Chief Harlean V. Carter
Chief of Police
As the Chief of Police for the City of Lancaster, I have great expectations for the City of Lancaster Police Department and its members. I truly believe that we have some of the finest and most dedicated law enforcement officers that can be found anywhere working for the City. Their attention to duty and professionalism is the leading force behind gaining trust and cooperation from citizens.
It is no secret that I hold the philosophy of community oriented policing and problem solving dear to my heart. It is the adherence to the beliefs, objectives and strategies of this philosophy that will help drive our organization to excellence.
Community oriented policing and problem solving is a philosophy that promotes organizational objectives and strategies that promote crime prevention measures, problem solving, community engagement, and community partnerships. It seeks to proactively address public safety issues such as crime, the fear of the incidence of crime and social disorder. Adherence to the community oriented policing and problem solving philosophy calls for an organizational transformation in that the management of the organization must support community partnerships and proactive problem solving
In order to fully grasp the concept of community oriented policing and problem solving, I believe that one must first understand the true meaning of policing. Policing is defined as the regulation and control of a community, especially with respect to maintenance of order, law, health, morals, safety, and other matters affecting the public welfare. In order to help build a safer and more harmonious community, law enforcement officers must concern themselves with issues other than those that are traditionally thought of as police duties.
Community oriented policing and problem solving is:
- A partnership with the community to identify, address and alleviate crime and disorder and to improve the quality of life.
- The implementation of creative and innovative ideas and programs to address the needs of the community.
- Increased responsiveness to neighborhood problems and citizens' concerns.
- Increased involvement of the community in the provision of crime prevention and crime fighting services.
- Working with government, public and private agencies and organizations, the business sector and citizens to reduce the opportunities for crime and improve the quality of life.
- Problem solving, information gathering, community organizing and consultation, knock on door programs, specialized forms of patrol, and rapid response to emergency.
- Allowing decisions to be made at the lowest levels so that employee satisfaction and commitment to departmental goals are enhanced through empowerment to solve problems. Officers are encouraged and allowed to implement creative solutions with the only restriction being the solution cannot violate law or City policy.
It must be understood that community oriented policing and problem solving cannot substitute for the primary law enforcement missions of apprehension and arrest of criminals, the investigation of crimes, responding to calls for service and assistance and other traditional missions. Community oriented policing and problem solving is a steady and deliberate process of trading old mind sets for new ones; ones that make officers think and use City, County, and State resources, private and public agencies and the citizenry to share the responsibility in accomplishing goals and objectives. This desired state of mind occurs when the officer realizes that he/she does have the power to change a situation or correct a problem by means other than arrest and proceeds with developing and implementing a plan to solve the problem.