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Behind the Badge Community involvment helps reduce gang activity

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Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:33 am, Mon Apr 16, 2012.

The most common law enforcement theory over the last 30 years has been the community-oriented policing model. This model is designed to create partnerships between the police and the community to effectively combat crime and solve public safety issues.

Some examples include Neighborhood Watch groups, police volunteer groups, reserve or auxiliary officers and school resource officers. The Lodi Police Department has created numerous partnerships over the years with organizations like the Lodi Unified School District, Rancho San Miguel, Walmart, Lodi Adopt-A-Child and many others.

These partnerships create a sense of unity and utilize both of our resources to meet the needs of the community. So with that being said, we need your help.

As you've recently read in the Lodi News-Sentinel, gang-related violent crime, property crimes including burglary, and UCR part 1 crimes have increased drastically over the last two years. We've discussed a number of reasons why this is the case in several recent Behind the Badge articles. Some reasons include that there are more parolees out on the street, county and city budgets are strained and the jails are full.

So what can you do to help?

We are looking for our community to partner with us to help address these issues. Securing your belongings, making sure to lock you car doors and securing your homes are great first steps. Make sure that you don't leave valuables in your vehicle.

Another, more important step is to create a sense of community in your own neighborhoods. Taking the time to get to know your neighbors is a great way to learn what is common in your neighborhood. You will see the vehicles that normally park on the street or in driveways. You will recognize your neighbors and their families. This way you will recognize things that may be out of place such as a suspicious vehicle or person that might be loitering or casing the area.

But the most important step is to contact the police department when you recognize criminal activity or suspicious persons. Without being notified, we may not locate or be able to respond adequately to address these problems.

If you would like to be a become a bigger part of your community and help us maintain the wonderful quality of life we enjoy in Lodi, please consider one of the many forms of volunteerism. It could be as simple as being a mentor to our kids by coaching a sports team, or becoming a member of any one of the many groups such as the Lodi Improvement Committee, Police Partners, Neighborhood Watch, or Lodi Adopt-A-Child that take an active role in our community's well-being.

For more information about Neighborhood Watch groups or the Lodi Police Partners program, please contact Jeanie Biskup at LPD. With your help we can continue to make Lodi a special community.

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