New public safety strategies taking shape in Coral Gables

New public safety strategies taking shape in Coral Gables
New public safety strategies taking shape in Coral Gables
Police meet with prospective applicants at Police Recruitment Open House on June 4.

Coral Gables is conducting an aggressive recruitment effort for certified and non-certified police officers, while still maintaining high personnel standards.

A Police Recruitment Open House took place on June 4 at the Police Station to guide prospective applicants through the hiring process. In 2015, the City of Coral Gables experienced a 15 percent reduction in crime compared to the previous year, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR). Much of this success is the result of community involvement, as well as initiatives implemented by the City of Coral Gables Public Safety Team.

New public safety strategies
Anti-Crime Committee: Reinstated in 2015, this 13-member citizen board provides invaluable feedback to city leaders regarding public safety issues in each of the city’s 12 patrol zones. Among the areas of interest are waterway patrolling, street lighting as crime deterrent, and visible traffic enforcement.

CCTV Cameras: Placed in strategically selected locations of high traffic and pedestrian areas to provide a geo-fence around the City of Coral Gables. There are about 190 entrance points to thed city, posing a great challenge to public safety.

Crime Intelligence Center: A new state-of-the art command center in Police Headquarters that receives video feeds from all city-owned cameras and private cameras where owners have given permission for their use.

Fire Alarm Responses: Since January, the number of residential and commercial false fire alarm responses has been reduced. An analysis of trigger issues is being conducted by Fire Prevention staff or third-party fire alarm certification companies.

Emergency Rescue Response Times: Pilot program of relocating one Fire Department apparatus and crew to serve the south end of Coral Gables and west end of the University of Miami. The goal is to improve fire and rescue response times around this area.

License Plate Readers: Located at key intersections throughout Coral Gables to identify persons or vehicles whose license plates are connected to criminal activity or infractions.

Neighborhood Team Policing: A new approach of designating Police Officers as Neighborhood Team Leaders who are assigned to specific neighborhoods to easily identify and address issues related to crime, traffic and quality of life.

Neighborhood Safety Aides: New civilian personnel supporting the efforts of the Neighborhood Team Leaders, adding another layer of service. They are trained in CPR/First Aid and patrol the neighborhood in eco-friendly vehicles for increased visibility.

New Crime Analysis Technology: Introduction of Crime View software technology to enhance situational awareness and crime analysis capabilities.

Police Officer Recruitment: New recruitment process improvements and marketing strategy to expand the pool of applicants. An aggressive recruitment effort for certified and non-certified police officers is being pursued while maintaining high public safety personnel standards.

Problem Solving Initiative Meetings: Ongoing monthly meetings with city departments to share potential safety concerns with internal and external resources in order to create a force multipliers’ effect.

Public Safety Legislation: Since 2015, new city laws have been introduced to enhance public safety. Examples are the Anti-squatters Ordinance, Quick Connect Alarm Program Ordinance, Abandoned Property Ordinance, Unlawful Vehicle Entry Ordinance, Expanded Victim Assistance Program Resolution, and Subpoena Ordinance for Prosecutions, among others.

Waste Watch Program: A public/private partnership, Waste Management drivers act as an extra set of eyes and ears for Coral Gables Police, Fire and emergency services. They report any suspicious activity that they may witness during their routes.

Way Point Program: To deter criminal activity, this new program identifies locations within Coral Gables and asks city personnel to serve as an extra set of eyes for the Police Department. Once an area is identified, other city departments such as Code Enforcement, Sanitation or Public Works will circle the block to report any suspicious activity.

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