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Police Chief James Sheppard is considering expanding the number of patrol sections.
In 2004, the city went from seven neighborhood sections to two, one on the east side and one on the west side. The move was designed to give the department more flexibility when deploying officers. City officials have said the two-section model saved millions of dollars on overtime and staffing.
But residents have been critical of the change, saying officers are concentrated in high-crime neighborhoods and don't become familiar with "beats."
"We know citizens want to have a relationship with their police officer. We know police officers want to have a relationship with citizens," said George Moses, head of Group 14621. "We know the east west section was not the best approach."
"Neighborhoods, say in the southeast, suffer when all of the resources are pulled into the northeast, so proactive policing doesn't exist in neighborhoods that may not have high volumes of crime," said Councilman Adam McFadden, who added the multimillion dollar Zero Tolerance initiative several years ago proves the two-section model isn't cheaper.
Sheppard would like to explore going to a quadrant system, with a separate section for downtown.
"I know out in the community a lot of people stress they'd like to have officers they're familiar with, who can respond to calls on a regular basis, that know them and know the neighborhood," Sheppard said.
But the chief said there would need to be an independent review, looking at crime data, costs and other information. He said the study may be on his agenda this year.