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Palmdale Sheriff's Station Receives International Award, With South Los Angeles & Crescenta Valley Stations Winning 2nd & 3rd...
Palmdale Sheriff's Station Captain Bobby Denham recently returned from a Global Conference in Amritsar, Punjab, India where Palmdale Station was the recipient of an international award for their achievements as a Citizen-Centric organization.
In fact, Los Angeles County Sheriff's stations earned the top three awards: 1. Palmdale Station 2. South Los Angeles Station and 3. Crescenta Valley Station.
The award conference was hosted by the Altus Global Alliance, an alliance of six academic centers and non-governmental organizations on five continents around the globe, which works in partnership with government institutions to strengthen the delivery of public safety and justice.
The conference reported the results of activities during Police Station Visitors Week 2010, which was organized by Altus Global Alliance. Now in its fourth year on the global scale, Police station Visitor Week gives civilians an opportunity to visit local police stations and to assess the services provided by police.
Over 6,000 civilians visited in total over 1,100 police stations in 21 countries around the world. Besides giving civilians the opportunity to become better acquainted with the police, it gave police insight into how their services are evaluated and how to further improve them. Altus recognized those police stations that visitors rated most highly and shared their practices nationally, regionally and globally.
In the United States 27 stations participated with 125 visitors evaluating the agencies in Altus' Police Week. The station visits, held from October 18th through October 24th, 2010, brought residents into their local police stations to observe and rate basic conditions and services. The simple 20-item assessment tool developed by Altus covered five core aspects of a police station and the services provided there: community orientation, physical conditions, equal treatment of the public, transparency and accountability, and detention conditions. By combining visitors' ratings, stations receive a score in each area and an overall score based on the average of the five area scores.
Palmdale Station ranked number one in North America With an overall score of 99.0, with a perfect or very high scores in each area of observation, the Palmdale Sheriff's Station in Los Angeles County is the most highly rated station in North America.
The full report of the "Police Station Visitors Week" can be found on Altus website at www.altus.org or more directly at http://www.altus.org/pdf/apsvw_gr2010_en.pdf
The following was taken from Global Report compiled and issued following the Police Week evaluations:
Palmdale is separated from the city of Los Angeles by the San Gabriel Mountain range. As of January 1, 2010, the population of Palmdale was estimated to be 152,622.
An officer that was highly knowledgeable about all areas of the sheriff's station led the visitors on their tour of the facility. As the team leader later recalled, "We were given demonstrations on how equipment and technology are utilized. The group was shown the processes for booking evidence and detainees. Every department, from secretaries to the detective's bureau, was thoroughly explained to us."
The visitors were most impressed with the ergonomics of the station. There are many aspects of the station design that make operations more efficient and effective. For example, "war bag lockers" are located outside, directly adjacent to patrol vehicles. In addition, although specific departments have their own designated areas, there is "a feeling of accessibility and ease of communication within the facility." The main center of operations (the "call room") is located away from the Watch Sergeant's office, so that officers receiving calls for service are not distracted by the commotion of deputies reporting to the Watch Sergeant. At the same time, the Watch Sergeant's desk is within eyesight of the operations/call room, thereby facilitating immediate communication between the two hubs of activity at all times.
The visitors were also impressed by the use of Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies as so-called Town Sheriffs. The Town Sheriffs participate in Neighborhood Watch meetings, where they share information about local crime, answer questions from residents, and are directly accessible to members of the community in situations that may not require a call to the station for emergency service. "This program appears to be a successful approach to community policing based on the information and statistics provided to us," the team leader said.
Captain Denham, who was invited to India to receive the award and give a presentation on Palmdale Station commented "the honor we received in India is a direct reflection of the partnerships formed by the Palmdale Station and the community we serve. It is apparent the evaluators were impressed with the community programs both the City of Palmdale and the Sheriff's Station have pioneered, such as the Zone Deputy Program and the Partners against Crime Program."
"It is these community based programs that bring the citizens of Palmdale Station's patrol area into the ground level of our crime fighting process. With their involvement we have seen our crime rate continue to decrease and our valley become a safer place to call home."
"Congratulations to Captain Denham and his entire Sheriff's team over at the Palmdale Station," said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford. "We know they truly are the finest in the world, and now everyone else does, too. To be recognized in this manner shows once again that our concept of bringing the Sheriff's Department, City staff and residents together to address the issues we face, through activities such as our Neighborhood Watch program, is working very well."
"This is the second time that the Altus organization has recognized Palmdale Station. Truly, the strength of Palmdale station has always been the relationship between the Sheriff's Department, the City, and the community. We are so pleased to once again have international recognition for the efforts here in Palmdale." Commented Public Safety and Community Relations Director Anne Ambrose.
Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau - Newsroom
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
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