Independence Police Department
Police Bike Patrol
Unit Commander: Lieutenant Scott Paul
Police Bike Patrols became popular with police agencies in the early 20th century. The maneuverability of bicycles on crowded sidewalks and their ability to navigate narrow, crowded driveways offered advantages over what is provided by a traditional police vehicle.
The Independence Police Bike Patrol Unit is comprised of 7 officers that are equipped with specially designed bikes. The officers have received Police Mountain Bike Training. These officers patrol the various side streets and off road paths in the city. These officers are assigned to different sections of the city at different times to provide more coverage. While on the bike, an officer is able to sneak up on unsuspecting suspects and/or situations.
Bike Patrol is a way for officers and the public to have more interaction because the officer is more accessible while on the bike
Bike Patrol has proved to be very beneficial during annual city events such as the Independence Day Celebration, Christmas Walk, and parades. Bike Patrol permits officers to penetrate large crowds quickly.
The Independence Police takes action when complaints of speeding come into the department. With use of the department’s Speed Monitoring Awareness Radar Trailer (S.M.A.R.T.) we hope to deter speeding in problem areas. The S.M.A.R.T. unit has a sophisticated computer system protected by an alarm. It collects the actual speed of every vehicle, time it passed through the area, the average speed of the vehicles in a given time frame and an accurate count of how many vehicles traveled on this portion of the road. The computer has software that is compatible with the personal computers located inside the police department. The collected data is downloaded and a detailed report is generated.
In addition, the department has a STEALTH Speed Detector Device. This unit is mounted on a utility pole along the street. The device is not easily seen by motorists. The purpose for this device is to obtain true data of speed. Since motorists cannot see the unit, they are not aware their speed is being monitored. Officers cannot issue speeding citations from this device.The Speed Monitoring System used by the Independence Police Department works as follows: Once a complaint is received of excessive speed in an area the SMART unit is set up. After several days, the unit is set to calculate the peak violation times in conjunction with their average speeds. After data is collected using the SMART system and officer will be assigned to run radar and to enforce posted speed limits in the area of concern. It is not the goal of the Independence Police Department to issue a large number of speeding citations; the goal is to reduce the amount of traffic accidents are caused by vehicles traveling at higher speeds. The final step would be to obtain data from the STEALTH device. Once all data is compiled and reviewed any steps needed to amend speeding in the problem area will be taken.
The City of Independence is not immune to many of the problems which face our large urban cities across America. As our community is growing and bringing new citizens, we are seeing an increase in abuse of prescription medication, illicit drug usage and drug trafficking. The types of drugs typically abused include marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and prescription medications. These drugs have been found in vehicles traveling our roads, in homes in our communities and in our schools.
Many of the other crimes committed can be traced to drug use. Property crimes such as burglaries, robberies, and thefts can normally be linked to the need for money to purchase drugs. Offenders normally sell or trade the property they have stolen to finance their habit. Many offenders have habits which can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars per day depending on their drug of choice.
The patrol division of the Independence Police Department has taken a proactive approach to fighting the drug problem. Several of our patrol officers have received specialized drug training which aids them in the investigation of drug complaints and compliments their daily patrol work. The training received aids in the identification of drug usage, the type of drugs being used/sold, identifying the areas of our community where drug traffic is highest and gives them an overall basis to start an investigation. Each of our patrol officers is equipped with a drug field test kit to help identify a particular drug seized in the field. Our agency cooperates and shares information with other agencies to help track drug traffickers from community to community.
In addition to proactive patrol work, our department fights the drug problem through the education of our citizens. Programs have been established in our schools to educate youth on the effects of drugs on their lives and how to fight peer pressure. Programs are taught to our adult citizens through the Independence Police Citizen's Police Academy on the identification of a variety of drugs and the types of paraphernalia common to drug usage. Our agency has a variety of education materials available to the general public. The police department’s web site contains an area where citizens can make an anonymous complaint about a drug problem or general crime problem in their area. Citizens are encouraged to dispose of prescription medications in disposal receptacles located in various facilities around the area.