Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Lompoc Police using new interactive Google Map to help solve community issues

Lompoc Police COPPS Google Map

A Central Coast police department hopes a new tool on the internet will help officers solve community issues.

The Lompoc Police Department has a new online tool in its arsenal and it's something most of us have already used.

It's a Google map.

Sergeant Kevin Martin is the guy who decided to add the interactive map to the department's Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving or COPPS program.

He says with this new map, Lompoc residents can identify a problem area and he can then assign an officer to take on the project.

"It requires kind of a change in our approach to problem solving where it's not just the police department deciding what's the best resolution of this problem it's the community as a whole," Sgt. Martin said.

Anyone with internet access can open the map, zoom into their location and click on the area where they feel there is an issue.

At that point, the user sees a list of assigned patrol officers within the area, and a link to further define what's wrong. 

Once submitted, Sgt. Martin gets the information and decides whether it's a COPPS project. 

If it is, an officer is assigned and works with other city departments and community groups to help resolve the issue.

"What we're encouraging them to do is own the problem, go in and help this neighborhood out and let's bring in resources that we wouldn't typically use in our day-to-day work," Sgt. Martin said. 

An officer is given a 30 day time period to resolve each problem. 

"So our long term goal ultimately is to address issues within the community that are causing problems, getting those resolved and continuing to build on that relationship that we have with our community," he said. 

Sgt. Martin said this does not replace calling 911 when anyone is experiencing or seeing an emergency.