GPD rebuilds after battling staffing issues for years

Cassie Tafoya/Arizona Silver Belt Chief Dale Walters is pictured signing a birthday card for one of his officers.

Globe Police Department has over the years become unpopular with many citizens. Maybe it was a bad run in with law enforcement, or a case that didn’t get handled properly, whatever the reason Chief Dale Walters did his homework on the department before coming to Globe and accepting this position.

One key for retention in this community is to try to pull from this community. Chief Walters finds it’s very important to try and get people who are from here, want to live here or have ties to the community other than their job. They have hired a number of people that were here, from here or are moving here. Walters believes that a police department should be part of the community and should invest in the community they serve.

For the first time in many years, the Globe Police Department is fully staffed meaning more efficient work can be done in different areas. For years the investigations were usually ran by one detective because of staffing issues, now there are three. Staffing is a big part of preventing issues that have been seen in the past along with updating policies and procedures.

Currently all of the policies and procedures are being rebuilt to become accredited through the Arizona Association of Chiefs and Police. This will create a way to make sure the GPD will be current and compliant with audits done annually. This lays the foundation for years to come.

One goal that Chief Walters has set for himself “is to right the ship but to also create a foundation so they don’t get back in the hole that they were in.”

The police department was ill-equip, ill-trained and grossly understaffed for years. In 2015 the GPD had an audit completed stating all these factors. This audit can be found online.

Since accepting the position of Globe Police Chief, eight sworn officers have left the police department, five officers have been put through the academy, the need for detectives have been filled, and a schedule has been created that has moved officers from a 12-hour shift to 10-hour shift to help reduce fatigue. The changes have allowed more coverage during the times of higher needs.

There has also been a tremendous focus on traffic safety. Globe Police Department has partnered with the Govoner’s Office of Highway Safety and received grant funding to help make an impact on the speeding and DUI issues. In the time that Chief Walters has been with the GPD, there have been five fatalities related to traffic.

The relationships between all the local law enforcement agencies has also helped bridge a gap and improved coverage of areas and decreased response times.

Ongoing officer training along with updated equipment improves the job performance of each officer.

These changes are all part of the 21st Century Policing that Chief Walters really takes to heart. This is something that had been implemented nationally and now we are seeing it in our local police department.

Community policing is a law enforcement strategy that emphasizes the systematic use of community engagement, partnerships and problem solving techniques to proactively address conditions that cultivate crime and social disorder.

Community policing requires cooperation among police, citizens, and local decision-makers in order to forge effective partnerships that combat criminal activity.

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