Recognizing that a significant amount of law enforcement response is reactive in nature, the administration of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office has consistently moved in the direction of community-oriented policing. Our goal is to work directly with local elected officials, schools, courts, businesses and community leaders to identify specific areas of need and develop strategies to address those needs. We believe that the proactive measures involved in community policing concepts have a direct impact on the reactive actions required of law enforcement. Community-oriented policing has proven to be a valuable tool in dealing with the rapid growth occurring within Ottawa County.
Cooperative efforts between local units of government, school districts, and the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office have lead to many successful Federal grant awards over the years, such as the Department of Justice “COPS” Grant. These programs have provided much of the initial financial foundation for the growth of community policing in Ottawa County. Continued support and partnerships by local units of government, schools, and the county have made community-oriented policing a stable, effective method of proactive law enforcement within Ottawa County.
Community policing deputies are a visible presence in the communities they serve. In addition to actively participating in community events, the deputies work closely with local units of government, schools, and courts on issues specific to that particular entity. Listed below are some examples of the various Community Policing Programs and activities in which deputies participate.
- Crime Free Multi-Housing Programs
- Zoning Ordinance Enforcement
- Bicycle Patrols
- Child Passenger Safety Education
- Neighborhood Watch
- Bicycle/Helmet Safety Education
- Hunter Safety Instruction
- Boating Safety Instruction
- Senior Citizen Issues/Presentations
- Business Interests/Presentations
- Bicycle Registration Programs
- Quality of Life Issues
- Traffic Control-Selective Enforcement
- Vacation Property Watch
In addition to the programs listed, deputies also focus their efforts on temporary problem solving, such as traffic enforcement in a newly created construction zone, follow-up on school bus violations, and enforcement of sex offender registration laws. Finally, all community policing deputies carry a criminal investigation caseload as a part of their obligation to the community they serve.