Special Enforcement Team (SET)
In 2016, Chief Kerr inaugurated the Special Enforcement Team (SET). The concept was designed to provide a more proactive approach to special enforcement needs in the City. When the officers are busy answering calls for service and all of the patrol functions, the proactive enforcement opportunities must become secondary. Chief Kerr wanted more proactive enforcement of illegal drug activity and property crimes (such as thefts of bicycles, and thefts from vehicles).
Often, increased property crimes are manifestations of drug activity. Attacking property crimes is important, but the root cause can stem from the illegal drug abuse issues. Additionally, there can be an increase on persons with warrants for failure to appear in court or comply with court orders, possession of illegal drugs, etc. Chief Kerr’s goal was to address all of these issues that we were seeing in this community and do it proactively.
The police sergeants were asked to appoint a member from each of their respective shifts to be on this team. The team members were asked to use a part of their shift to do focused patrols on known or suspected hot spots for drug activity. They contacted neighbors and stake holders in those areas. The information gathered was disseminated among the different team members.
In April, 2016, the team supervisor began to set up a plan for doing collective investigation/enforcement actions. It was established that the team members would work specific times each month as a team to focus efforts on specific areas of concern. The results indicated this concept was very successful.
Team members received training on scouting of suspected areas, drug investigations and worked with surrounding area departments on sharing intelligence. Bicycle theft reports seem to have begun to lessen. Thefts from vehicle reports have lessened. The team members contacted the neighbors and stake holders later in the year and were advised the efforts of the team did have a positive impact regarding their concerns.
SET has proven to be very effective in its goals of proactive enforcement and was considered very successful for its inaugural year. It is not specifically a drug task force, as it operates in many different proactive modes of law enforcement. It will certainly continue and grow and be enhanced in years to come.