The Everett Police Department Crime Prevention Unit was honored as the Washington State Crime Prevention Unit of the Year at the Washington State Crime Prevention Association luncheon held on April 29, 2010 in Spokane.
Crime Prevention Officers Aaron Snell and Ed Golden, the unit supervisor Sergeant Robert Goetz and Chief Jim Scharf were on hand to receive the award. This year’s award was received for the unit’s efforts in making crime prevention easier for law enforcement around the nation through the development of “Project Impact.” Below is a brief history and synopsis of how Project Impact came to be and the success’s we’ve experience since projects inception.
In September of 2008, the Everett Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit was tasked with designing a more efficient way of communicating with and helping the City of Everett’s residents reduce crime. This request was based on the perception of rising crime rates.
After researching the problem, a multi-pronged solution called Project Impact emerged. The primary objective was to streamline and market the crime prevention message effectively to all areas of the community with the goal of getting residents to acknowledge and implement techniques to make their community safer.
The key to successfully implementing Project Impact was developing a dynamic marketing plan. For this, four distinct strategies emerged. These were social networking, directed marketing, local media and personal marketing.
The plan included rebranding the unit and creating new material with community action items. Also, every topic supported by the unit was designated as a program or community education. Programs are designed for larger groups whereas community education is topic specific. To implement community education, the calendar year was broken into quarterly topics to target crimes residents experience during those times.
A second objective was to create an implementation tool for law enforcement to make Project Impact a turn-key crime prevention program for law enforcement agencies. This objective was achieved by the creation of a comprehensive but easy to use software program. The software contained all of the programs and community education pieces allowing the ability for departments to add their crest and contact information to the predesigned educational material. In this manner, our materials could be customized for any law enforcement agency to use.
Project Impact was presented at the 2009 International Association of Chiefs of Police conference to over 150 chief administrators from law enforcement agencies around the world. Since then, 54 agencies have confirmed they use Project Impact within their communities. Looking forward, future updates will include color choice options for the marketing material and Spanish language translations.
There is much more to learn about the Everett Police Department Crime Prevention Unit including the opportunity to be a friend of Colby the Crime Prevention Dog on Facebook. Colby is the crime prevention unit’s mascot that has made appearance at the 4th of July parade, Silvertips games, and Q-13’s Washington’s Most Wanted. His page name is Colby Everett.
Please joins us in congratulating these officer and the department for their fine work.