This is a request by the City of Barberton, Ohio, Police Department for funding to hire an additional two officers. While the request is for 50% funding over the three year life of the grant, Barberton is an economically stressed City and does not enjoy the prosperity of the area surrounding it.
A. PUBLIC SAFETY NEEDS:
The City of Barberton, Ohio, was once called the "Magic City" because of its fast growth and industrial base. But the "Magic" has left Barberton. Barberton sits adjacent to the City of Akron on its Southwest corner. While still the third largest city in Summit County, Barberton has decreased from a projected high population of 35,370 in 1965, to a 1990 figure of 27,623 within the City's 8.13 Square Mile area. A 22 percent decline. More problematic to the City is the Unemployment Rate with a 1992 average of 9.2 %. The County has shown a continuous population growth and a County wide unemployment rate of only 6.9% for 1992. Barberton's unemployment is one-third higher than the surrounding County. Most of the high paying manufacturing jobs have left the City forver.
As the population has decreased and the
unemployment rate increased the number of subsidized housing units in the
city has increased. Slightly over 9% of the 11,731 housing units in Barberton
are subsidized. The subsidized housing falls into two categories. The first
consists of eight Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (A.M.H.A.) complexes,
totaling 861 units. Another 234 units in Barberton are Section "8" housing.
Fifty-six percent of Barberton's housing units were built before 1940 and
many suffer from outdated wiring, plumbing, and poor weatherizataion problems.
The Police Department currently employs a total of 51 people, Forty-two sworn officers and nine civilians. Of the forty-two sworn officers two are in administration, eight are in the investigation unit and the remaining thirty-two officers are in patrol. Of the Officers assigned to the investigation unit, four are assigned as detectives. Two Officers are assigned to the Juvenile Unit and the D.A.R.E. Program and two are assigned to Narcotics and C.E.N.T.A.C. In reality, only one Narcotics Officer spends half his time in Barberton. The rest of their work time is spent in C.E.N.T.A.C. County wide operations. The two Officers involved in administration are the Police Chief and an administrative Lieutenant.
Barberton, under the laws of the State of Ohio, has two main ways of raising revenue. The City makes use of property taxes and a 2% income tax. Unfortunately, the population of the City is in steady decline while the unemployment rate climbs. These two facts limit the revenue growth available for all City services including the Police Department and have laid the ground work to put the City in a position of severe economic hardship. In the last two years, Barberton's largest employer has laid off 1,600 or more workers. The possibility of more job losses is very high.
Over the last five years the Police Department's expenditures have shrunk by 1.5% percent in comparisons to the City's total expenditures. During this time the costs of operating have continued to climb, even with the loss of two police persons.
1. The population for the jurisdiction according to the 1990 U.S. Census.
27,623 Total Persons
4. The number and types of citizen calls for service (i.e., emergency, non-emergency, violent offense, property offense, etc.) handled by patrol officers for each of the last five years.
The number and type of calls for service handled by patrol officers can only be obtained in part from the F.B.I.'s U.C.R. Manual. Barberton does not kept statistics based on emergency versus non-emergency calls. Here is a breakdown of calls from the records. These calls are broken down into Crimes against Persons (Homicide, Forcible Rape, Robbery, and Assault) and Property Crimes (Burglary, Larceny/Theft, Motor-Vehicle Theft).
7. The number of officers deployed, by
function (administrative, patrol and investigation) during the last five
Barberton Police Officers by Function
8. The actual number of sworn officers laid off and/or furloughed during each the last five years.
During the last five years Barberton has not laid off or furloughed any sworn officers. However, through attrition the department has lost two officers and has shrunk from 44 to 42 officers.
9. The actual operational expenditures
for police services and total expenditures by the jurisdiction for each
of the past five years.
Barberton Police Expenditures as a Percent of Total Budget
10. The expenditures for the police overtime
and/or the amount of compensatory time granted for each of the past five
years; provide an explanation for overtime expenditures.
