April 11, 2018
CONTACT: Officer Chuck McPhilamy
Sharp reduction credited to PSA Program
In 2017, the City of Marietta conceived the Public Safety Ambassador (PSA) Program based on the Evidence-Based policing methodology used to maximize efficiency and effectiveness. A cadre of non-sworn police employees were hired to perform non-critical/non-dangerous police functions, freeing up officers’ time to focus on crime-fighting and responding to emergency calls for service. For Marietta, the implementation of the PSA Program has been an experiment in applied Evidence-Based Policing.
The PSA Program has now been in operation for six full months and our initial evaluation is indeed very promising. Comparing the six months PSA’s have been on the road (October 2017 through March 2018) with the identical six-month period one year prior yielded some interesting findings. PSAs have written 525 incident reports, 229 private property accidents reports and logged 3,523 targeted zone patrols.
By freeing up Uniform Officers time, the overall average MPD response time to calls for police service, in comparable six-month periods, has dropped from 2 minutes and 44 seconds in 2016-17 to 2 minutes and 20 seconds in 2017-18. When lives are in danger 24 seconds can be an eternity!
While our six-month comparison is preliminary, all early indicators for the PSA Program are positive. Response times are down, crime is down, and positive community relations are all very good. Promising as this scenario is for Marietta, we remain cautious not to give all credit to one program. As the skill, creativity and enthusiasm of Marietta Police Officers grow, there are innumerable benefits for our community. Nevertheless, the experiment of bringing local citizens in as ambassadors to help us keep our community safe, seems to be working in the spirit of Evidence-Based Policing.
This PIR contains excerpts from a letter written by Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn to the residents of Marietta. The original letter can be found in its entirety on the Marietta Police Website: http://www.mariettaga.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1664