Q&A: Cottonwood Neighborhood Officer Chris Dowell
Editor's Note: This is the fourth in a series of profiles on the Cottonwood Police Department's Neighborhood Officer Program.
The Cottonwood Police Department has created a Neighborhood Officer Program that divides the city into nine distinct “neighborhoods.” The objective of the Neighborhood Officer Program is to identify community issues, concerns, problems and crime trends which have long term quality of life issues.
The Neighborhood Officer will act as a liaison between the Police Department, the community, and a variety of city agencies as necessary to address problems and reduce criminal activity.
The Neighborhood Officer responsibilities:
• Take primary “ownership” and identify and address crime issues within their assigned neighborhood.
• Assist with public education, crime prevention, and neighborhood specific problems and help with coordination of other city services.
• Track neighborhood problems and crimes that affect the overall quality of life in a neighborhood and require repeated police response.
You can contact your Neighborhood Officer via email on the Cottonwood Police Department’s web page under “Find Your Neighborhood Officer.”
Cottonwood Officer Chris Dowell is responsible for the CW1 neighborhood, which is the area north of Mingus Avenue and east of Main Street to 10th Street.
What steps will you take to learn about the neighborhood to which you are assigned and what will you do to make sure the people in this neighborhood know you?
Officer Dowell: I contact the residents on a weekly basis and have general conversations with them about me and the program.
How much time will you be able to invest into interfacing with your assigned neighborhood on a weekly basis? What are your priorities with how you use your time in the neighborhood policing program?
Officer Dowell: Currently I have no time each week for this program due to the other responsibilities (Quartermaster, Cadets, Pre-Academy recruits, fleet, MRAP, and TLO) I have and the heavy patrol shift I am on along with the shortage of personnel… (Modified Days). My priorities are to respond to issues as they arise. I am also the only officer assigned to my area.
What do you want the people and businesses in the neighborhood to which you are assigned to know about you?
Officer Dowell: That I am dedicated to issues that arise in my area.
What are the most obvious needs you see about the neighborhood to which you are assigned? What is your plan to help this neighborhood meet those needs.
Officer Dowell: Most of my neighborhood area consists of single family residences and apartments so the needs of the area are typical family neighborhood issues like barking dogs, neighbor disputes and illegally parked vehicles. I try and get out when I can to make contact with the people who live in the area so that I can address community before things becomes issues.