Albemarle County Changes Policing Tactics

By: Val Thompson Email
By: Val Thompson Email

December 4, 2012

The Albemarle County Police Department is changing the way it investigates crimes. From now on, it's all about location.

The department has cut the county in half, creating the Blue Ridge District and Jefferson District. Each district has about 48,000 residents.

Officers will now be assigned to districts, and sectors within those districts, and officers will work exclusively within those sectors. Police Chief Col. Steve Sellers says the change is meant to fix a flaw in the old system. Under that system, officers were assigned cases based on their time shift. Now, they will have ownership of cases based on location.

Lt. Greg Jenkins, the commander of the Blue Ridge District, says this will help each officer to really understand the neighborhoods they are assigned to protect.

"Officers aren't going to be rotated through the sectors," Jenkins said. "That's the whole goal of geographic policing. Officers will be able to work within their assigned districts, their assigned sectors, getting to know the community members and community problems."

The other goal is to help Chief Sellers hold the officers accountable. From now on, when a crime happens in a particular neighborhood, the officer in charge of that area is responsible to get it solved no matter what time of day it happened.

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