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Published April 15, 2003
Volume 11, Number 4



Pleasanton Police Department Implements COPPS Program


Maintaining a relationship with local law enforcement is important to the safety of people who live, work, and do business in the community, just as cooperation and communication with the public helps the police to do their job. To encourage the ideals of neighborhood policing, the Pleasanton Police Department has implemented a program that it calls Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS), which centers around building police-community partnerships to work collectively in problem solving to address the causes of crime and other community issues.

“We have separated our city into three distinct districts,” says Lieutenant Eric Finn, District 2 Commander for the Pleasanton Police Department. “In each district we have defined geographic areas that we call neighborhoods. What we’ve done is that we actually have officers as a part of our COPPS initiative that we assign to specific neighborhoods.” Hacienda Business Park falls into what is called District 2 and is one of its six delineated neighborhoods.

The idea of the COPPS program is to have officers get involved with their specific assigned neighborhood, get to know the residents and business owners in the area, and build a personal relationship that will hopefully lead to a more peaceful community. The two officers assigned to Hacienda are Officer John Blanchard and Officer Bob Leong. “Working with the business community is just as important as working with the residential community,” Leong says. “We hope to maintain a relationship with everyone in the Hacienda neighborhood.” Some of the local business owners and residents may already be familiar with Officer Blanchard. “I grew up in the area, which I think gives me a good feel for the community-including the businesses and the people who live here,” Blanchard says.

As noted, the relationship that COPPS seeks goes beyond simply responding to emergencies. Neither is it a replacement for existing police services. Blanchard and Leong are quick to point out that any business or resident with immediate needs for police services should still call 911 in emergencies or the 24-hour police department number, (925) 931-5600. However, the COPPS program can be used to help craft solutions to issues before they become problems. “Some of the business owners have some issues surrounding kids skateboarding on their property,” Finn says. “This presents a problem, because it costs them money to make the necessary repairs for the damage that’s being done. So, this is where officer Blanchard and Officer Leong can interface with Hacienda businesses and look for solutions. How does code enforcement play a role in this? How does signage play a role in it? What are the environmental things that are bringing in kids to that particular business? That’s a small example of what we’re trying to accomplish.”

To contact Officer John Blanchard and Officer Bob Leong, you can email them respectively at jblanchard@ci.pleasanton.ca.us  and rleong@ci.pleasanton.ca.us. You can also call them at the Pleasanton Police Department at 925-931-5100. Or, even better, stop and say hello to them when they’re on their Hacienda neighborhood beat.
 
 

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