If you follow my columns, I am sure you have heard me talk about how important it is to change the way we police. This is crucial mainly because public safety, albeit necessary, is very expensive. Because the economy started spiraling downward, it has become imperative that we in law enforcement change our practices to maximize the personnel and equipment we have. In Bartow, it is no different.
Over the last four years, we have made some changes. Today, our goal is to use intelligence to direct us in our enforcement activities. Our officers and supervisors now have access to the same data that we have in our offices, right there in the cars. Supervisors, with the push of a button, can access calls for service, recent calls, citations, arrests or even map out crimes to reassign officers to a specific area. Bartow police officers have all of the data they need to assess crime trends and target repeat offenders right at their fingertips.
Today, wireless access in patrol cars has become second nature. In the future, the Bartow Police Department will utilize different technology. By upgrading some of our equipment, we will be able to save additional monies, more and better training. Soon, we will be rolling out a new simulator that models realistic decision-making for officers in dangerous situations. This device will provide in-house training by certified instructors on a monthly basis using simulation rather than actual ammunition and cartridges. The simulation is utilizing all of our existing tools, through computer technology. This technology is cost efficient, and allows more on-duty training time for officers and supervisors. An efficient, well-trained police department is a commitment that must be made, and will be made, for a safer community … our community.
As always, don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have questions, want to be a volunteer or just need help at 863-534-5034.