Woodbridge Police Department puts the security of the neighborhood as its first priority. Through good partnership with the community, the Department strives to accomplish its mission, goals and objectives. This paper analyses the Department's internal and external environment to establish the strengths and weaknesses within its sections and the opportunities and threats outside the organization. Lastly the paper will recommend appropriate steps the Department can utilize to improve efficiency in its operations.
Woodbridge Police Department is located in Central New Jersey in Woodbridge Township. Woodbridge Police Department was granted certification for CALEA in 1999 and as a result, many new policies and regulations were circulated by the department over the period of the process of certification. Consequently, the work load at the department tremendously increased making the personnel put in double efforts to accomplish the set standards. In other words, department's work magnified after certification, a true reflection of what is happening today, the officers are tirelessly working to make operations a success (Leidner). The main focus of the Department is attaining and sustaining brilliant customer service through demanding accountability and responsibility from personnel for successful crisis solving results. As a tradition, Woodbridge Police Department endeavors to come up with new community partnership day-in-day-out, a fact that makes it enjoy remarkable community support. The department has total of eight sections namely: Admin, CCS, ISU, IT, Records, SRO / DARE, Training, and USD. This paper will therefore use these sections to carry out a SWOT analysis of the entire police department.
Woodbridge Police Department has experienced, energetic and ambitious workforce that is skilled and educated. The Department has had a chief turnover in the work force, receiving eight new police officers late last year to add on the 211 that were available. The increased workforce goes along way in strengthening their efforts to maintain safe neighborhoods in spite of considerable increases in the number of calls demanding for services.
During the past year, according to available statistics, the department has been very successful and proficient in settling high profile crime. This is due to devoted and skilled support and investigative staff and exceptional patrol response. Consequently, they have collected the essential evidence at scenes to direct successful arrest and trial of those offenders causing community concern. The outcome of these arrests is ensuring that the citizens have peace of minds therefore stimulating community confidence in the Department (Woodbridge Police).
The department has experienced professional, dedicated and committed staff that ensures that all operations in the neighborhood are effectively carried out. For instance Sergeant James Muir, a very nice and conservative officer, has worked here for over 20 years. The department additionally has various areas of specialization, for instance the maintenance of patrol cars has Cathy and Jen. The two, who have been here for 17 years, are also in charge of any legal notices like subpoenas that have to be recorded and presented.
This section is headed by Chief Eugene Marcucci and assisted by Deputy Chief Raymond Stuart. It has a total of five officers whose officers main function is to direct the general activities of Woodbridge Police Department to ensure that it accomplishes its goals and mission. Consequently, the section ensures that all the available resources are used in the most effective and efficient manner (Chang).
Strengths of Administration Section
Officers in this section are experienced, well skilled and dedicated for their work. Chief Eugene is one of the most experienced members within the department and ensures that everything is done just like it should be done. Additionally, the leadership of this section, which is also the overall department's leadership is very competent and not only made up of formal leaders but also informal.
Weaknesses of Administration section
The administration lacks adequate capacity to reach authorized levels of staffing because of partly their inability to hire for anticipated vacancies and lengthy hiring procedure. Furthermore, the administration is not able to actively look for new opportunities for grants and also trace and report the present grants because of staffing levels.
Central Communications Section (CCS)
According to Woodbridge Police, this section has a total number of six officers headed by Sr. Computer Specialized/Dispatcher Brian freeman (Woodbridge Police). At Woodbridge Police Department, the dispatchers discharge their duty at Woodbridge Police Central Communication Centre and their main role to dispatch police, medical and fire personnel to various points of the town as well as answering all 911 and routine police calls.
Other than being well staffed, the section has state of the art telecommunication equipment to ensure that all dispatching and communication needs within the county are met. The staff is also highly trained in the communication sector.
The section lacks a police information officer to who has to be charged with a responsibility of communicating a regular message with community through the media.
Detective Bureau/Investigative Service Unit (ISU)
This section has three police officers headed by Sgt. Frank Cappiello. The main function of this division is to investigate both felony and misdemeanor level crimes. This done by employing diligent well planned techniques for investigation to gather evidence, process it, analyze and protect it in their best efforts to solve offenses (Leidner).
The section boasts of well and improved planned investigative techniques to compact crimes. The personnel here are also well trained and are very industrious to make sure that the well-being and safety of the victims are restored through using many available resources. The core agenda of the department being to solve crime, the ISU section is strengthened in its bid to investigate it.
Being considerably the section that carries the main agenda as to why a police department is formed, its leadership is a bit small with only three members. This tends to slow down the whole process of investigating crime.
Information Technology (IT)
The IT section has Senior Computer Specialist/ Dispatcher Brian Freeman in charge. His duty is to maintain the servers of the department, mobile data terminals and workstations (Woodbridge Police). Furthermore, the section has a responsibility of coordinating the department's telephone and radio systems, entailing Enhanced 911 (Woodbridge Police).
The section has modern IT equipment and better services, which meet the expectations. There are frequent technological upgrades in equipment that ensures efficiency.
One officer is not enough for a section that handles all the information technology needs.
The records section is headed and run by Sr. Records Clerk, currently Carolyn Smith. This section deals with keeping all the records that relating to all reported crimes.
The section is professional managed with very suitable filing system in place to ensure the accuracy and safety of the reported cases.
The new system of recording calls for more training.
