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Andrews International (AI) provides private policing and problem resolution that effectively bridges the gap between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.
The White House recently announced a plan to strengthen relationships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they protect, in the face of ongoing protests, controversy, and destruction stemming from events in Ferguson, Missouri and the death of Eric Garner. A key element of the President's plan is a task force dedicated to encouraging strong relationships between police and the local community, as a proven method of fighting crime.
In Southern California, AI has operated a successful model of a public-private partnership focused on community safety and quality of life solutions since 2007. Under this model, AI deploys CAPS officers in a program that emphasizes problem-solving, bridge-building and social responsibility. The acronym "CAPS" captures what the program is all about: "Community Assisted Problem Solving."
Due to time and budget constraints, local police officers primarily provide reactive enforcement. In contrast, enforcement is not the focus of CAPS officers, although it is sometimes necessary. CAPS officers have the opportunity and resources to proactively solve problems and reduce the need for enforcement in the first place.
CAPS officers provide problem resolution through community outreach and engagement with citizens, public agencies, social services groups, local businesses, and other stakeholders. As an example, in Southern California, our CAPS team maintains strong relationships with the city police, county sheriff, City Council offices, Chamber of Commerce, Health Department, City Attorney's Office, and a multitude of social services agencies. CAPS officers also make hundreds of positive community contacts each week.
Whether they are retired law enforcement personnel or career security professionals, CAPS officers are hired from the local area and are personally invested in the communities they serve. Our CAPS officers in Southern California receive well over 100 hours of formal training each year. Over the contract term, these officers have made more than 10,000 private persons' arrests, but they have provided many more solutions to quality of life issues.
Through visible security presence, a culture of respect, and success connecting people with solutions and resources, CAPS is an effective agent of change. In Southern California, successful reduction of crime in the area policed by CAPS officers has been recognized in a RAND report and has continued throughout the contract period, with arrests declining by more than 40%.
An investment in CAPS is an investment in the community. Local police can focus their resources on critical crime issues, while CAPS officers provide professional solutions to improve community safety, security, and quality of life.