The Coral Gables Police Department recently partitioned the city into 12 geographically defined beats, referred to as zones.
Each patrol officer is being assigned permanently to an individual zone, as opposed to four large sectors referred to as areas (e.g. North of Bird) as had been the practice since 2007. Before, officers could patrol different areas; now they have specific beats that to which they are assigned on a long-term basis.
This is being done to cultivate community- based policing, as officers are empowered to address issues and needs in the neighborhoods they are responsible for and work each day, resulting in a sense of ownership on the part of each officer and greater visibility in the community.
Officers now will be more accountable and expected to develop strategies or call on resources as needed to further improve the neighborhoods they patrol as they concentrate on community concerns and crime trends specific to their zones.