Patrol is a 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year responsibility. As such, Patrol is the largest function of the Police Department. The patrol function is covered by two Patrol Divisions, each with three Patrol Squads. All Patrol Squads are staffed by a Sergeant, a Corporal, and eight to 12 Officers. Generally, when citizens need police assistance, Patrol Officers handle these calls.
Patrol duties include: responding to and resolving calls for service, detecting crime through proactive policing, making contact with citizens and businesses as part of community outreach, conducting preliminary investigations, enforcing traffic laws, and documenting events through report writing.
Patrol Officers use several modes of transportation. Primarily, the fleet is comprised of Chevrolet and Ford sedans. In addition to marked and unmarked patrol vehicles, Officers use bicycles, Segways, and foot patrols. To maximize visibility and availability, each patrol vehicle is equipped with a mobile laptop computer. This allows Officers to complete a majority of their paperwork out on the street.
In 2016, the Patrol Divisions handled 75,894 calls for service. A significant percentage of these calls for service were Officer-initiated. For example, Officers conducted over 15,000 patrol checks and foot patrols in specific areas to detect or prevent crime, made over 11,900 traffic stops to enforce violations of motor vehicle laws, and conducted over 1900 business checks to meet owners and employees.