The Lewiston Police Department’s Community Resource Team works with community partners to make the city of Lewiston a safer place for people to work, live, and raise their family here. CRT officers identify quality of life issues, and address and improve these issues in collaboration with community and business organizations and other city departments.
The Team participates in numerous community collaborative meetings to provide insight into the common issues patrol officers see on the streets. These meetings help the CRT, the police department as a whole, the community, and the various organizations and city departments to come together to identify issues and work on probable solutions. The ability of the CRT to facilitate connecting different partners has proven to be an effective way to assist those community members in need; especially those with needs that cannot be address by law enforcement.
Some of the specific groups in need are the elderly and those suffering with mental illness, both populations the police department often has contact with. The department connects those individuals with the proper service providers to improve their individual care and needs.
Also, with the rapid growth of the city’s immigrant population since 2001, the police department has taken a leading role in reaching out to our new neighbors to form partnerships and address the unique needs of our immigrant community. Newly arrived immigrants often are not aware of the resources available to them, and the CRT makes itself available to inform new residents of the resources available, and in many cases assist in bringing those resources directly to them. As a result of being committed to accessibility, the department has developed strong and lasting relationships with community leaders and the community as a whole.
By incorporating flexibility in the hours of work within the context of a 40-hour work schedule, the officers are able to accommodate and participate in community events and programs which support LPD’s commitment to being accessible to the community.
The CRT continues to have success in its three objectives: identify problems that are a concern to the community, continue to develop strong relationships between community members and the police department, and to identify and develop solutions to the issues that contribute to urban blight.