TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - University of Alabama Police Officer Rachel Grooms stays on the move. Whether she’s greeting people while on foot patrol or she’s outside of her patrol car talking to someone during a traffic stop, she wants to give whoever she meets the same level of service.
“Giving that name and that face definitely gives people in the community a much better and higher level of comfort to know that we are here,” Officer Grooms said.
Grooms is one of many officers working beats as part of the community policing plan the department is emphasizing more than ever before.
“The goal is to be more available, open, not closed off, get in the building and talk,” UA Police Chief John Hooks explained.
He said they've made some beats smaller.
And several of the 91 officers in the department are working during 3 eight shifts a day in assigned areas around campus.
“The goal is to have the officer already present in those communities,” Chief Hooks added.
Officers believe being more visible also makes them more approachable so people will be more likely to tell them if something is going whether it’s good or bad.
“I have students all the time who come to me, as well faculty who tell me what’s going on whether it’s good or bad,” Grooms concluded.
The number of officers assigned to a particular beat depends on the amount and types of services calls are made from that beat to police.