Community policing is a catchphrase that has become commonplace among law enforcement agencies. This concept has been part of the philosophy of the Norton Police Department since 1994. Community policing differs from typical law enforcement responses to crime in that it is a proactive plan as opposed to a reactive effort. When a problem surfaces in the community, not only is the obvious situation addressed, but more importantly, the underlying causes of the problem are sought and remedied.
There are several programs within the Norton Police Department that align with this philosophy.
Our newest program is the problem oriented policing unit, named the ACT Team. The Norton Police Department’s Anti-Crime Team (ACT) mission is to target various types of crime in our community. The Team consists of a dedicated group of officers that implement non-traditional enforcement techniques to suppress crime and make a positive impact on community using a problem oriented policing approach (POP). The Team is tasked with the responsibility of conducting narcotic investigations, conducting anti-gang operations, gathering intelligence information, apprehending fugitives, and conducting operations in any problem areas of the community. The Team focuses primarily on the most violent criminals in our community and the neighborhoods affected most by violent crime. The Anti-Crime Team serves as a support unit to the Patrol Division and Detective Division. The team also works with the School Resourse Officer. The Anti-Crime Team is an added resource for those units in need of additional manpower.
The Anti-Crime Team also works with outside agencies such as neighboring POP teams, probation, parole and others. The Team not only works closely with Law Enforcement agencies but also communicates and works closely with the community and neighborhood groups. The Anti-Crime Team is an added resource for both the department and the community at large.
The Anti-Crime Team is comprised of members of the Command Staff, Patrol Division, and Detective Division. The member’s bring an array of resources, experiences, and knowledge to the team. This way the team is multi-faceted and non-territorial, linking all areas of the department. Contact Det.. Jesse Winters or Ptlm. Nicholas Precourt for further information on ACT program.
We also work very closely with the Norton Public Schools. Sgt. Jacob Dennett is assigned as a fulltime School Resource Officer. Sgt. Dennett runs several programs throughout the school year at the various schools and maintains an office at Norton High School. We are also pleased to offer the DARE program at the Yelle Elementary School. Ptlm. Charles Turcotte is the DARE instructor and provides instruction to our 5th graders.
One of the most highly visible and productive is the Bicycle Unit. The Norton Police Department has eighteen certified bicycle officers and 6 fully equipped police package mountain bikes. Due to the nature of our community and department, bicycle patrol officers typically engage in mobile deployment. Each police cruiser is fitted with a hitch that allows a bike carrying rack to be attached to it. An officer can pedal through a neighborhood or business district and still be able to respond to other areas of town if needed. Contact Lt. Todd Jackson for further information about the Bicycle Unit.
Another program for the department is Rape Aggression Defense (RAD). This self defense course designed for and taught only to women, is a self empowering course that teaches the basics of self defense and provides options for a woman that may be otherwise victimized. Please contact Sgt. Jacob Dennett for further information on the RAD program.
The Norton Police Department Motorcycle Unit hit the streets in May of 2001. A Harley-Davidson police package motorcycle has been purchasest and the unit will be focusing on high visibility patrol of schools, senior housing, business and neighborhoods, as well as interacting with the citizens in these areas. If you would like to have the Motorcycle Unit in your area or at a function, please contact Ptlm. John N. Chmielinski.
The department is currently implementing the TRIAD Program in conjunction with the Norton Council on Aging and the Norton Senior Center to further enhance communication between the police department and the senior citizens of Norton. Please contact our Elder Affairs officer, Sgt. John Goodwin for further information on the Triad Program.
The department is also very active in local, state and national events as well. The Norton Police Honor Guard is perhaps the most visible in Norton's Memorial Day, Veteran's Day and Halloween parades every year. In addition, they also participate in the Newport, RI National Police Parade, the Special Olympics in Boston and the National Police Week ceremonies in Washington, D.C.. These events are a tremendous opportunity not only to represent our department, but to interact with our citizens and others, both before and after the events. For more information, or to request the Honor Guard for an event, please call the station or email Lt. Todd Jackson