The Patrol Bureau provides twenty-four hour a day uniformed police protection for the City. This Bureau is organized into three Patrol Shifts - Watch I -- midnights, Watch II -- days, and Watch III -- swings. The Patrol schedule presently consists of four consecutive ten-hour workdays, followed by three days off. Each of the three shifts includes a supervisory team of a Lieutenant, and two Sergeants. There are a number of police and patrol officers that fill out the shift compliment of personnel.
The City is divided into six geographical beats and on most shifts and most days each beat is filled.
Since February 1992, police officers assigned to a shift are assigned to 'primary' beats and serve that beat for their full work week for the whole six month shift assignment. (Officers in Patrol experience a 'shift change' twice a year - in February and in August.) The Department administration had felt that there would be the potential of more familiarity between the primary beat officer and the community served. The officers are encouraged to stop by and interact with students in schools on their beats; attend the D.A.R.E. graduations at schools on their beats; meet residents, attend homeowner's associations meetings, and attend neighborhood watch meetings that they become aware of that occur on their assigned beats.
In the fall of 1995, we identified a number of smaller shopping areas. In January 1996, we started a program where a Watch II and Watch III police officer was assigned a specified shopping area - generally a smaller strip mall of no more than twenty-five stores. The intent of this program was to bring the working police and patrol officers into closer, regular contact with members of the local business community. Through this regular contact merchants could more readily report situations to the police where they might not otherwise want to 'bother' us. In this manner, nuisance issues can be addressed before they blossom into real problems. If you have any questions about this program, do not hesitate to call the Department and talk with any of the Patrol Supervisory personnel at (408) 586-2400.
Police or Patrol Officers may also serve as field evidence technicians. These employees receive specialized training on evidence collection and preservation, crime scene diagramming and charting, crime scene photography and videotaping. The field evidence technicians are paid a premium pay while they serve in this capacity.
Officers with at least three years of experience may qualify to serve of our Special Weapons and Tactics Team - S.W.A.T. Team. Members of this team go through a rigorous testing procedure that includes both physical and psychological examinations. Once accepted into this program, they complete a series of training courses which are certified by the Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training.
A number of officers are also cross trained to serve in the capacity of a Tactical Team. This group of employees have specialized training in crowd control and have worked with neighboring law enforcement agencies in a number of situations.
The Department also has a number of trained crisis negotiators. These specialized and specific skills are necessary in very limited situations. Because the use of these skills occurs infrequently, a negotiator routinely serves in a primary capacity in almost any position in the Department, and is "on call" to serve as a crisis negotiator.