Pillar Four: Community Policing and Crime Reduction

         Community policing is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies that support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.
Police interventions must be implemented with strong policies and training in place, rooted in an understanding of procedural justice. Indeed, without that, police interventions can easily devolve into racial profiling, excessive use of force, and other practices that disregard civil rights, causing negative reactions from people living in already challenged communities.
Yet mutual trust and cooperation, two key elements of community policing, are vital to protecting residents of these communities from the crime and identified social harms. Community policing combines a focus on intervention and prevention through problem solving with building collaborative partnerships between law enforcement agencies and schools, social services, and other stakeholders. In this way, community policing not only improves public safety but also enhances social connectivity and economic strength, which increases community resilience to crime.
Problem solving, another key element of community policing, is critical to prevention. And problems must be solved in partnership with the community in order to effectively address chronic crime and disorder problems.
In summary, law enforcement’s obligation is not only to reduce crime but also to do so fairly while protecting the rights of citizens. Any prevention strategy that unintentionally violates civil rights, compromises police legitimacy, or undermines trust is counterproductive from both ethical and cost-benefit perspectives. Ignoring these considerations can have both financial costs (e.g., lawsuits) and social costs (e.g., loss of public support).
It must also be stressed that the absence of crime is not the final goal of law enforcement. Rather, it is the promotion and protection of public safety while respecting the dignity and rights of all. And public safety and well-being cannot be attained without the community’s belief that their well- being is at the heart of all law enforcement activities. It is critical to help community members see police as allies rather than as an occupying force and to work in concert with other community stakeholders to create more economically and socially stable neighborhoods.

ETPD Action on Pillar Four

Some of ETPD community policing programs include:
Social media outreaches through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Nextdoor.
Shop with a Cop / No Shave November / Pink badges / Yoga with Police
Pizza with police / Coffee with a cop / Helmet tickets 7-11 free Slurpee
Ice Cream Trucks in neighborhoods / Trunk or Treat / Child Seat Check points
Vacation checks / Active Shooter Training Courses / Autism ID Program
Crafts with Police / Residential and Business Security Surveys /
Neighborhood Chalk -free pizza to children / Medicine drop box
Neighborhood surveillance Program / Baseball card program /
Craigslist Safety Zone / HERO Campaign/Savings Lives
Virtual Ride Along Program / Firearms Safety Course
Baking with Police / Women’s self-defense classes / Outdoor boot camp

