The Patrol Division is the largest division within our police agency that is comprised of one Lieutenant, 4 Sergeants, and 20 police officers assigned solely to patrol duties. In every police department across the United States this division is considered the "backbone" of the agency. The patrol officers are the most visible police entity within our community, answering the initial call for service when the citizen needs assistance. The types of calls an officer will answer vary in nature and may consist of; crimes in progress, traffic violations including vehicle accidents, public assistance, suspicious persons, and anything else out of the ordinary. Patrol is intended to prevent crime and reduce the fear of the community through their presence.
Officers assigned to the Patrol Division work 8-hour shifts, in which officers work either 6am-2pm, 2pm-10pm, or 10pm-6am. This schedule has provided better coverage and allowed for more officers on the streets. Our shifts have been put together with strategic thought given to the officers assigned in regards to distributing the officers based on experience and training. The senior officers in the department have also been evenly dispersed over the shifts, and act a secondary supervisor for that shift. This has enabled us to provide more leadership on the streets and more training for younger officers.
A majority of our officers has completed a 40 hour Bike Patrol Certification course. Our goal was to incorporate Bike Patrol into our regular duties. The major advantage held by our Bike Patrol officers is their regular face-to-face contact with the citizens. Bike Patrol strives to make the most of this advantage by making favorable contacts with citizens who live and work in our community, as well as with visitors to Boerne. Our objective is to combine the individual contact of the historical "beat officer" with the benefits of the latest community policing initiatives. The Bike Patrol officer strives to be thoroughly familiar with his or her area, and to facilitate a positive relationship between law enforcement and the community.
All patrol officers are issued an iPAD to use in their patrol vehicle in order to perform their duties. Patrol officers are able to remain out in the community by being able to complete their reports while out in the field rather than coming to the police department. Officers also have access on their iPads to the software necessary to run driver's license and vehicle license plates. The iPads also cost less than the older laptop computers, are more portable, and give officers the capability of taking photographs, video, and audio recordings.
Patrol has the option of wearing their bullet resistant vests on the outside of their uniform in an "outer-carrier" vest. This new vest has a sewn on badge patch and name plate; and will be worn over the officer's uniform shirt. This vest will provide an increased level of comfort for the officers, by allowing the vest to be easily removed for meal breaks or when they are in classroom training.
Additional Community Services
In addition to the aforementioned community related areas of interest, our officers conduct business and house checks on a regular basis, as well as provide Texas State Insurance Inspections. The business and house checks are for those going out of town or some other specific reason and requires registering with the police department in person or online. Subsequently, these addresses receive directed patrol-bys until the date of return. BPD also employs two officers certified to perform business and residential Texas State Insurance Inspections. Upon passing and complying with the requirements, the home owner can receive up to a 5% discount on their homeowner's insurance premium by meeting the State's minimum standards. From the City of Boerne's website, interested citizens can complete a form to request an appointment for a Home Inspection. Another added service we provide is instructions on the Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) course. According to the ALERRT web site this course is designed and built on the Avoid, Deny, Defend strategy developed by ALERRT in 2004, provides strategies, guidance and a proven plan for surviving an active shooter event. Topics include the history and prevalence of active shooter events, the role of professional guardians, civilian response options, medical issues, and drills.
According to the city ordinance on abandoned and junked vehicles, a junked vehicle is considered a vehicle that displays an expired license plate or vehicle inspection, and has remained on public property for more than 72 hours or more than 30 days if on private property. An abandoned vehicle is considered a vehicle older than five years old, inoperable, left unattended on public property for more than 48 hours. The abandoned vehicle law also includes a vehicle remaining illegally on public or private property for more than 48 hours. Vehicles found to meet these requirements are "red tagged" with a sticker identifying which violation is present, and subsequently given 48 hours to correct the violation. In 2017, the department red tagged a total of 40. All of the red tagged vehicles were registered/ inspected and or removed from the location where they were tagged.