Message from the Chair, Stacy Miller
Community policing team will meet individual businesses to address issues of concern
If you are a business owner/manager in Oxnard struggling with issues related to crime, violence, vagrancy or vandalism, you may be interested in the Oxnard Police Department’s Business Engagement program. Started in 2016, the partnership-oriented program was created to help businesses reduce and prevent crime through police best practices.
As part of the Business Engagement program, the Oxnard PD has created Neighborhood Policing Teams. The teams are divided among 11 geographic areas (beats) throughout the city with a community-policing officer assigned to each area. The officers work in their “beats” on specific business and community-related issues. Each Beat Coordinator is expected to be responsive to the needs of the community and works to build relationships with local business owners. The Police Beat Coordinator is “problem solver” with a variety of responsibilities including identifying crime trends and addressing quality of life issues such as homelessness and vagrancy with the idea that building relationships between the police and the people they serve is a great way to reduce and prevent crime.
It looks like the Oxnard PD is on the right track. Crime has decreased in the city of Oxnard and this year, Oxnard PD was presented with a prestigious statewide award for its community policing work.
Earlier this year, Chief Scott Whitney was quoted in the VC Star as saying: “Community policing is really a philosophy. It’s a way of policing where the department accepts the idea that it is partnered with the people it serves and where police count on residents to communicate, participate and, if need be, serve as witnesses.”
You may be surprised to learn that crime prevention through environmental design is a real thing! As part of the Business Engagement program, the beat officers will come to your place of business and walk your property with you, offering small insights and suggestions for changes that can go a long way towards preventing crime. Some of these suggestions may include adding more lighting in strategic areas, trimming bushes that block windows, and my personal favorite, moving the beer away from the front door where it can easily be stolen.
“We will come out to individual businesses to get to know owners and managers and understand the particular issues they are concerned about. We also collaborate as Beat Coordinators, sharing information across the beats that may reveal crime trends that we can work to solve,” explains Sgt. Jeff McGreevy, Neighborhood Policing Team Supervisor for the Oxnard PD.
It is important that businesses flourish in Oxnard and the Oxnard PD’s Business Engagement program can help businesses deal with their individual issues related to crime, which is a big step in the right direction. Successful neighborhood policing is good for the economy and the community. When businesses are successful, the tax base increases and helps to pay for important quality of life projects and programs that make our city great.
If you would like to contact your Beat Coordinator to access these free resources, call Sgt. Jeff McGreevy, the Neighborhood Policing Team Supervisor at 805-385-7600 or 805-797-8021. He can also schedule a custom presentation for your organization, neighborhood group or business regarding crime prevention.