Community-Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS) provides directed patrols, bicycle patrols, community walks, community meetings, anti-graffiti flashlight patrols, identification and education in the use of community resources, and problem-solving guidance for anti-social problems. Contact the Eden Area Community Policing office at 667-7770 (fax 618-3400).
If you have an on-going problem in your neighborhood, call the Community Policing office, not the Sheriff's dispatcher. Calling the dispatcher will likely bring a different officer each time, and these patrol officers are not in a position to resolve on-going problems.
Traditional police services respond to complaints of criminal activity in progress or crimes detected, or to requests for police assistance, such as writing a report on a vehicle accident. Citizens' calls to a central dispatcher are referred to officers who are nearest the scene and calls are given a priority based on the seriousness of the complaint and existing availability of officers.
Community policing focuses on resolving conditions that can lead to crime or that do not rise to the level of seriousness to qualify for traditional police responses.
The Alameda County Sheriff's Community Policing Unit, also called the Crime Prevention Unit, serves the unincorporated areas of the county, principally the urban Eden Township. The unit has its own office at 1530 167th Avenue in the Ashland district (mail address is San Leandro 94578).
The head of the unit is Sgt. John Tucker. Four deputies are each assigned their own "sector" and a fifth is a "rover," working anywhere at anytime. The deputies team up to resolve problems that are urgent.
The work of the Community Policing Office covers three broad categories.
CRIME PREVENTION AND MONITORING OF HEALTH, SAFETY, AND WELFARE
Conducting security surveys for both residences and businesses. This normally involves examining the property and making written recommendations.
Organizing Neighborhood Watch programs.
Conducting "business alert" meetings. This normally occurs when the local deputy sees an increase in crime or a specific problem in a business area, such as bad checks, stolen cars, or thefts. Business owners are brought together in a meeting and told how to guard against particular criminal activity.
Attending community meetings: home owner associations, Neighborhood Watch groups, local citizen committees, and a variety of meetings on special topics, such as alcohol sales.
Investigating complaints from citizens.
Resolving long-term problems between neighbors.
Assisting the county's Zoning Code Enforcement Unit. This is a major effort of the Community Policing Office. When deputies go to houses that have Zoning Code violations, numerous other (associated) issues come to light that can be very time consuming to investigate and resolve. Common issues are "drug houses" (either selling or manufacturing), child abuse, elder abuse, abandoned vehicles, houses that have been "red tagged" as uninhabitable (in some cases power or water have been ordered shut down by the county because of hazardous living conditions).
SUPPORT FOR OTHER UNITS
Investigating alcoholic beverage sales problems. This includes problem businesses that apply to have their license transferred to another person or company. When a license is transferred, all prior sales-related violations are removed from the license record. However, conditions can be placed on the new license that make it easier to shut down the business if violations continue.
Providing back up for patrol deputies, responding to high-priority calls as well as taking reports on busy days.
Assisting special investigations units, such as the Drug Unit, Street Crimes Unit, and Serious Assault Unit.
Conducting warrant searches and monitor probation and parole compliance.
Enforcing traffic laws. The Highway Patrol is the primary agency for enforcing traffic rules in the unincorporated areas of the state. But sheriff's deputies will issue citations for violations of the Vehicle Code if they observe a violation in the course of their regular duties.
Each deputy has a special assignment, for example sex-offender registration compliance, Drug Court (Proposition 36 diversion), problem spouses, and prostitution.
Deputies in Community Policing Unit are trained to patrol on bicycles for special problems, such as burglaries.
Conduct "citizen academies".
Operate a booth at the Alameda County Fair: crime prevention information and recruitment for the sheriff's department.
Create and execute plans for a variety of special actions, such as warrant sweeps and tobacco sales enforcement.