N.C. Department of Correction--Correction News--July 1998

DAPP implements community policing

Motorists stopped in a traffic checkpoint passed their driver’s license to a Raleigh police officer who handed the license to Doug Pardue, Probation’s Judicial District Manager in Wake County. Immediately, Pardue contacted his office where staff manned computers and checked the license against offender records.

The work of Pardue and the dozen probation officers that worked with Raleigh police on a hot, sunny June afternoon for the Raleigh license checkpoint sent a message to the motorists and to the residents of the nearby low- income housing area.

The new community policing partnership with police in Raleigh, Charlotte, Fayetteville and other cities across the state helps probation and police officers work together more closely. By working side-by-side at traffic stops, riding together in police squad cars and sharing desks at community policing substations in low-income housing neighborhoods, probation and police officers learn more about each other. They also build a spirit of co-operation that makes communities safer.

"We want to free officers from the desk and get them back on the streets to become partners with police," Probation Director Robert Guy told news reporters in Raleigh and Fayetteville. "We need to meet the people in these communities. They need to know who we are. They can help us make their communities safer places to live."

In Hendersonville, Probation Officer David Oates and Police Officer Jim Schandevel were on community policing bike patrol when a citizen alerted them to a possible drunk driver. They spotted the car and followed it to a store. After questioning the suspects, the officers were able to determine a passenger in the car had absconded from probation, and the driver failed the breathalyzer test. Both were arrested. Judicial District Manager Randy Eggen said the arrests were a credit to the community policing concept.

Cumberland County Sheriff Moose Butler said police officers aren’t the only ones working with probation officers.

"Probation officers and sheriff’s deputies are sharing information and data, coordinating surveillance efforts, focusing on curfew and community contacts," he said. "We also want to participate in community activities such as traffic checkpoints, health fairs, child identification days and recreational events."

The Raleigh Police Department made approximately 145 arrests in which the primary charges involved some probation violations between December 1997 and May 1998. Police made another 174 secondary charges which also involved probation violations. u