LPD Operational Philosophy
Department Goals & Strategic Planning
In recent years the Lowell Police Department (LPD) has undertaken the task of strategic planning as an ongoing process. The steps have included staff input from all ranks and positions with the assistance of organizational consultants. With the overall departmental plan in mind, staff of each division creates a strategic plan that will help to guide them in attaining individual and agency-wide goals. Department-wide goals have been established since 1994, and since then, all but the construction of a new police station have been realized.
Most recently, the LPD has embarked on a new strategic planning process that will establish goals for the next several years.
In our continual quest to make Lowell the safest city of its size in the nation, we have made significant changes in the administration of police services in the city. Our training and orientation focuses on improved operations, customer service, community policing, and geographic responsibility for all personnel.
Through the strategic planning processes, as well as with input from the people who live and work in the city of Lowell, it was determined that residents could be best served and crime and disorder most affected with the presence of a consistent officer in neighborhoods. This method of assignment also seemed to make the most sense for supervision and accountability of all levels of officers.
In conversations with residents, as well as with officers, there was frustration experienced by all regarding the ability of officers to investigate neighborhood property crimes and crimes of disorder. It was determined that officers who have ownership in an area, and who have knowledge of and a relationship with the residents could best police the city. Supervisors and detectives are also assigned to a geographic area. Through this assignment method it is hoped that residents will become more readily acquainted with their area officers and will receive a continuum of police services from a team of officers known to them.
Geographic assignment, the final phase of reorganization of the LPD, commenced on January 17, 1999. The feedback from personnel and residents has been positive. Neighbors report that officers are more visible, on foot and on bicycles in their neighborhoods. Officers have demonstrated teamwork and greater initiative in the areas in which they are regularly assigned. Supervisory personnel have new found managerial responsibilities that include opportunities to regularly work within an area, with the same officers daily, further instilling the concept of shared responsibility and teamwork.
The city has been divided into three sectors, each commanded by a Captain. This Captain has overall responsibility for the administration of police services, personnel, neighborhood problems and concerns, as well as successes in an area.
- In each sector are Lieutenants, Sergeants, Patrol Officers and Detectives who work daily to provide comprehensive police services.
- The Sector Captains coordinate their priorities and the provision of services through the shifts through the Shift Coordinator.
- The Detective Divisions Criminal Investigations and Special Investigations are available as support and experts for the Sector Personnel.
Over time, the geographic assignments will be monitored and evaluated for its efficiency and customer satisfaction. We anticipate that this will increase our effectiveness in the neighborhood while building relationships with residents on the street and at community meetings. Officers have risen to the challenge to make the area in which they work the best place to be in the city. They are identifying problems early to prevent more serious crime and fear from infesting their areas. Our continued police work and building relationships in the community, will further our efforts to make Lowell the safest city of its size in the nation.