Citizens Police Academy (8 weeks) (two times per year)
Youth Police Academy (2 weeks per summer)
Lead Leadership Camp (1 week per year)
Volunteers in Police Service (2020 Goal)
In 2014, under Chief Chew’s direction ETPD created our first Police Chaplain Program. ETPD recognizes the influence and impact that faith based leaders have in people’s lives within the community. The agency will work together in a partnership with qualified religious leaders of all denominations, who are available to respond during a crisis or in time of need in providing a more personalized quality of service to the community. The religious leaders will perform tasks of a more spiritual nature while the officer addresses those tasks that are of law enforcement nature.
Police Chaplains shall be requested to perform the following duties and any other duties that may be assigned by the Chief of Police:
 Assist the agency in making notifications to families concerning serious injuries or death
 Visit sick or injured police department personnel at home or in the hospital
 Attend and participate in funerals of active and retired members of the agency
 Counsel police personnel regarding personal problems and stationhouse adjustments
 Coordinate and conduct memorial services
 Participate in in-service training programs;
 Attend departmental functions such as graduations, promotions, and award ceremonies
 Assist in programs and counseling targeted at youthful offenders
 Assist in enhancing public relations and community outreach
 Meet with the Chief of Police and other police personnel on a regular basis for the purpose of ongoing evaluations, development of programs, and discussion of departmental morale.
In 2015, under Chief Chew’s direction the ETPD Explorer Program was developed to educate and involve youth in law enforcement operations, to interest them in possible law enforcement careers and to build mutual understanding. The Evesham Township Police Department Explorer Program is affiliated with the Explorer Division of the Boy Scouts of America. Explorer Post #22 is a cadet program designed for students who are interested in any aspect of law enforcement. This program is designed to develop self-esteem, discipline, good citizenship, and leadership, while creating a better understanding between the Evesham Township Police Department and the youth of our community. As a result of this very successful program, our agency hired two former female explorers to full time police officers- Kellie Demofonte & Carley Szwajkokwski
In 2019, under Chief Chew’s direction the ETPD established our first ever Special Law Enforcement Officer I Officer Program. The position of SLEO I was established to supplement the department’s complement of full-time officers. The goal of the SLEO I program is to maintain our commitment from the Police Explorer Program to the experience of SLEO I Officer to hopefully transition into a full-time police officer with the ETPD.
In 2014, under Chief Chew’s direction ETPD established the LEAD Program. ETPD developed the LEAD curriculum to be delivered by a uniformed full-time law enforcement officer. The department has embraced the concept of officers interacting with and instructing students in the school environment. It is believed that the experience can assist school aged children with the development of skills needed to identify and resist social pressures to experiment with drugs and alcohol, and to reduce the incidence of violence among teens.
In 2018, under Chief Chew’s direction ETPD created our School Resource Officer (SRO) position which was developed to provide a uniformed police presence in the school to stabilize the educational environment and provide the students, staff and administrators with a liaison to this department. It was our anticipated goal that the presence of this officer in the school would engender a cooperative effort between the school and law enforcement communities designed to identify groups and individuals whose purpose may be to disrupt educational and/ or extra-curricular activities, threaten or intimidate individuals or groups, or cause personal injury or property damage. Additionally, this officer will be available to provide advice and guidance to students and staff, and where necessary, recommend and refer students and their families to the appropriate agency for counseling and/ or treatment of various societal problems. One of the additional benefits of the SRO program was that children from kindergarten through high school would be exposed to the positive effects of police officers in Evesham Township and would view the police as respected and caring members of the community.
In 2018, under Chief Chew’s direction ETPD was the first in South New Jersey to participate in the Straight to…Treatment Program. The goal of the program is the policy of the Evesham Township Police Department and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office Straight… to Treatment Program to help reduce the impact of heroin and opiate abuse in our community while encouraging those who suffer from addiction to seek help and experience recovery. The Evesham Township Police Department and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office has made a commitment to treat all those suffering from addiction with compassion, care, and concern and provide resources to assist in their recovery. Since 2018, our Straight to…Treatment Program has screened over 140 individuals and have either immediately placed in the detoxification centers or have directed to long-term outpatient care.
In 2019, under Chief Chew’s direction ETPD created the #NotEvenOnce Program at Cherokee High School. This program is in response to the growing opiate epidemic in New Jersey. In 2017 there were 144 documented fatal overdoses in Burlington County, 9 of which were in Evesham Township with our youngest fatality being only 15 years of age. This program is instructed by police officers and is a collaborative effort between law enforcement and educators with the goal of informing students about the dangers of opiates before they leave for college or enter the work force. This program coincides with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for health classes and is taught to students during their senior year of high school. This program is unique in that it informs students of how this epidemic directly affects their own community. Students hear from former Cherokee High School graduates who succumbed to opiate abuse and subsequent addiction who are presently in recovery and have a strong foundation to help deter others from following the same path. In addition to hearing from past graduate’s students hear from a Marlton family, Stephen and Debra Huffnagle, who lost their son to opiate addiction in 2015. Maxwell “Max” Huffnagle was a 2010 graduate of Cherokee High School. With this training we hope to decrease the statistics within our community.
In 2015, under Chief Chew’s direction ETPD partnered with the Southern Burlington County Chapter of the NAACP to host a training night on issues affecting the community. During this evening, members of the chapter conducted ride-alongs with our patrol officers to gain a better understanding of the community’s needs and information on police operations..
In 2014, under Chief Chew’s direction ETPD created tour first annual awards dinner to acknowledge the efforts of the employees of the department and members of the community.
In 2014, under Chief Chew’s direction ETPD assisted in creating the police foundation to assist in raising funds to help support the police department in purchasing items outside of the operating budget. Some of these items include: purchase of K-9, community policing supplies, pay for Shop with a Cop, and purchase Police Chaplain uniforms.
In 2020, under Chief Chew’s direction ETPD has partnered with the United Voices of Evesham as an avenue to establish a formal community/citizen advisory committees to assist in developing crime prevention strategies and agency policies as well as provide input on policing issues. The United Voices of Evesham is a grassroots campaign led by two members of the African American Community who want to partner with the police department to openly discuss any issues in Evesham Township along with providing valuable input on services provided by the ETPD.