Community Policing Success Story: Macon, Georgia, Police Department

Law enforcement agencies of all sizes are under a tremendous amount of pressure to reduce their budgets and expenses, thereby being forced to do more with less these days. However, they must still maintain adequate staffing levels to meet the public’s demand for policing services within their jurisdiction. As a result, law enforcement agencies must develop new and innovative ways of policing to ensure police response time is sufficient, and that the efforts of community-oriented policing are continually focused on building community partnerships, engaging in problem-solving, and promoting organizational transformation.

Photo: Glenwood Williams, COPS Grant Monitoring Specialist, stands with some of Macon's Bike Patrol Officers. (Photo credit: Macon Police Department)

Glenwood Williams, COPS Grant Monitoring Specialist, stands with some of Macon's Bike Patrol Officers. (Photo credit: Macon Police Department)

Photo: Macon's Bike Patrol bike

Macon's Bike Patrol bike Photo credit: Macon Police Department

Photo: Bike Patrol Officer Delana Flowers. (Photo credit: Macon Police Department)

Bike Patrol Officer Delana Flowers. (Photo credit: Macon Police Department)

The Macon Police Department, located in Macon, Georgia, has heightened its community policing efforts in order to advance public safety in the City’s downtown area, which is a very high-traffic and high-pedestrian area. To enhance the police presence in this area, the Macon Police Department decided to relocate its Bike Patrol Office from Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard to the heart of downtown, instead of increasing its police force for this purpose.

The Bike Patrol Office is currently located in a former ice cream shop—the site that was agreed upon during an informal “stroll and search” for downtown office space following a brainstorming session on how the law enforcement agency could enhance police presence downtown. The agency developed strong partnerships for its new downtown Bike Patrol Office, some of whom include: Dempsey, New Town Macon, Main Street Project, and Macon Arts Alliance.

The Bike Patrol Office is adorned with an array of local eclectic art donated by Macon Arts Alliance. Longtime police Sgt. Greg Jefcoats, of the Macon Police Department, revamped the former ice cream shop and took pride in crafting a pleasant workplace for his fellow officers. His creativity was a key to cost savings, most notably restoring a dilapidated 8-foot storage unit—which had a cotton candy pink top—into a handsome counter using mahogany floorboards. From start to finish of the Bike Patrol Office rehabilitation, the Macon Police Department only spent about $500 on construction costs. Sgt. Jefcoats’ efforts, and the involvement and kind contributions from others, including private donors, have created a well-furnished, attractive, and pleasant place to work and receive visitors as well as a venue for displaying eclectic public art.

The generosity and friendship extended by those at the helm of their partnership organizations have enabled the Macon Police Department to take downtown law enforcement to a new level, by creating a community-friendly and inviting place where community members and visitors can interface with law enforcement practitioners in a non-traditional manner. The relocation of the Bike Patrol Office has been critical to the security of downtown, and serves as a reminder that downtown Macon will continue to be a safe place to work, live, eat, shop, and tour. In fact, on the weekend, the Bike Patrol Office is staffed with local ambassadors who are trained by the Macon-Bibb Convention and Visitors Bureau to provide visitors and locals with timely information on what to do and where to eat, shop, and stay. They also field public concerns.

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