The Gloucester Township Police Department has earned the 2018 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Leadership in Community Policing Award (Population 50,001-100,000) sponsored by the Cisco Corporation.
This prestigious award was the result of the IACP reviewing the Gloucester Township Police Department’s 3RD Gear Policing Model where in addition to 1ST Gear Policing (Arrest and Suppression), a variety of policing strategies focus on 2ND Gear (Prevention), and 3rd Gear (Intervention) to more effectively address the underlying factors that contribute to crime.
The all encompassing Gloucester Township Police 3RD Gear Policing Model has built tremendous relationships with the community while drastically reducing crime. Overall crime has dropped by 34% and violent crime has been reduced by 53% (2009-2017). The 3RD Gear Policing Model does not replace the commonly known practice of arrest, as our 3RD Gear model involves initiatives that are in addition to arrest which address broader issues through partnerships and programs that reduce motivations and opportunities of crime occurrences. Such programs include Project SAVE where we assist those that have addictions, our many youth programs which assist first time offending or at risk youth and their families, and the holistic cornerstone of 3RD Gear Policing that aims to identify how specific problems arise that contribute to crime and what actions can be taken to eliminate or reduce such problems. This is the core principle of the department’s 3RD Gear Policing Philosophy – that arrest alone does not reduce crime.
1st Gear Policing actions (Arrest) are still a considerable and often dangerous policing task performed by the hard working men and women of the Gloucester Township Police Department as evidenced by a 58% increase in arrests when comparing 2009 to 2017. This does not mean there is more crime, as it was already noted that crime has been reduced substantially since 2009. It simply means that more people are arrested for crimes they have committed and then are provided the resources to help them from further criminal activity through the 2ND and 3RD gears of our policing model. The increase in arrests is the result of strategies where our crime fighting resources are narrowly focused, a significant increase in tips from the community, use of our Eyewatch program, and simply hard work by members of the Gloucester Township Police Department. Such dramatic crime reductions became fully possible once the department pushed forward with the more advanced 3RD Gear Policing strategies where we employed more precise information based policing, engaged with our community which fostered two way communications, and focused on arrest coupled with advanced problem solving initiatives.
“We are thankful to the IACP for recognizing our unique approach to crime. This community policing leadership award symbolizes much deserved recognition for the men and women of the Gloucester Township Police Department who have bravely pursued arrests while also embracing our new strategies of community policing. This achievement also provides us the opportunity to celebrate this award with our citizens as this recognition is the result of their partnership and support of the Gloucester Township Police Department”, said Chief Harry Earle