Lincoln County is increasingly plagued by many of the same social problems encountered by our law enforcement partners in the more urban communities of the St. Louis Metropolitan area. The rising level of violent crime and drug abuse in recent years is a warning that we must do more to make our community safer. The LCSO will be working collaboratively with our residents, businesses, non-profit organizations, faith leaders, elected officials, as well as with our municipal, regional, state, and federal partners, to provide a multi-layer approach to solving underlying issues that lead to crime.
The decision has been made that we will lead the way in developing data-driven strategies to enhance policing operations. The LCSO approach to evidence-based policing blends the science of crime prevention with the principles of community policing. This doesn’t suggest replacing the traditional tradecraft of policing – it simply enhances it.
Relying on the standard approach to policing such as random patrols, rapid response to 911 calls and investigating past crimes can only take us so far. We now seek to enhance the tactics, techniques, and procedures of proactive policing, turning raw data and information into vital pieces of intelligence, distribute this information among LCSO units and law enforcement partners to interdict criminal activity and apprehending criminals.
LCSO is using crime trend data, and information on high-risk offenders to focus on the people, places and behaviors that contribute to crime. It’s unrealistic to expect this strategy to always put a law enforcement officer in the right place, at the time right to apprehend a criminal suspect. However, it is both realistic and manageable to focus community policing efforts on hot spots in micro-communities where criminal activity is predictable.
Although the LCSO is hard at work, we can’t do it on our own. Working closely with the people who live in the neighborhoods impacted by crime is a fundamental part of this Community Policing strategy. We will only be successful in our crime reduction efforts if we are able to work collaboratively with residents to create problem-solving strategies tailored to the challenges faced by each specific neighborhood in Lincoln County.
“The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence” – Sir Robert Peel, father of modern policing.