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Lincoln Police Department
Lincoln, Nebraska

Problem Oriented Policing Projects 2009

 
   
 


Problem Oriented Police Projects (POP Projects) are designed to impact unique or repetitive issues by implementing specific strategies to target the problem. This is a form of community policing in which the Department actively works with the others to understand and address the issues that lead to crime within our city. The Lincoln Police Department tries to be proactive and stay aware of developing crime trends within the city. These highlighted POP Projects are just a few that our officers have undertaken. In 2009, 162 projects were completed by officers city-wide.

Problem Oriented Policing Projects 2009
Employee Location Project Description Date Started Stage of Completion
Ofc. Norton, Southeast Team Second Shift Southeast Team Vehicles that aren't moved following snow storms cause problems for city road crews plowing streets as well as passing motorists. City Ordinance clearly outlines that it is unlawful for any person to park any vehicle on one side of a street within a block for a period longer than twenty-four hours. With the near record snowfall amounts this year, officers were assigned specific areas within the team to enforce the Twenty-Four Hour Parking ordinance. Officers focused on vehicles parked in residential areas having evidence of no movement (snow covered windshields, no tire tracks, snow plow marks around the vehicle). Officers posted high visibility flyers on vehicles found in violation which alerted vehicle owners of the violation and educated them on parking ordinances. The flyers were a useful tool and aided in the compliance rate. During the course of the project, 109 parking tickets (both warning and official) were written. Forty-one tickets were written for violation of the 24 hour parking ban and sixty-eight completed for snow emergency violations. Only four of these vehicles were towed, which yielded a 97% compliance rate during the POP project. December 7, 2009 through snow season Project Complete
Ofc. R. Witzel,
Ofc. Carmichael, Crime Prevention Unit, School Resource Officers, Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA)
Southeast Team Locking a vehicle and removing the valuables is one of the easiest ways to prevent/deter the opportunity for thieves to victimize citizens. During the month of October, public service announcements were read at Seacrest and Pius football stadiums prior to football games. In addition, officers distributed flyers to businesses and the LPD Crime Prevention Unit reminded citizens to lock their vehicles via radio and television segments. Prior to the project, during the month of September, Southeast Team officers investigated 79 larceny from auto incidents with 54 (68%) of the vehicles left unlocked. After the project, only 46 larceny from auto offenses were reported in the Southeast Team. Of those 46 cases, 21 (46%) of the vehicles were unlocked - a 22% decrease. As citizens become more aware of the issue, by locking their vehicles and securing their valuables, victimization and overall property crime totals decrease. October 2 - November 30, 2009 Project Complete
Center Team Bike Patrol Center Team
Downtown
Bar employees have mentioned that, at the start of UNL fall semester, they are inundated with minors attempting to use false identification to enter their establishments. Officers spent Thursday and Friday nights during the first two weeks of the semester in plain clothes, monitoring activity. Unfortunately, only two citations were written for Minor Misrepresenting Age. Employees of the bars even commented that the lack of false IDs seen was extremely odd for this pivotal time period. They did express extreme appreciation for the undercover officer presence. Violations could be handled immediately with a quick response time. Although the original intent to impact false ID usage was unprosperous, they were able to issue 13 other citations for offenses including trespassing, fail to comply, panhandling, consuming in public and urinating in public. The detail reminded patrons downtown that officers have effective methods of policing to use and could be anywhere. August 27 - September 4, 2009 Project Complete
SE Team,
Crime Prevention, Records Unit
SE Team Officers responded to about 140 false alarms on the SE Team area through the first seven months of 2009. Alarm calls usually require that at least two officers respond and often time circumstances dictate that officers drive code 3 to these calls. The goal of this project was to reduce the number of false alarms in the SE Team area. Through the use of the Omega Dashboard, several businesses were identified as having at least three false alarms since January 2009. Sgt. Sheridan and Sgt. Heermann made personal contact at more than 90 businesses and 6 residences to discuss the false alarms. Without exception, at every location, the person(s) responsible were aware of the problem. Every location developed strategies for dealing with false alarms from disconnecting the service completely to moving and readjusting the sensors or re-educating or dismissing staff that were not able to handle the alarm settings. Efforts were well received and ten fewer false alarms were reported in September and October 2009 than in the same time period for 2008. August 24 - December 31, 2009 Project Complete
