The Nampa Police Department just took on two new community service officers to help manage a higher volume of calls.
It’s part of a new plan, rolling out Sunday, to address the city’s growing population more efficiently, said Lt. Jason Kimball.
“We’re trying to figure out a balance to still be providing an effective service to the community and do it in the best way to keep citizens safe,” Kimball said.
What does that mean for citizens? Patrol officers will no longer take certain calls that are a better fit for other wings of the department. And police won’t respond at all to certain things that don’t fall under their jurisdiction.
Never miss a local story.
But you’ll still have a place in the department to report most issues. And those patrol officers should have more time to be proactive about other crime in Nampa.
Nampa also now offers several online or mail-in options for filing non-emergency reports. Those can be found on its website.
The new system “gives our citizens a more service-oriented police department,” Kimball said.
Q: What are some examples of the changes?
Code enforcement: Patrol officers won’t respond to code enforcement violation calls or requests to handle unruly children (unless a crime has been committed). If a crime could be involved, child disciplinary calls should be referred to a student resource officer. Code enforcement calls will be referred to code enforcement officers.
VIN inspections: Patrol officers won’t do these anymore, either. Community service officers will help with that; call 208-468-7916 to schedule an appointment. The same community service officers will also be the ones responding to reports of abandoned vehicles.
Patrol officers doing VIN inspections is odd for a community the size of Nampa, Kimball said.
“We’re probably one of the only larger agencies that does it,” he said.
Reckless drivers: If some sort of reckless driving incident is in progress, a patrol officer will respond right away. But for calls made after the driver is no longer in sight, you might be asked to file an online or mail-in report about the incident.
Vehicle thefts and lost property: A community service officer will handle reports for thefts that aren’t currently in progress. For lost property, you’ll be asked to file an online or mail-in report. Lost property is tracked with a “crime report number,” and if your belongings are found, police will contact you.
Tenant/landlord disputes: Patrol officers don’t have jurisdiction in this kind of civil dispute, so they will continue to not respond to those types of calls unless a crime is involved.
Q: Why the changes?
Nampa’s growing population has led to “an overwhelming amount of ever-increasing calls for service,” according to a letter to the public the police department sent out Thursday.
“This plan will give your officers some time to go out and find crime, rather than wait for you to be a victim of crime,” the letter states.
The changes are one result of a third-party study of the department’s procedures and processes, Kimball said. Performance Leadership Institute was on site for three days to interview police department staff, officers and dispatchers, as well as community members, City Council members and business owners.
The cost of the study was not immediately available Thursday.
Whom should I contact?
Nampa dispatchers (208-465-2257) can help you figure out how to file a report on your matter and to whom it should go.
The department’s website also has forms for things like accidents, fraud, identity theft or other general crime. You’ll find those forms and advice for using them at this link.