The Sterling Heights Police Department, in conjunction with the City’s Community Relations Department, announced the launch of a new program Tuesday night aimed at building stronger Police-community relations.
The new program, called CORE, gives each of the six area districts of the City its own officer assigned to serve as a resource to residents of the region.
At the City’s Strategic Planning meeting Tuesday night, Police Chief John Berg and Community Relations Director Bridget Kozlowski unveiled the program as a creative way to put a face on the SHPD and offer a personal contact for concerned residents, neighborhood associations, schools and more. CORE stands for “Community Outreach and Engagement,” Kozlowski said.
Police Chief John Berg asserted SHPD as one of the strongest departments in the State of Michigan, highlighting the City’s well-known low crime rate, professionalism of its officers and existing outreach programs such as the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Police Explorers. However, he said, there is always room to grow and build new connections with the citizens of Sterling Heights.
“The goal of the CORE program is to better humanize our department as well as for us to be more proactive in our community outreach,” Berg said. “We hope the CORE program will not only increase trust of police and allow for greater cooperation from citizens, but also make our officers’ jobs safer and easier to do.”
The CORE program uses the SHPD existing area district map and divides the City into six boundaries: Adam, Baker, Charlie, David, Edward and Frank (see attached). Each area district is assigned an officer that will be the region’s advocate and neighborhood expert. These six officers will work not only to make meaningful relationships, but to identify and report potential crime trends or neighborhood issues to SHPD leadership. The six Police Officers assigned to the program include Officer Robert Wojciechowski (Adam), Officer Lamar Kashat (Baker), Officer Eric Le Roux (Charlie), Officer Guy Linn (David), Officer Kirk Swenson (Edward) and Officer Anthony Roeske (Frank).
“If a resident has a concern about a certain crime in their neighborhood, speeding or even a neighbor dispute, he or she can contact this officer directly to seek advice or begin resolution of the issue,” Kozlowski said. “We believe the CORE program will help SHPD find new ways to reach residents and have more of an ear to the ground in our neighborhoods. There are only benefits in creating a program such as this; we’re opening our Police to increased communication with citizens.”
Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor said he was thrilled to learn the details of the CORE program.
“I commend our Police and City for taking a proactive approach to increasing communication and growing relationships with citizens,” Taylor said. “These interactions will be incredibly useful for our Police to learn more about community priorities as well as for our citizens to put a face on our wonderful Police Department. I know myself and members of City Council are excited to get involved in this program in our neighborhoods and continue to support it in any way we can.”
Kozlowski said the program will officially get off the ground in early spring, with the scheduling of the first neighborhood meetings. Additionally, the CORE team will be reaching out to schools in their area district to begin scheduling outreach with students. More information and resources will be shared on the City’s website, calendar and on social media accounts when available.
For more information, contact the city’s Community Relations Department at (586) 446-CITY (2489).