SE Team Second Shift
SE Team In an effort to increase awareness for traffic safety, Officer Winterbauer organized a project titled "Arrive Alive". This is the third year for the project. Old Cheney Road is statistically one of the highest locations for traffic accidents throughout the city. Ofc. Winterbauer obtained a wrecked vehicle from Capital Towing and had it displayed on the northeast corner of S. 27th & Old Cheney Road. Officers also increased enforcement on Old Cheney, between S 27th - S 40th Streets. Public interest in the vehicle led to a story published in the Lincoln Journal Star. August 17 - September 11, 2009 Project Complete
SE Team Second and Third Shift Officers
SE Team LPD SE Team officers organized a saturation detail to reduce the number of drunk or impaired drivers in their team area. Using LPD dispatch data, they learned that 57 traffic accidents occurred on Old Cheney Road, between 27th - 40th Streets from June 2008-June 2009. The data also revealed that 79 DUI arrests were made on Old Cheney during that same time period. Officers received a grant through the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety to secure funding for the project. On the weekend of August 21-22, 2009, SE Team officers saturated designated areas focusing on drivers who were impaired or committing traffic and safety violations. The project ended with a safety and sobriety checkpoint conducted from Friday, August 28th from 11:00pm until Saturday, August 29th at 2:30am. Results of the project, including ticket totals, are outlined in the press release. August 21, 22 & 28, 2009 Project Complete
SW Team Bravo Squad, F St. Rec Center, Neighborworks
SW Team In honor of National Night Out, Sergeants Bassett and Reitan took this opportunity to reach out to the community to foster stronger ties and crime prevention strategies that will carry forward through out the rest of 2009. They coordinated officer appearances and residential patrols within the team area. They also assisted in organizing a community gathering at F Street Rec Center. In addition, officers increased patrols in search of garages left open during the night. Twenty flyers were distributed to residents in the crime prevention effort. August 3-5, 2009 Project Complete
SE School Resource Officers
SE Team As the new school year begins, special enforcement is planned around select schools to educate parents and students about traffic flow pattern and to ensure the safety of students returning to class. All middle and high schools in the Southeast Team area will have an officer presence both before and after school. At the high schools, an emphasis will be placed on educating students about traffic, trespassing, disturbance, loitering, smoking and narcotic concerns. August 2009 Project Complete
Officer T. Schmidt,
Traffic Engineering
SE Team Officer T. Schmidt recognized a problem that needed a solution. The intersection of S. 29th & Pine Lake Road, controlled by a stoplight, is wide enough for two lanes of traffic but lines were not present with that designation. Three accidents have occurred at the intersection due to motorists unsure where to drive on the roadway. Officer T. Schmidt contacted City of Lincoln Traffic Engineering in writing to request painted lines to create two clearly marked lanes of traffic. He included photos of the intersection and copies of each accident report. In response to his request, lines were painted and signs were posted at the intersection. His observations and initiative may prevent countless unnecessary accidents in the future. June-August, 2009 Project Complete
Ofc. Hudec
SE Team Lincoln Police worked 8,909 traffic accidents in 2008. This is an increase from 8,124 in 2007. There was also a rise in seatbelt violations from 4,824 in 2007 to 5,203 in 2008. In order to educate the public and reduce the risk of serious injury or death, Southeast Team Third Shift officers handed out 60 "Seatbelt Safety" flyers at all traffic stops made in the month of June. On several occassions, motorists thanked officers for the information on seatbelt usage. June 2009 Project Complete
SE Team, 1st shift; Crime Prevention Officers
SE Team The Southeast Team has 27 large apartment complexes which house multiple tenants. These complexes generate a significant amount of calls for service and, at times, develop problem tenants. Many apartment managers are interested in monitoring police activity on their property. To provide easy access to such information, each apartment managers was contacted, advised on the availability of crime alerts, and encouraged to sign up. A brochure was created by the Crime Prevention Unit to help explain the benefits of Crime Alerts. June 2009 Project Complete
NW, SW & SE Teams
City of Lincoln With over 9,600 outstanding arrest warrants in Lincoln/Lancaster County, officers from Northeast, Southwest and Southeast Teams along with SWAT and Canine Units conducted an arrest warrant detail. Individual arrest packets, including a copy of the warrant and photo of the offender, were distributed among nine arrest teams. Together, the teams attempted 265 warrants with 60 warrants cleared. Several uniform saturation teams were also assisting with the warrants and tackling on-view violations. The saturation teams produced 40 traffic citations, 9 misdemenaor arrests and 9 drug related arrests. Additional citation details available in the press release. May 21, 2009 Project Complete
