Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $150,000)
The City of Bloomfield has an estimated population of 7,643 according to the 2020 estimated population report by the Census Bureau. According to the 1990, 2000 and 2010 decennial census, San Juan County has a persistent-poverty level average of 24.6% over the last 30 years. The Bloomfield Police Department currently has 19 sworn officers that service the city, 2 full-time and 2 part-time civilian supporting staff members.
The City of Bloomfield has seen an exceptionally high increase in violent crimes over the last two years. Shooting cases saw a 500% increase in 2020 from 2019. 2021 is showing a 150% increase from 2019 for the year thus far. We also have a 30% increase over the last 5-years in violent crimes consisting of assaults, homicides, robberies, rapes, and shootings.
The primary goal of our violent crime program is to decrease the fast-rising rates of our violent crimes and to implement specific resources in helping to identify trends, repeat offenders, and assist officers in the apprehension of violent suspects. Being a smaller department with limited manpower, we will need to rely on the community, focused training, and creative technology to assist our focus areas. To assist officers and detectives in identifying issues, we will be expanding the role of our Officer Manager to Crime Analyst. We will be sending her to several crime analysis trainings over the next 3-years. In addition, our detectives will be attending trainings that directly relates to violent crimes that affect our community the most. We will also be implementing a computerized violent crime center in our squad hall.
Currently, sergeants send a short email out to the department as a shift brief with significant events during their shift. While these updates have value, they do not assist the next shift on what specific details to look out for, information on trends, or timelines of criminal activity. By transforming the shift brief into an interactive presentation, we hope officers will have more resources and details to keep the community safe and reduce violent crime activity.
Lastly, we will implement the StopIt app for the community to update officers with suspicious activity in their area. The app will help engage our residents, give our officers real-time information on suspicious activities, and help our analyst incorporate live data into timelines and bulletins.