Only a week now until the Public Safety Forum in Missoula. Training is important in any field, but in public safety and crime prevention it is especially necessary. Our world is changing and so are the ways we can work together to improve the lives of all. Community Oriented Policing is a concept I firmly believe in and I think it has truly grown since the initial concept. A Community solves community problems, but no part of the community structure can do it alone. Communities who work together to focus on problems tend to solve those problems to the benefit of everyone.
When Security and law enforcement professionals work together they pool resources that focus on different aspects of community safety. As a police detective I worked with alarm companies, lock companies and bank security officers to share information and training and to focus on problems we both were faced with. I worked with Domestic Violence programs to help train their volunteers and staff as well as have them train our police officers. I worked with Seattle Rape Relief, King County Sexual Assault Resource Center and Alternatives to fear to learn more about sexual assault and to utilize the services they provided for victims we came across in connection of our own investigations.
As a Coast Guard Officer I worked with spill contractors, Indian tribes, and state and federal agencies to focus our efforts and often share our scarce resources to assure that we were able to fulfill our responsibilities that we couldn't do in isolation from these organizations. As the commander of a fishing vessel strike force, I worked with state and federal agencies to conduct fuel transfer monitors on the fishing vessels that were leaving for the Alaska Fishing grounds twice a year. They were moving so fast that the year before we began the strike force, 400 gallons of fuel wound up in the water during the transfers. Once the strike force began we combined the efforts of the Washington State Department of Marine Safety and the Department of Environmental Protection to provide boarding teams with Active Duty Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve to virtually monitor every fuel transfer from 0800 untill 2300 7 days a week during the two week periods. We were also able to cover an area that covered ports between Olympia, WA, Bellingham, WA and Port Angeles, WA. We never could have done it without pooling our resources. As a result the most fuel in the water during those two week periods was a sheen (a few teaspoons).
Working together to accomplish our missions takes many forms, but is essential to today's wide ranging problems. The Public Safety Forum will cover ways to pool resources and to work smarter to create a safer society. There's still time to register - please do.
Alex E. Ward, CPP
Board Certified in Security Management (American Society for Industrial Security)
MCPA in conjunction with the Yellowstone County DUI Task Force and Q2 produced these DUI PSA's. They paint a sad picture of DUI in Montana and have been viewed on television as well as on you tube. This is one way we can educate folks as to things they need to know about crime.