Neighborhood policing identifies with geographic areas within each district which are referred to as beats. Beats incorporate well-defined neighborhoods within Saint Paul into police service areas. A complement of police officers and one supervisor are assigned primary responsibility for each beat. The officers and supervisors have duties outside the service area as calls for service and other police activity demands. However, the supervisor is ultimately responsible for coordinating community-oriented policing activities within the assigned beat. Neighborhood policing brings residents of the neighborhood, business owners and operators in that neighborhood, and the police officers closer together to work on common issues that affect the quality of life and the public safety in that neighborhood. Neighborhood members should recognize and know by name the officers in their beat. Officers should identify problems and take proactive measures to solve public safety related issues with community support and assistance.
One basic tenet of neighborhood policing is to provide the officers with a specific area that they are primarily responsible to police in a community-oriented and problem-solving mode. Thus officers can take pride in their activities, projects, and successes to the betterment of the quality of life in their beat. There are many tools available for the officers to continue the Saint Paul Police Departments tradition of service to the public. First, consider these definitions of the programs and structure of the police department which exist to assist officers in their community-oriented policing activities:
- District: approximately one-third of the city's area.
- Neighborhood: smaller geographic area defined by the community that has like issues. The area that a resident or business identifies with (i.e., Payne-Phalen, Daytons Bluff, etc.)
- Beat: geographic area that a police squad is assigned to patrol (as defined in CAD system).
- Substation: a subset of the district. This office accommodates a number of officers and one or more supervisors. The police personnel assigned use the office for roll calls, meetings, etc.
- Storefront Office: a small office located within a service area where one or more officers come and go. Volunteers may staff this office, as well. This is smaller than a substation and has fewer officers assigned to it.
- Service Area: a combination of neighborhoods which have an assignment of police personnel as primary service providers.
Revised July 1, 2011