Marion Police Department switches to beat system - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Marion Police Department switches to beat system

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The Marion Police Department is reworking the way their officers patrol. 

They will now operate under a beat structure which means officers are assigned to patrol certain areas instead of roaming around the city. 

"Change is not a concept only found in your pocket or your purse. Change is something we have to deal with to be a better police department," says Officer Tom Daubs. 

Officers are adjusting to their new beat system this week which assigns them to patrol one of six areas opposed to the old system where officers were assigned to either the north or south. 

"You would just kind of drive through and if a call came up you'd handle it reactively," Daubs told us. 

That's not the way things will work anymore. 

"You are accountable for that beat, you are going to respond to calls proactively. If you see a trend developing or some kind of, maybe cars getting broken into you can talk to the neighbors there," Daubs says. 

The system is meant to help officers build relationships in their assigned areas. 

"Eight hours a shift that's their home, they are going to be there eventually handling those calls for service," says Daubs. 

The system is also meant to cut down on response times. 

"They're not waiting for the next available officer who might be on the north central side of town to work their way to the PD to make their report. Sadly some of those individuals have waited, had to wait for 20, 30, 40 minutes for the next available officer," Daubs says. 

The University of Iowa studied the City of Marion and used their calls for service data to come up with the six beats. 

"Let's say there's maybe an infant that's choking and starting to turn blue, that officer's going to be a lot closer than even the fire department because their already in this neighborhood," Daubs told us. 

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