district responsibilities "in order to better serve the public," PVPD spokesman Sgt. Jake Jackson said.
"In the past, the Prescott Valley Police Department (has) assigned corporals to districts in order to facilitate block watch programs as well as provide important and timely information to its citizens as needed," Jackson said.
Now, however, each district will be assigned a sergeant and a squad of patrol officers, instead of that single corporal.
"Rather than a single person effort, community policing should be a department-wide concept," Jarrell said.
Each squad of officers will be responsible for continuing to develop block watch, neighborhood and community meetings, crime prevention details, as well as provide important and timely information to its citizens as needed, Jackson said.
This is a fairly major change for Prescott Valley, Jarrell said. Although the concept has been around for years, departments that "didn't have the staff...to devote to it, would assign one person to community policing responsibilities, and then it was up to that one person to make all the relationships," he said.
But then, when that officer moved on or was promoted, the process would have to start all over, and trust would have to be re-built from scratch.
This new program avoids that problem.
"The whole purpose of this is so that everybody in the department is involved in community policing, from me, all the way down to the (workers in) the records (department)-everybody," Jarrell said.
This change should not replace calls to 911 for emergencies; Jarrell said residents should call the new district sergeants for "quality of life issues" such as speeding cars through a neighborhood, noise complaints, and the like.
And residents are still welcome to call police dispatch at 928-772-9267 for problems that fall in between 911 emergencies and smaller troubles.
Follow Scott Orr on Twitter @AZNewsguy. Call him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2038 or 928-642-7705.