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MPD Community Policing Initiatives

COMMUNITY POLICING - MAJOR INITIATIVES

The architect of the community policing program in Medina was former Police Chief Dennis Hanwell. During his 13 years as Chief of Police, he instilled the philosophy of community policing and “broken windows” in our department and our community. Chief Hanwell is now Mayor Hanwell, and he is committed to a Community Oriented Government Model in which we are cross training employees from various departments in aspects of our community policing program.

We continue Chief Hanwell’s vision of policing and describe below our 2010 initiatives. 
 
MGH DONATED AED UNITS TO THE POLICE DEPARTMENT - PARTNERSHIP AIMS TO SAVE LIVES IN CASES OF SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST
 
Medina Hospital donated six automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to the Medina Police Department in 2010 to equip every patrol car with this life-saving equipment. Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., striking about 250,000 Americans each year. This translates into nearly one death every two minutes. 
In addition to the donation of AEDs, each Medina police officer has been trained by a certified instructor at Medina Hospital.Each officer has been certified for two years and is able to: 
• Recognize and care for breathing and cardiac emergencies in adults
• Perform CPR on a person suffering from sudden cardiac arrest
• Operate an AED5
• Minimize the effects of shock
• Care for choking situations 
Five officers have received Life Saving Awards from the department in 2010 for their efforts at successfully reviving victims of sudden cardiac arrest using CPR & AED.
 
FACEBOOK AND COMMUNITY TIPS HELP CAPTURE FUGITIVES
 
The Medina Police were the first in the world to use FACEBOOK to help capture fugitives. We want our FACEBOOK fans to know they are appreciated. 
 
During the last year when MPD began using a Facebook page, we were averaging 160 fugitive warrants on file. The number is steadily falling thanks to the help of our fans. Medina Police feature the names and photographs on our page, www.facebook.com/medinapolice in an effort to gain the cooperation of residents in a cost effective way to find their fugitives from justice. Officer Sara Lynn, the project’s coordinator, regularly updates the website with new names and photographs of Medina’s Wanted.

The Facebook page costs the police department nothing. Departments around the world have embraced Medina’s idea to get the public involved with many departments’ today using the technique.We are now averaging 125 active warrants on file and are currently at our lowest level with 122 active warrants. In the last month we have served three warrants that were over 5 years old. You keep crime down by locking up the people you have
already caught. You don’t ignore a suspect because they didn’t show up for court. It is a never ending process as new arrest warrants are issued every day. That’s why it is important to have a good program in place.
Our Facebook fugitive program has been featured on the NBC Nightly News, the Today Show, and in print media around the country.
 
CITY ADOPTS NEW STRATEGY - TEAMWORK AND COMMUNICATION KEY
 
Taking a page out of the cavalry officer’s handbook and adding modern day communications, Medina implemented a comprehensive new strategy for a safer and more efficient emergency medical response in the city. The plan takes full advantage of the number of police cars circulating throughout the city and the coordination offered by the police communications center; while dispatching for police, Life Support Team (LST) and fire from one call center in police headquarters.  
 
“We are using police cars as our modern day cavalry scouts, the advance element of our team,” said Mayor Dennis Hanwell. “Our officers are from one to three minutes away from any serious call because they are spread out throughout the city and are always moving.”
 
The role of scout is a natural use for police officers, who are constantly moving in their vehicles. LST and fire department personnel respond from a fixed location such as the fire station. In most cases fire and LST crews have a longer response time due to their deployment from fixed locations.
 
“It is our goal to use our limited resources in the most efficient manner for the public,” said Hanwell.
Under the new plan, police officers are dispatched on every medical call, as well as the Medina Life Support Team (LST) and when available, fire department medics. The first arriving unit will notify the other responding units if there is a need for a continued emergency response or if they can proceed more cautiously. Police will leave it up to advance medical teams to determine how many are needed on a call.
 
The new plan is a response to a need to operate more efficiently in tight budgetary times, and not duplicate services, a key element of Mayor Hanwell’s strategy for all city departments. 
 
POLICE LEARN MORE EFFECTIVE RESPONSE
AUTISM: RECOGNITION, RESPONSE and RISK MANAGEMENT
 
All members of the Medina Police Department went back to school this year to learn more about Autism and ways to deliver a more effective response for the special needs residents of the community and their families. 
According to the Autism Society of America, autism – a neurological disorder that typically appears during the first three years of life specifically affects brain function in the areas responsible for the development of communication and social interaction skills. Autism is estimated to affect as many 
as one in every 150 children (CDC-NCBDDD, 2008).
 
Meeting the needs of an autistic presents special challenges for the law enforcement officer responding to a call. Effective strategies were among the lessons taught at the training sessions. The training sessions, AUTISM: RECOGNITION, RESPONSE and RISK MANAGEMENT were sponsored by the Medina Police Department and opened to all county law enforcement no cost to the officers and presented by Dennis Debbaudt, author and public speaker.
 
PROPERTY MAINTENANCE PROGRAM
 
In 2010 following the crime prevention theory of “Broken Windows” we began our Property Maintenance Program focusing on quality of life issues in the neighborhoods. Officer Jim Valentine, a senior patrolman coordinates the initiative with members of the Building Department, Planning and Zoning and the Service Department in an effort to clean up the city. Junk cars, rubbish, high weeds, abandoned homes and structures were targeted.
 
We used FACEBOOK to inform the public of the initative and ask for their assistance. Significant strides have been made in this project to improve the appearance of the city and its neighborhoods.