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Strategic Management and Accurate Response Tactics, known as SMART Jeffco, is a problem-solving model that places responsibility to identify problems and solutions at the deputy level. Law enforcement commanders are accountable for their geographic areas of responsibility. The program is designed to use resources within the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, and other county departments, to solve crime and quality-of-life problems in the community.
The SMART Jeffco process, which was implemented in 2004, is modeled after the Compstat model developed by the New York Police Department. Compstat is based on the "broken windows" theory of policing, which holds that dealing with smaller crime and quality-of-life issues can have an impact in reducing bigger crime problems. On the flip side, failure to control minor offenses can create a sense of public disorder.
The SMART Jeffco process employs real-time crime analysis combined with proven and innovative crime-reduction techniques. This allows area commanders to immediately identify and address current crime conditions and prevent future problems from arising.
Staff members from all three precincts meet monthly to discuss crime trends, quality-of-life problems, crime prevention techniques and solutions.
The sheriff's office patrol and investigations divisions aren't the only groups employing the Compstat philosophy.
"Broken windows" at Dinosaur lots Patrol enlisted help from the jail's inmate worker crew to clean up the parking lots at I-70 and Highway 26. The "broken windows" theory of policing holds that broken windows and other minor crime issues can create a sense of disorder, ultimately encouraging bigger criminal events. With this in mind, staff supervised the inmates' cleanup in the park & ride lots and locations with a history of car break-ins. Initial statistics showed a significant decrease in break-ins in the parking lot(s) after the cleanup.
Open garage doors are problematic Analysts determined that 20 percent of south Jeffco residential burglaries in the first quarter of 2006 resulted from open garage doors. The sheriff's office sent an email alert to residents, reminding them to keep garage doors shut, even when they are at home. Deputies on routine patrol regularly contact residents to urge them to close their garage doors; if deputies can't locate the residents, they often leave a pink paper tag as notification.
Auto theft pattern Investigators reported that a spike in auto thefts at the end of 2005 showed a pattern: most cars were being stolen from shopping centers and apartment complexes, and Hondas and Acuras were the makes most frequently stolen. It appears suspects' use of "jiggle keys" may have facilitated some of these thefts. Hondas and Acuras made before 1996 are susceptible to jiggle keys. Investigators arrested one suspect on an auto theft whom they also believe was responsible for multiple thefts of this type. After his arrest, the Bowles corridor showed a drop in auto thefts at area shopping centers.
DriveSmart seatbelt campaign In April 2006, deputies contacted students leaving school parking lots as part of the seatbelt campaign with DriveSmart Evergreen. Deputies distributed giveaways to students wearing seat belts. The event was the first of six similar safety checks in the mountain area.
Graffiti help The south area crime prevention deputy approached Target and received a grant for graffiti clean-up supplies that would be distributed by the sheriff's office to local property owners to help with their cleanup efforts.
Wildfire preparation The sheriff put fire restrictions in place on May 1, followed by a fire ban several weeks later. The public information office's proactive media relations work resulted in substantial media coverage of the fire restrictions. Deputy liaisons mailed information on defensible space and wildfire mitigation to homeowner's association presidents in the mountain areas. An email alert was sent to mountain residents encouraging them to know more than one evacuation route out of their neighborhood in case of fire. Resident deputies are proactively seeking fire-ban violators and issuing the appropriate tickets. Sheriff's office staff has undergone relevant training exercises, with more training scheduled.
Educational envelopes As part of the patrol division's efforts to educate drivers, the traffic unit created a small envelope featuring traffic-safety information. Deputies are now using the envelope during traffic stops to return citizens' drivers licenses, along with their own business cards. The envelopes inform drivers that the sheriff's office is working to curb unsafe driving through enforcement, education and community partnerships. Envelopes are used when a ticket is not written.
Lock It or Lose It campaign After learning about a string of crimes-of-opportunity burglaries in south Jeffco, the investigations division created a "Lock It or Lose It" flyer for distribution to south area residents and businesses. The flyer encourages residents to secure their homes, garages and cars and educates them about crimes of opportunity.
Project Lifesaver up and running In the second quarter of 2005, the sheriff's office launched Project Lifesaver. This tracking system enables deputies to locate patients who may wander due to medical conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease or autism. Patients wear a transmitter bracelet. The sheriff's office enrolled its program participant, a woman with Alzheimer's, in April. Since then, five more have been enrolled, including a 5-year-old autistic child in Evergreen who had wandered 12 times in one month. The tracking system has a 100 percent success rate nationwide, and program costs are minimal when compared to costs associated with search and rescue operations.
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