Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

April 30, 2010

Crossville police department reports to community

CROSSVILLE — Even though the city of Crossville has a current population of around 10,000 residents, the Crossville Police Department must be ready to deal with a total population of some 40,000 people with those coming into the city for work, shopping and visiting.

The Crossville Police Department (CPD) gave a report to citizens in a meeting at the Palace Theatre and shared the recent recognition they've had and why they've been successful in the work they do every day. Crossville Mayor J. H. Graham III opened the meeting and said, "Crossville's department is one of the finest police departments in the nation, and they have the awards to prove it.” Graham added, “I have great confidence in Chief David Beaty.”

Beaty related that he had been a police officer for 25 years, starting out as a patrolman with the Crossville department.

Police Chief David Beaty said in 1901 the city records mention a “city magistrate” but the first mention of a “police chief” was not until 1942 when Arthur Matthews was both police and fire chief. Currently, the department has 42 sworn officers and in 2009 they responded to 35,378 calls. The department polices 28 square miles including 130 miles of city streets.

While Beaty said his initial training 25 years ago was not as rigorous, now an officer trains for at least 20 weeks before he can go on patrol on his or her own. Beaty said an officer needs both physical and mental strength as well as compassion and understanding.

Officers are required to keep their training up to date and Beaty said the department is self sufficient in that it has its own training officers and shooting range. The department often trains other departments and the Governor's Highway Safety Office often holds trainings for departments in the region in Crossville.

The Crossville Police Department is very big on partnerships and working with the community to prevent problems. Administrative Lt. Freed Sherrill explained about the department's partnerships. The CPD championed the school resource officer (SRO) program in 1998 and continues to have officers in both high schools. The department is looking at the possibility of expanding the SRO program in the future.

Program that the department is proud of is the 13 child seat technicians in the department. They frequently hold inspections for citizens to make sure their child's seat is properly installed. In addition the experts help make sure that parents can install the car seats properly.

One of the biggest partnerships for the department is with the Governor's Highway Safety Office. This partnership has lead to numerous awards and honors for the work of the department in competitions up to and including the first place award for their size department in the competition of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

The contests have given the department additional funds and equipment as prizes. The Governor's Highway Safety Office also provides grants for overtime when the department holds DUI check points. Crossville police also participate in the Cumberland Crackdown, a cooperative effort to stop drunk driving in the Cumberlands.

The department frequently works with kids through bike rodeos and the Ident-a-Kid program. Ident-a-Kid goes into daycare centers and schools to fingerprint kids and send them home for the parents to store just in case. Often these events are the first time children have contact with a police officer.

The police department has developed safety programs for your drivers including the Buckle Up Sucker program that uses the department's seat belt convincer to demonstrate a 5 mph crash impact. The department also assists to put on the mock DUI wreck at the high schools around prom time.

One program the department has been honored for is the Senior Watch program, an automated phone system that checks on seniors who are signed up. The system calls the number and if no response is received after several tries, a welfare check is dispatched. The program is free and anyone who is interested should contact Lt. Sherrill. The program was developed after a woman fell in her home but had no one to check on her.

CPD also works with residents who want to organize a neighborhood watch program to protect homes and property.

CPD is also a leader in adopting a crisis intervention officer that is specially trained in how to deal with people who are in crisis, especially of mental illness. This type of training is expected to be required in the future by the Peace Officers Standards and Training programs.

Comments from the audience included praise for the department from Downtown Crossville Incorporated's Tonya Hinch who said DCI's survey three years ago showed vandalism and trash was a big problem downtown. She said that with the department's cooperation the problem was much improved and many new restaurants and businesses had opened downtown.

Chief Beaty said his philosophy has always been to leave something better then he found it.

 

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