Geographic Based Policing
As citizens and visitors of the City of North Myrtle Beach it is important that you understand the philosophy of your law enforcement agency. The North Myrtle Beach Department of Public Safety (NMBDPS) has embraced the principles of Community Oriented Policing (COP) since the late 1990’s. However, until recently the department did not make the necessary structural and internal cultural changes to truly adopt COP as an organizational philosophy.
Changes to the Department
Beginning in 2011, NMBDPS made a series of changes including:
- Restructured patrol assignments from a two-week rotational format (nights and days) to permanently assigned shifts
- The addition of a full-time crime analyst
- De-specialization by training front line officers in crime scene investigation
More changes occurred in 2014. These changes included:
- The adoption of the Police Training Officer program for training new officers
- A focus on place based policing
About Geo- Policing
In 2015, the department implemented Geographic Based Policing (Geo- Policing). Geo- Policing is not new to law enforcement. It can be said that Geo- Policing has been around as long as modern law enforcement itself. In addition, Geo- Policing is essentially a component of community oriented and problem oriented policing (COP/POP). At its core Geo- Policing involves assigning officers and supervisors to specific geographic areas as a framework for placed based policing.
Geo- Policing is a fundamental shift in the way NMBDPS delivers police services to the community and involves all levels of the agency. This shift in philosophy moves away from one being based on time and persons to one of place. Geo- Policing places an emphasis on enhancing community relationships, and problem solving.
In order to reach its goals NMBDPS redistricted the city and allocated personnel to permanent geographic assignments based on calls for service data, geography, and demographics. In addition to redistricting and the re-allocation of line personnel front line supervisors and mid-level managers were reassigned to supervise particular beats, areas, and districts.
Law Enforcement Districts
The following map illustrates the cities reorganization for law enforcement services. The city is divided into two districts, north and south. Districts are further divided into areas, which are in turn clustered into beats. Officers are permanently assigned to patrol a particular beat. The eight police sergeants in uniform patrol are assigned to a particular squad but also to a permanent district. Likewise, the two patrol lieutenants are now district commanders and oversee the delivery of law enforcement services in their assigned district.