School Resource Officer (SRO) / Drug Abuse Education Officer (DARE)
The SRO/DARE sections are headed by Officer Richard Rizzuti and Officer Thomas Balch respectively. The main responsibility carried out by SRO is providing students with presentations concerning on topics related to the law. On the other hand, DARE targets children from kindergarten to 12th grade and teaches them ways of resisting peer pressure and lead violent and drug free lives (Leidner).
The section is well equipped with appropriate facilities to teach students and pupils about doing what is in accordance to the law and resist peer pressure.
Even though facilities are enough, the section still needs more officers to meet the needs of the ever increasing number of students in the county.
The division is commanded by Lieutenant Jeffery Leiby who completes the structure another one Sergeant. The key responsibility of this division is to make sure that the officers stay certified to carry out their sworn in duties.
The division has a well established and training program for all new officers, police trainers and also other crime investigators. The personnel here are also highly trained and skilled with a diverse workforce. Another strength held by this division is high accountability and meets expectations with a steady ideological message, mission and its consequent application (Woodbridge Police).
The budget is does not adequately support training and other related equipment and also there are no frequent training chances because of lack of time, staffing and funds.
Uniformed Service Division (USD)
This division is commanded by Sergeant Brian McCarthy. Its command structure entails three Sergeants and sixteen other officers. This is the initial line of defense for at the bottom of domestic tranquility within the community. The division uses more resources compared to any other and forms the backbone of Woodbridge Police Department. The division carries out preliminary investigations concerning any suspected crime. They use community policing to establish problems within the neighborhood. Other duties are traffic enforcement, regulation of some businesses, coordination of emergency operations and forwarding the information to the right component of the organization.
The division enjoys strong partnerships with other public institutions hence giving it an easy time to discharge their duties. Additionally it has a professional public image other than having highly trained personnel. There are also adequate, well maintained patrol cars and other equipment used to reach the community. The workforce is very energetic, young and ambitious, ready to learn and improve. There is also brilliant community support and involvement when it comes to block watches and citizen patrols.
The division has little capitol investment to tremendously improve technology and sometimes there are misinterpretations of duties between this division and the Investigative Service Unit (Woodbridge Police).
Strong support from the community to help amplify staffing, funding and upgrading the facilities is an opportunity that the department can exploit.
The Police Department should examine opportunities for partnering with federal, state and local law enforcement for additional efficiency.
The Woodbridge Police Department can opportunity from fines obtained from administrative parking. The funds obtained can be used to improve other sectors within the department. The department should also influence other community partners/resources public and private, non-profit to enhance problem solving (Woodbridge Police).
Re-inventing the culture of the Department, its image, professionalism and other business practices is another opportunity of the department. It should also initiate a workable process of citizen review to handle police complaints. Another socio-cultural opportunity is to diversify the department's personnel to by engaging the minority partners and actively recruit candidates from this group.
Technology can be upgraded in sectors such as document scanning, digital scanning and electronic warrant request. This coupled with persistent exploration of technologies like field based reporting, crime view and cameras will help maximize effectiveness.
Other than opportunities availing themselves for betterment of Woodbridge Police Department, there are a number of threats that face the department. The first threat is the restricted oversight budget that is setting the department up due to failure to train, staff or offer services as per the level committed to offer. In today's society where information technology is widely spread, there is an increase in cyber crimes, on the contrary the department lacks computer crimes unit to handle this situation (Woodbridge Police).
The staffing at Woodbridge Police Department has not been done in relation to the increasing work load being experienced currently. This is mainly because of the staffing problems. The other threat that the department is faced with is being short of preparedness for civil disturbance. The department hence remains at a capacity to deliver extra police services.
The Department also lacks capitol investment that would be sued to improve other functions like equipment, technology and facility. Lastly the urge to compete for other resources within the city such as snowplowing, facilities and MIS, halts the priorities of the department making the staff frustrated.
To keep up with the demand, Woodbridge Police Department has to enhance staff of both sworn and non-sworn personnel to appropriately address the elevated demands for services. As already looked at above, the operation of the department at capacity and is not in a position to maintain the increasing demand for services. The Department should therefore strive to maintain staffing levels.
Increased commitment to excellence is another step that has to taken by all personnel at the department to ensure that there is a commitment to provide exceptional customer services to the members of the public (Woodbridge Police). On the other had, it should also utilize technology through a continuous process of seeking for new technological approaches to maximize the department's efficiency. For increased presence within the community, the Department should set up a Community Service Officer to allow it a chance for of observing employees at work considering them for jobs as police officers.
The problem of inadequate training can be solved by sharing resources with other police departments in the region through partnering to acquire some of the technical equipments that are very expensive and work together in units that call for immense technical skill. Training has to be enhanced in all sections including recording and the new systems of filing.
Due to increased number of call responses, most of which are normally false, the department has to look for a way to reduce calls and their subsequent costs. This could be done by using a new ordinance to warn all those who own alarms and charge them for further responses.
Since its establishment, Woodbridge Police Department has been committed to provide excellent services to the residents of Central New Jersey. The Department has a total of eight sections, each of which is charged with a specific responsibility in line with operations of the whole department, mainly to ensure security within the neighborhood. Even though the Department tirelessly works with the community using its competent, experienced and energetic personnel, there are a number of weaknesses each section faces. Within the external environment, there are also a number of opportunities that can be utilized by Woodbridge Police Department to enhance efficiency in its operations. However, a number of threats are also available and the department should endeavor to eliminate them or otherwise convert the weaknesses into strengths.