School Resource Ofc. Brownell
Lincoln NE High As a result of the changing times, binge drinking and experimental drug use is becoming a prevalent and real issue to address with young adults in today's world. Teens are becoming increasingly independent and are taking more chances when faced with opportunities for experimentation. With the assistance of NE High Administation, Ofc. Brownell was able to coordinate the Drug and Alcohol Intervention and Prevention Forum. Community members and representatives from The Northeast Area Council for Teen Safety and the Lincoln Council for Alcoholism and Drugs participated in the event. It was well received and included valuable information. The segment was recorded for airing on City Channel 5. It will also be placed at LPS Libraries and on their website. May 14, 2009 Project Complete
Ofc. Holm,
Ofc. Wherry
SE Team In an effort to improve the quality of life for residents in the Union College, Woods Park & Antelope Park neighborhoods, officers took a pro-active approach in identifying junked, abandoned and unregistered vehicles on both public streets and residential properties. Once identified, officers made personal contact with the owners/persons responsible for sixty-two vehicles and informed them of the violations. A packet was left to aid in educating them about the law and options available to them for dealing with their problem vehicles. Twenty-two vehicles were completely removed from the properties or garaged, two owners obtained a hobbyist permits and eighteen vehicles were brought into compliance by getting properly registered and repaired. Officers will continue to follow-up with the sixteen remaining vehicle owners to ensure compliance. May 2009 Project Complete
SE Team,
2nd Shift
SE Team In an effort to become more efficient, while still providing quality police services, SE Team 2nd shift implemented the "Going Green" project to run through the remainder of 2009. Officers were given the opportunity, when staffing allowed, to have two officers ride together in one cruiser. When a call for service (CFS) required two officers, the two-man cruiser responded with no other unit being sent. The goal of this strategy was to decrease gasoline usage, mileage, time spent on CFS and wear on department cruisers while creating a desirable working environment for officers that chose to participate. April 2009 Project Complete
SE Team,
1st Shift
SE Team Many businesses, churches, schools and apartment complexes have frequent changes to their open-door card information. To ensure accurate information, it is necessary to update the list of contacts periodically. The "Business Inspections Emergency Contact Info" form is kept by Channel 50 and maintained by Lincoln Fire and Rescue. This project, titled "Make it 8" was aimed at addressing outdated contact information which makes it difficult to locate key business people, when necessary. Officers were asked to make 8 contacts within their mini-beats at businesses, schools, churches and apartment complexes to check open-door card information. Business Inspections Emergency Contact Info forms were filled out with 3 contacts designated at each location. While making contact, officers provided appropriate crime prevention information and literature based on known trends. In all, 91 businesses were contacted and updated their information. Several businesses gave additional comments such as "third shift custodian on duty Wednesday-Sunday, store closes with one employee". This information could become valuable. April 2009 Project Complete
Ofc. Kopsa,
Ofc. L. Johnson
33rd & O Street The intersection of 33rd & O Street is notorious for its high accident rate. Within the first three months of 2009, 10 accidents occurred at or within 140 feet of the intersection. In addition, the Jiffy Lube, located on the NW corner, has complained of vehicles evading the traffic signal by driving through their lot. Officers conducted traffic selectives during high volume traffic periods, alternating between two strategies. The first strategy involved high visibility with a cruiser on the corner to deter violations. The second strategy utilized one officer as a spotter outside his cruiser at the intersection while the other officer stopped violators a short distance away. In the 32 days that the POP project took place, dropped from 10 (.129 accidents per day) to 1 (.031 accidents per day). Thirty five warnings citations and four official citations were issued. Though there weren't an astounding number of citations issued, increased officer presence appears to have had an impact at the intersection. March-April, 2009 Project Complete
SE Team,
1st Shift
SE Team For the fiscal year 2008-2009, the Southeast Team has been given a goal of accident reduction. With its larger geographical area and extensive roadways, the Southeast Team works a higher percentage of accidents than any other team. Accidents are troublesome for citizens due to the economic impact they have and the injuries they cause. By reducing accidents, the loss to citizens will be minimized - additionally, SE Team officers will have more time to devote to other pressing law enforcement issues. With staffing increased over the week of Spring Break, it was possible to devote extra time to targeting specific areas with traffic enforcement. The project ran Monday-Friday and devoted two officers per day at 4 hour blocks of time. A printout of intersections with multiple accidents was used to pinpoint locations for enforcement. The Traffic Engineering Services Office was also consulted. They identified four problem traffic locations on the SE Team. In total, 41 official traffic citations and 100 warning citations were written. March 23- 27, 2009 Project Complete