Barberton Police Overtime & Compensation
Barberton's overtime is not due to any extraordinary circumstances except the Department's limited manpower. Trying to maintain adequate police response and services with limited personnel requires the use of overtime. The usual rule of thumb for a 24 hour-a-day coverage is slightly less than five officers per-position means that in the Patrol division there are only six officers available per shift. When you remove special assignments, this number is reduced. Also, it is difficult, with the same constraints to operate a 24 hours a day investigative division.
1. Barberton has always had a unique position as a city in Summit County. The City has had a unique identity and civic pride. The residents of Barberton have always been independent and express a community spirit. When one studies the notions of Community Policing, a major component has been to increase the Police Officers informal and non-crisis driven relationships with the residents they police. This has always been the case in Barberton. Until, the last year, all officers had to live within the City and most were and are native to the City.
One effort the Department continues to make in this area is an expanded D.A.R.E. program. Besides the traditional D.A.R.E. in school education program, the Barberton Police Department has initiated an educational program aimed at parents. The Parents Program consists of ten contact hours with the student's parents. The goals of this program are to build upon the in-school program, increase the awareness of drug abuse in the community, and to assist families in receiving information and tactics to reduce the risk of substance abuse by their children.
Because of this built in bias toward community policing, the Department has pinpointed a Problem-Oriented-Policing project to implement. As mentioned earlier the City has several A.H.M.A. Housing projects. These areas are responsible for both an over representation number and problematic type of calls for service.
The inherent notion of Problem-Oriented-Policing is that "problems create incidents." The Barberton Police Department recognizes the principles of Problem-Oriented-Policing in that the underling conditions can create problems. In dealing with these conditions the traditional methods of policing are not effective. The Department must focus on groups of events rather than any single incident and use crime analysis, directed patrol, and proactive investigation.
2. In order for Problem-Oriented-Policing to work it must have the involvement of the community. The program must enjoy both community and police involvement. The Department has already had an ongoing relationship with A.M.H.A. operations and the Directors of the various projects within the City. Expanded contact will be made with tenant groups, neighbor groups, and various civic organizations.
The department recognizes that interactions between the citizen groups, various other non-criminal justice governmental organizations, such as the Health Department, the Building Department, and the Service Department, must be maintained and encouraged by the Police Department.
3. In the program's interaction with other criminal justice agencies the Police Department does not foresee any major impact. The number of arrests, convictions and sentences should not have an adverse effect on the Local Criminal Justice System. If the program is effective, it may lead to a long term reduction, or stabilization of such interactions.
4. The Problem-Oriented-Policing project is pointed at several A.M.H.A. housing projects. These are:
Van Buren Homes 230 Units
Alpeter Building 185 Units
Norton Homes 174 Units
Allen Dixon Building 105 Units
Hilltop House 77 Units
Crimson Terrace 72 Units
5. The Department intends to use the traditional Problem-Oriented-Policing strategies involving the four stages of: 1) Scanning or the identifying of issues and a determination if the issues at point are a problem or not. 2) Analysis or the collection of information from both inside and outside the Department to understand the scope, nature, and cause of the problem. 3) Response, the development and implementation of a solution; And 4) An assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of the response must be done by the Department.
6. The Department plans to implement this program in the identified area of the A.M.H.A. Homes. It will not however be limited to strictly these areas. Problem-solving will become the standard method of policing, not just one of many occasionally useful tactics. All members of the department will operate within the guidelines. Also, the problems-solving efforts will be aimed at problems of the public, not the police administration.
7. An evaluation of the Problem-Oriented-Policing program maybe problematic to implement. After at least a six month period, the area impacted by the program should show a change in the type and number of calls. It is impossible to predict the direction of the change. The literature on patrol implies that an increase in police--citizen contact can lead to an increase in reported crime. The interactions between the residents and the police should take on new dimensions. The number of successful interactions between the Police Department, the residents of the various A.M.H.A. projects and other non-criminal justice agencies should be quantifiable. Yet experience and the literature tell us that it is often difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of police officers and programs. Therefore, while it is expected that there will be a quantitative component to the evaluation, a qualitative assessment must be made as well.
