With the staffing level at the Turlock Police Department returning to the set standard and the budget no longer in reduction mode, Turlock Police Chief Robert Jackson is ready to bring back some crime fighting tools that had been sidelined during the recession.
The department will once again deploy a street crimes unit and welcome back the K-9 unit after a few years absence.
The department will be rolling out the Community, Outreach, Response and Engagement team, or C.O.R.E. in December. The unit, lead by Sgt. Dave Shaw and staffed with four officers will be taking a proactive approach to crime fighting in Turlock.
“It’s better if we can prevent crime than respond to it,” Jackson said. “This unit will have an overall approach, in that one week they may be focused on auto thefts and the next on quality of life issues, or it could be many things all at once. We’re excited about this unit and I think it is a team that has the potential to have a big impact on Turlock.”
The team is taking the approach of Community Oriented Policing, which operates on the theory that crime prevention begins by building partnerships between law enforcement and the community and having the community take some level of ownership in helping keep crime down.
“Getting out and talking to people is going to be the main thing for us,” Shaw said. “It will begin there and then we’ll see where the wind takes us.”
The unit will be working with a crime analyst to identify the trends most in need of attention.
Previously the department had a street crimes unit that focused primarily on criminal apprehension and gangs, but when the staffing level at the department declined the unit had to be disbanded to keep the minimum patrol standards.
Also returning the police department is the K-9 unit. Jackson expects the unit to be ready with the trained dogs by March or April of next year. It will start with two officers and two dogs. The unit has been missing from the department for several years because of budget constraints.