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CHULA VISTA POLICE RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL AWARD

CVPD awarded for domestic violence reduction

Post Date:11/08/2018 3:41 PM

Yesterday, the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing formally announced that the Chula Vista Police Department is this year’s recipient of the international 2018 Hermon Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. (See photo of award, attached.)

The Police Department received the award after presenting a new domestic violence program at the 28th Annual Problem-Oriented Policing conference in Rhode Island. Other finalists included representatives from Oregon, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the British Transport and Rail Industry. The Chula Vista Police Department was the only finalists selected for the prestigious award.

Since 2015, the Chula Vista Police Department led a research project to reduce domestic violence in the city. Police officials partnered with South Bay Community Services, the San Diego County Probation Department, the District Attorney, Child Welfare Services, Adult Protective Services, crime analysts, and research partners to conduct a one-year study of new prevention and enforcement strategies.

“The results were impressive,” said Police Chief Roxana Kennedy. “After the first-year of the project, our department noticed a marked decrease in domestic violence crimes.” The department found that the domestic violence in the research area dropped by 25%. In addition, victims of domestic violence reported far greater satisfaction with the police response. Importantly, 92% of victims said they would call police again for help.

The innovative project was recently recognized by the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, which announced that the Chula Vista Police Department was the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing.

“Domestic violence is one of the most common, dangerous, and frustrating problems facing our officers,” Kennedy said. Officers often find themselves dispatched to the same addresses again and again. It can be difficult for victims to escape these types of situations. “There is a sense of futility and helplessness among both victims and police.”

The initiative involved testing an offender-based, focused deterrence approach to reducing domestic violence. The goal of the project was to change social norms and behavior – without traditional legal interventions – unless repeated, customized, and increasingly intensive police contacts were not effective. The approach helps take the burden off victims, who can often be intimidated by their circumstances. The program focuses on offenders instead. Officers tested the new approach in one geographic area of Chula Vista. They provided written warnings to offenders, and handouts to victims. (See sample handouts, attached.)

This project enabled officials to send a profound message to victims of domestic violence: prevention is a priority for the department, and would make every effort to protect victims from violence. Officers even stopped by the homes of reported victims to check on their safety, and left handouts at the door. (See sample handouts, attached.)

The Herman Goldstein Award is presented by the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, and honors Professor Emeritus Herman Goldstein who conceived and developed the theory of problem-oriented policing. The award recognizes innovative and effective problem-oriented policing (POP) projects that have achieved measurable success in resolving crime and disorder problems. Chula Vista Police was among five international finalists recognized at the 28th Annual Problem-Oriented Policing conference in Rhode Island. Other finalists included representatives from Oregon, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the British Transport and Rail Industry. Chula Vista was the only agency selected for the award.

The Center for Problem-Oriented Policing will pay for Chula Vista officials to present their innovative program to public safety agencies around the world, including those in the United Kingdom and Ukraine.

“I am very proud of the innovative work of our officers,” said Kennedy. “This is just another example of the commitment our personnel make to keep our community safe."
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