NE Team,
2nd Shift
NE Team Select businesses in the Northeast Team have fallen victim to armed robberies in the last two months. Of eight of these incidents, five have occurred during second shift, four of which between 7pm-9pm. Investigations have revealed the suspect is most likely casing these businesses prior to committing the robberies. In an attempt to deter and/or apprehend this armed robber, the NE 2nd shift officers are participating in Operation Business Watch. There is a teamwide focus on business checks during the evening hours. This project ended with the arrest of Armon Dixon on May 12, 2009. March 2009 Project Complete
SE Team,
Sgt. Agnew,
Sgt. Stille, Jared Minary A/V Tech
SE Team Due to the recent bid, all three shifts on the Southeast Team have received officers from other shifts and other teams. It is important for these officers and sergeants to be familiar with how to respond to a critical incident, such as an active shooter. First responders need to organize themselves quickly in a rapidly evolving event. Unless these responders all understand their roles and responsibilities, there may be confusion when time is critical. For training, the recently closed Hawthorne Elementary School will be utilized for practical exercises. Officers and sergeants will be taught the concepts of rapid deployment and making a contact team as they move through the building. This gives them the best tactical advantage while trying to locate the threat. Eight two-hour training sessions were conducted to accommodate all 41 officers and sergeants during their normal shifts. Overall, the week-long training was a success. March 2009 Project Complete
Center Team
Third Shift
Center Team Larcenies from vehicles continue to be an on-going problem in the city - especially in a target-rich environment like Center Team, with several open parking lots for multi-family dwellings. Officers Dlouhy and Eirich compiled past reports to identify trends and hot spots. Crime mapping, past offenders and intelligence reports were utilized to develop suspects. Proactive patrols by foot, bicycle and unmarked vehicles increased the chance for observing crimes in progress. In fact, individuals were arrested in two separate cases while "caught in the act". January 2009 Project Complete
Ofc. R. Witzel;
Deb Moffitt,
Crime Analysis;
Capt. Fehringer;
NSP T. Arney
SE Team Sex Offenders are required to register their address with the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office within five working days to comply with the Sex Offender Registration Act. In an effort to ensure offenders are complying with this act, a quarterly check was conducted with Level III Offenders. Periodic checks were also conducted with Level I and Level II offenders. Officer R. Witzel, of the Southeast Team, investigated all sex offender registration violations of Nebraska State Statutes 29-4001 to 4115 and sexual predator residency restrictions within 500 feet of schools LMC 9.16.250. Deb Moffitt advised him when new information was received regarding sex offenders in the SE Team area. Three arrests were made for sex offender registration violations and one warrant was issued. January 2009 Project Complete
Sgt. Walsh,
Ofc. Winkler,
Ofc. Sorensen,
Ofc. Cronin
SW Team Core Area The Core Area, 9th-17th/A Street-G Street and the area of 17th-21st/E Street-J Street, accounts for the majority of calls for service on the Southwest Team. This area is high density residential where 94% are rental properties with no on-site management. The combination of substance abuse, recidivist criminals and close living conditions create an atmosphere that is conducive to crime. Officers will take a multiple approach strategy for the area supplemented by separate projects devoted to South Side Winos, Project Safe Neighborhoods and addresses with repeated calls for service. When staffing allows, officers will be assigned to two person cruisers focusing solely on The Core. Officers will seek out repeat offenders with broadcasts or warrants. Officers will closely track intelligence information to address criminal matters. Officers will also make personal contact with citizens to gather information about activity in their neighborhoods. January 2009 Continuous
Ofc. Pavelka, Center Team
First Shift, Community Services Unit
Center Team During the winter months, there is an increase in auto thefts involving vehicles left running and unattended. Auto theft is not only an officer concern but a safety concern for the general public. Stolen vehicles have been used in the commission of other crimes including robbery, burglary and pursuit/fleeing to avoid arrest. Officers located eleven vehicles running and unattended. Each owner was contacted and advised of the dangers of this practice. In each case, the owner was grateful for the response and most were unaware that their actions could create a problem. A flyer was also provided giving suggestions on how to avoid becoming a victim. The subject as even addressed in the Neighborhood Watch newsletter, The Eye. January 2009 Project Complete
POP Projects 2008