Best Practices

Mayor Patrick Henry Hays

Operation Focus

Operation Focus was created by Mayor Patrick Henry Hays and his staff as a means of coordinating and concentrating department activities in pre-determined target areas. City personnel from the street, sanitation, electric, parks, traffic safety and police departments concentrate on both usual and non-routine operations in the focus area for a two-week period. While in the area, personnel are requested to deliberately maintain a high profile and to identify, then report, suspicious activities as well as conditions that should receive attention and response from city government. Employees do not limit their observations and suggestions to traditional departmental responsibilities, but are encouraged to observe and report on any and all things they believe city government should address.

Employee notes are received and reviewed by the Mayor's Office of Community Relations. For items which legitimately require city government response and action, community relations personnel prepare service action orders for the appropriate department(s). Subsequent to receipt and response, department heads report the actions taken and return an updated service action order to the community relations office. Because one office receives information from many sources, office personnel are able to work with several departments to effectuate immediate multi-department responses and develop longer term projects.

Focusing city government activities in target areas produces tangible results in an effective and, if need be, coordinated manner. Additionally, this endeavor provides citizens of higher crime areas an added sense of security and hope as they notice many different city departments simultaneously working to improve their quality of life. A basic underlying premise of Operation Focus is the assumption that this high profile effort serves as a deterrent to criminal activity while it encourages and supports those residents and business people trying to be good citizens.

Contact: Todd Larson, (501) 340-5311

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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