The Fife Police Department has a new roadmap to curb crime in the city by being more proactive with business and community groups on ways to prevent crime rather than being reactive when it comes to a crime in progress.
“Historically, police have been 911 call takers and responders,” Chief Pete Fisher told the council during a recent presentation. “We are reactionary and that does not get to the underlining problem.”
The department underwent a strategic plan to shift the organization to be more proactive in ways that solve problems, not just solve crimes.
“A strategic plan is one of the most important pieces to a successful organization. It clearly articulates the mission and values of an organization, as well as establishing a clear vision,” according to a staff report. “The strategic plan sets out goals and objectives by which the organization can measure its performance.”
While the hiring of a strategic plan facilitator can cost departments up to $7,500, Fife received the work for free, thanks to Fisher’s ties to his old department. Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan volunteered to help the Fife department free of charge.
The changes in the works at the 31-officer department will strive to use crime data to chart trends as a way to determine patrol methods, as well as seek more ways to help businesses and residents prevent crimes from occurring in the first place by promoting block watch programs and training sessions about how landscaping, design, alarms, fences and cameras can prevent crime, particularly in business and warehouse districts.
One police challenge in the city is that Fife has a daytime population of some 30,000 people and a nighttime residency of just 9,400, making the bulk of the city’s crimes business related.
“Our daytime population and our nighttime population are totally different,” Fisher said.
The department is now crafting presentations about the strategic plan for the City Council, as well as business and neighborhood groups this spring and summer.