OSWEGO — Mayor Billy Barlow announced a new policy mandate for the Oswego Police Department.
From June through November, the Oswego Police Department will be required to conduct a minimum of 80 hours of foot or bicycle patrols each month, in an effort to bring more police officers into city neighborhoods and parks, to further engage in, and to enhance community policing efforts in Oswego.
Officers will track interactions with city residents, providing an opportunity for the department to partner with neighborhoods, understand the issues most important to them and to act on their priorities. The mandate is part of a broader effort by the Oswego Police Department to implement new ideas and policies in response to recent nationwide calls for change in law enforcement.
“Now more than ever, local law enforcement needs to be closer to the citizens they serve and protect. Placing officers in our neighborhoods on foot and bike patrols, provides an opportunity for more positive interactions between our police and city residents, increased communication and the development of relationships that will help to assure individuals that local law enforcement is an asset to our community,” said Mayor Barlow. “By mandating a minimum number of hours our officers will be present on foot and bike patrols in neighborhoods, we can provide our residents with a firsthand look at how well-informed, trained and helpful our police officers can be, and provide our officers with the ability to understand and act on the issues affecting our neighborhoods,” Barlow said.
Philip Cady, Chief of the Oswego Police Department said, “Bike and foot patrols allow officers to be more approachable for city residents and also allows us to patrol areas such as Linear Park and other city parks that are otherwise inaccessible by car. Mayor Barlow’s mandate builds on our new Neighborhood Engagement Team idea of Community Policing and will enhance partnerships with our community. The Oswego Police Department needs to be accessible to the public, building relationships and improving communication while protecting our community and an increase in foot and bike patrols will helps us do that.”
Mayor Barlow’s announcement follows the announcement earlier, of the establishment of a Neighborhood Engagement Team (NET), two permanently assigned officers, to conduct public outreach and attend to neighborhood issues, ranging from consistently disruptive properties and code enforcement issues, to neighborhood nuisances. Last fall, Mayor Barlow and the Oswego Common Council also allocated $90,000 for “Quality of Life” patrols to focus on neighborhood disruptions and criminal activity throughout the City of Oswego.