In order to evaluate the project, the Department will endeavor to complete the following: 1) A survey of a sample of the citizens who live in the project area. The survey will address the effect the project has on reducing crime in the area of the project, changes in perceptions of the police, reductions in the fear of crime and willingness to report crime. 2) A discussion of the goals of the program as perceived by the police and by the citizens who are involved. 3) A before and after statistical comparison of the crimes committed in the areas of the project. 4) An examination on the effect of the project on the utilization of police resources.
C. IMPLEMENTATION PLAN:
Changing police street practices have often been equated with the notion of bending granite. However, there is a process to implement this program into the department. Barberton has a high level of officers with advanced police education. The shift commanders have gone either to the F.B.I. National Academy or the Southern Police Institute in Louisville, Ky. This displays the middle management leadership willingness to engage new ideas and methods. This coupled with a progressive view of the department by its street officers demonstrates that the department is receptive to the implementation of a new program.
Many notions of Problem-Oriented-Policing exist to some extent within the current structure, however, there is no formal controlled program to institutionalize, coordinate and instruct the officers. This institutionalization consists of the notion that officers of all ranks can utilize the program in their daily routine and that a broad range of information, both in and outside the criminal justice system, can be used to arrange solutions that are not limited to those exclusively within the criminal justice System.
The initial part of this project is for the police administration to formalize the problem solving process and to appoint a coordinator to insure that all referrals are made and reach the proper agencies. Particular attention will be given to the training of the officers in how the program is designed to function and the role that develops as the program adapts to the department. The coordinator is not intended to be another level of administration, but to insure the continuity of the problem-solving process.
D. CONTINUATION AND RETENTION PLAN:
The City administration has agreed to fund the local share of the grant proposal and has committed to retain the officers after the grant period is over. The Problem-Oriented-Policing program itself is expected to become part of the Departments overall operation strategy.
E. ADDITIONAL RESOURCE COMMITMENTS:
It is obvious that the program requests of part funding for two additional officers is not going to pay for the complete program. The Department expects to subsidize the program as a part of the ongoing operations. Therefore, it is making a commitment to the notion of Problem-Oriented-Policing.
Also, the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority
has agreed to continue its funding of 80 man hours a week at the going
rate for off-duty officers to supplement the police Department's program
in their housing areas. This funding does not impact the grant, though.
The funding is intended to hire off-duty officers.
F. BUDGET PROPOSAL:
|1st Year||2nd Year||3rd Year|
||$ 38,637.78||$ 38,288.14||$42,719.09|
For the Three Year Life of the Grant
Table Five represents the estimated costs of a single police officer including all fringe benefits. The costs add up to a total of $119,645.01 or $239,290.02 for the two officers requested over the life of the grant. The estimates include all step increases and a projected increase in the cost of benefits. No overtime is included in this projection. The Federal share of this proposal is $119,645.01.
The Barberton Police program is designed to be pragmatic in that it responds to community beliefs and concerns related to crime and undesirable activity. Along with the problem-solving component, the program is intended to accomplish a change in the dispute resolution process. Here police take a more active posture, within their role as order maintainers. This is especially true when dealing with groups at the behavioral margins. It is at this point that the Barberton Program is expected to have its impact in the quality of life--fear of crime. It is these conflicts that are troublesome, but not always serious enough to enable legalistic police involvement, where Problem-Oriented-Policing is expected to excel.
The notion exists that it is our attitudes toward and fear of crime that control our actions, not necessarily the actual crime rate. If the streets are deemed unsafe, then people do not go out. This condition leads to a lack of activity, including commercial ones, that allow the neighborhood to deteriorate. Thus the perception of crime leads to a downward spiral of the neighborhood. The program is designed to handle this type of problem through its peace keeping--order maintenance role: the corner drug dealer, the crack house, teenage gangs, public drunks and the other undesirable neighborhood problems that seem to fall outside the scope of either the legalistic law-enforcement role of the police or any other specific public agency.
The City of Barberton, Police Department, submits this grant application with the hope that its approval will assist the department in maintaining control of its problematic neighborhoods and implement the above described program.
1. 0 This figure does not include the seven (7) Reserve Officers in the Department who work a minimum of 7½ hours a week. Most of this time is put in as a second officer in the car during Friday and Saturday nights.
Police overtime compensation paid includes both sworn officers and civilian