Leader Blues

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

NEIGHBORS >> Cabot Police Department; An inside look

Leader staff writer

To protect and serve a growing population of nearly 20,000 residents, the Cabot Police Department is developing new operating procedures, improving technology and adding personnel.

“As Cabot spreads out, we’ve made four patrol districts to keep officers in certain parts of the city to respond faster,” said Sgt. Dewayne Roper, public information officer for the Cabot Police Department.

Metroplan, a federally mandated metropolitan planning organization, estimates Cabot’s population at 19,967 which is 30.8 percent larger than it was when the 2000 census gave the city an official population of 15,261. Cabot currently has 34 patrol officers and plans to ask the city council for three more in 2006.

Improved communications have made emergency re-sponse throughout Cabot quicker and more organized. In July 2005, the Cabot Police Department got connected to the Computer Aided Dispatch to link the police department to the area’s 911 dispatch centers, firefighters and ambulance services.

The program should be able to provide monthly statistical reports on crime trends such as what type of crime occurs in what part of town and when.

The biggest problem the department faces is traffic jams around Hwy. 89 and Second Street around the police department itself.
“We work a lot of vehicle accidents because of our traffic situation, but I think the straightening (of Hwy. 89) will help traffic flow and benefit us in being able to get in and out of the station,” Roper said.

Sgt. Brent Lucas has been with the Cabot Police Depart-ment for more than 11 years. He says being a policeman is just something he’s always wanted to do.

“Just being able to help people and the satisfaction of knowing you did something for someone is the best part of a police officer,” Lucas said.
The Cabot Police Department has four officers that work in Cabot schools to educate students about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Officer Yvonne Kackley teaches the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) curriculum at Cabot Middle School South during the fall semester and at Cabot Middle School North during the spring semester.

Cabot Police Officer David Thrush serves as the resource officer at Cabot High School, Officer Michael Reeves serves as the resource officer at Cabot Junior High North and Officer Rick Stone serves as the resource officer at Cabot Junior High South.
School resource officers can be beneficial to a community in two ways.

First, the officers keep the students safe at school. Second, students can advise the officers on criminal activities in their neighborhoods or even their own homes.

“Most of the time Cabot is a pretty quiet town,” Roper said.