By Ed Martin, Editor
Lemoore Police Chief Darrel Smith
Lemoore Police Chief Darrel Smith

The Lemoore Police Department is taking a new and exciting approach to helping improve the city’s quality of life. Chief Darrell Smith announced last week that the police department will be expanding its abilities to combat specific quality of life issues within the city.

Beginning May 1 the department will deploy a Problem Oriented Policing (POP) team. This two-man team will be staffed by Corporal Mark Pescatore and Officer Anthony Braly.

“The concept is not a new one,” said Smith. “A year ago, in May 2014, I established goals for a 12-month period while working on my strategic plan and POP was established with an implementation date of May, 2015. When I was in Hanford we had a POP Team and had tremendous success and I expect the same with this unit.” 

The team will study emerging crime trends and statistics and develop proactive plans to address those issues, and will work in partnership with the community to identify problems, analyze the problems, develop a custom response, and ultimately evaluate the success in eliminating or minimizing those problems.

The POP team will work closely with the patrol officers to address problems identified by officers during the course of their patrol shifts that require specific time and attention not afforded to patrol officers due to the volume of calls for service.

The POP team will work closely with the City of Lemoore Code Enforcement Officer and Neighborhood Watch block captains to identify nuisance houses and problems within specific neighborhoods and address them accordingly. They will also work closely with the apartment managers and apartment complex owners in the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program to deal with problem tenants to keep the apartment complexes within the city free of drugs, gangs, and nuisance tenants.

A continued partnership with the Kings County Probation Department will allow them to monitor individuals on probation residing within the city and conduct searches to ensure compliance with the terms set forth by the courts.

The ultimate goal of the Lemoore Police Department POP team is to build on the solid partnerships already built through years of community oriented policing to enhance the quality of life for each resident within the City of Lemoore.