Crime prevention and community policing share a common purpose, that of reducing the threat of crime and making communities safer and more secure. Crime prevention and community policing compliment each other. Community policing involves reforming decision making processes and creating new cultures within the law enforcement agencies. Crime prevention provides information and skills that are essential to community policing. Our Crime Prevention Unit has evolved over the last two decades to become an important part of the community relation strategy of our department.
Working in all geographic areas of the county, and within disciplines from neighborhoods to schools to businesses to civic groups, Crime Prevention Specialists educate the public, and promote prevention programs. Neighborhood Watch is the cornerstone of the Unit. Sharing information with neighbors who might otherwise never meet, and assisting them in making their homes and neighborhoods the havens they have come to expect, is the primary responsibility for the Crime Prevention Unit staff members. In addition, presentations on topics including Personal Safety, Juvenile Safety, Senior Safety, Business Watch and many others are available upon request.
Other important functions of the Unit are the coordination and facilitation of community related activities. The annual department open house showcasing special units to hundreds of Boy and Girl Scouts, as well as the Family-to-Family Christmas Basket program in conjunction with the Bakersfield Police Department and department participation in parades and public events are responsibilities of the Unit, and examples of what we do in Crime Prevention. Working as the community liaison, we open dialogue with the large percentage of the population that would otherwise never come in contact with the Kern County Sheriff’s Department.
The Crime Prevention Unit has gone through many changes over the years. From a unit staffed solely by uniformed deputies in the early eighties, to one that is staffed by civilians today, it continues to be a work in progress. As a support service, Crime Prevention is a resource within the department that is dedicated to educating and safeguarding the public we serve.