From Chief Magnus:
At the start of the year, TPD extended the front desk hours at all its substations to 10 p.m., Monday-Friday. In August, the Substation Front Desk utilization stats included a total 3,960 contacts (avg. 128 per day) which included walk-ins, phone calls, and calls for service that would have otherwise been dispatched (events pulled from the field): Ops South – 584 (19 per day average), Ops West – 1,077 (35 per day average), Ops Midtown – 714 (17 per day average), and Ops East – 1,051 (34 per day average).
Southern Division Captain John Strader completed his mentorship of Code Enforcement personnel with a multi-page memo outlining system recommendations and improvements. At the same time, Code Enforcement staff completed their TPD facilitated training with City IT and Smartsheets® were implemented to track and communicate across departments on weed and junked motor vehicle complaints including mediation or enforcement actions. This is a good example of cross department collaboration and cooperation.
The Tucson Police Department was selected as a Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program (COAP) Law Enforcement/First Responder Mentor& Learning Site. BJA will facilitate site visits to Tucson by other agencies interested in pre-arrest deflection or diversion specific to substance misuse. TPD’s program to deflect individuals possessing small amounts of drugs into treatment rather than jail (at the officer’s discretion) is now seen as a national model.
A total of 15 TPD Threat Liaison Officers (TLOs) attended a three-day course the department sponsored on Threat Vulnerability Assessments (TVAs). These officers will now be assisting our Emergency Management personnel in conducting TVAs in each geographic area of the city with a priority placed on critical infrastructure (City & County facilities), schools, houses of worship, etc. Such assessments are critical to address the risk posed by active shooters.
The Tucson PD Drone Unit has flown 4 missions since the official start of the program with no major issues being reported. Forensics Division Administrator Josh Randall met with the Specialized Response Division to discuss Phase 2 of the program which includes tactical operations. Drones are used to diagram, map, and photograph crime scenes and complex traffic crashes.
Personnel from the department’s Criminal Investigation Division Special Investigations Section met with Councilman Kozachik to discuss sex trafficking demand suppression and modifications to City Code. Crafting a city code to address the issues related to Massage Parlors is a priority and appears to provide the best avenue to address the problem with potential human sex trafficking.
In mid-August, the Street Level Unit was advised of a suspect renting a room at a hotel near Speedway and Alvernon. She was attempting to sell large quantities of methamphetamine, as well as heroin and possibly cocaine. Initial investigation confirmed much of the information given. When the suspects checked out of the hotel, separate teams followed both vehicles and established separate probable cause for the traffic stops. A TPD K9 alerted to both vehicles. Various narcotics and dangerous drugs were found. Three of the four suspects had felony warrants. All were booked on the warrants and other charges. Currency and vehicles were seized as evidence in addition to drugs and other evidence.
Detectives Davis-Richardson and Martinez traveled to Seattle for Safe Place program training, updates, and networking with creator Jim Ritter. Safe Place locations can be businesses, churches, libraries, etc. where youth or others can be assured assistance if they are being harassed, followed, bullied, or otherwise feeling unsafe. The detectives assisted in business outreach and community forums to address any LGBTQ concerns and conducted on-camera interviews (KVOA & KOLD). A PowerPoint and lesson plan were developed for TPD personnel. Training will be incorporated into the “Hate and Bias” block at the academy for recruits. Detective Martinez is in the process of getting the TPD Safe Place website started.
Lt. Doggett of the department’s Training Unit is collaborating with the U of A College of Medicine Workforce Development Program on several research based initiatives related to officer wellness. This is preliminary work but it holds promise for the future.
Continued progress has been in building the strongest possible relationship between TPD and City IT. Asst. Chief Kazmierczak organized several meetings with IT Administrator Chuck Sackwa and TPD’s Analysis Administrator Jake Cramer. Mr. Cramer then met separately with IT personnel Peter Johnson, Luis Romero, and Jesse Niwa. The relevant TPD & IT teams met as a group on August 26th to better define tasks and timelines related to accessing traffic crash and crime data, which were finalized and memorialized on Sept. 6th.
The department’s Analysis Section generated several products over the course of the month including weekly updates on traffic safety deployments, updates on the deflection program, updates on front desk stats, and recurring park safety statistics. Other requests completed included: top 25 contacts via CAD and E-Cite, South Tucson calls for service, child abuse reports, crime lab grant data, crime stats for federal buildings, Clery Act (UA and Pima Community College) requests, and various media requests.
Analysis Administrator Cramer reached an agreement with the Elucd company to provide no-cost services to TPD for 6 months. Elucd services include obtaining public opinion datasets and a web based data analysis platform that we hope will inform the community sentiment component of our COMPSTAT 360 program.
Students from the Chicanos Por La Causa Toltecalli High School internship program (10 Latino students ages 14-19—4 girls and 6 boys) wrapped up Aug 1st. Interns created a TPD recruiting flier, PowerPoint, and video. Several members of the TPD executive staff including the Chief and Deputy Chief attended the final presentation and engaged the young people in thoughtful conversation.
The department’s presentation series at Cholla High School that started in August will include such topics as mental health, gangs, and anti-bullying. The most recent presentation regarding opioids reached over 800 students.
Rebounding from poor participation in the past, the department’s volunteer program currently has 35 administrative and patrol volunteers. The makeup of the department’s volunteer pool includes 19 men and 16 women ranging in ages from 18-90. There are also over 100 training scenario role-player volunteers and 11 U of A student interns working with the department.
Deputy Chief Chad Kasmar participated in a Dept. of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Leadership Focus Group in Washington, D.C. Issues that were discussed included crisis intervention training models, addressing homelessness—including the “RV homeless,” collaborating with fire and EMS services, the role of prosecutors in law enforcement-mental health collaborations (based on the Miami-Dade model), and more.