CITY OF NORFOLK, VA
Mayor 
 Paul D. Fraim

Police Assisted Community Enforcement (PACE)

1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.

Our policing program is based on the PACE Philosophy, Police Assisted Community Enforcement. Full departmental support of city wide PACE involvement is essential for success. PACE works in various ways to ensure best results for all citizens. PACE is not a one-size-fits-all program, but rather is designed to meet the specific needs of individual communities. Under this philosophy, the city seizes every opportunity to design its services to meet the needs of each community. At the same time, PACE provides those processes and forums necessary to ensure that citizens can maximize their civic responsibilities. PACE encourages citizens to not only obey the law but to also become partners in sharing the effort necessary to prevent crime.

The Vision Statement of the Norfolk Police Department is to provide a safe community environment in the city of Norfolk through positive citizen involvement in committed partnerships with public and private agencies, thereby promoting a departmental attitude of helpful responsiveness, and improving police services to meet the needs and expectations of our communities.

The Mission Statement of the Norfolk Police Department, "The Norfolk Police Department shall provide protection and police service responsive to the needs of the people in Norfolk," provides the foundation for the city’s PACE Statement.

The PACE Mission Statement is "PACE is dedicated to resolving community problems and improving the quality of life through partnerships with and among the peoples of Norfolk."

2. When was the program created and why?

The PACE philosophy was introduced in 1990. Shortly thereafter, a pilot program began. The city of Norfolk is an urban community of approximately 230,000 residents. Like many American communities, Norfolk is concerned about the rising use of illegal drugs and its related criminal activity. Possible solutions had been actively sought and separately tried by numerous city government departments and community organizations. Although well intentioned, there was a lack of coordination in the community’s efforts.

In an effort to fill this void, the Mayor’s Task Force on Drugs was established and charged with seeking ideas and suggestions through community forums and seminars. After careful study and comparison of existing programs and concepts of community policing and police community relations, a dynamic inter-dependent program was designed. It was envisioned as a long-range, citywide effort to be a strategically planned, executed, and ongoing—a series of events aimed at giving residents control of their neighborhoods.

3. How do you measure the program’s effectiveness?

Our program’s effectiveness is measured by: 1) comparing crime reports and calls for service for specific time periods before, during and after intervention; 2) comparing resident or complainant attitudes and perceptions before and after intervention; 3) maintaining contact with the original complainant to keep abreast of any further problems; 4) maintaining contact with agencies providing assistance; and 5) measuring the absence of crime and disorder.

4. How is the program financed?

The PACE Program was initially financed by a $.03 real estate tax increase providing $1.8 million in revenue. This funding enabled the Norfolk Police Department to hire additional sworn officers and civilians. Additional funding was obtained in 1991 through a Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Innovative Neighborhood Oriented Policing (INOP) Grant.

5. How is the community involved in the program, if at all? How has the community responded to the program?

The community’s response to PACE has been overwhelmingly receptive. The community has been extremely supportive and enthusiastic. Citizens have willingly volunteered many hours of their time and energy to ensure the program’s success. There is an ongoing demand from citizens for more knowledge and information.

6. What are the major lessons learned that would be helpful for others trying to implement a similar program?

"You can only change your heart if you can only change your mind."

The cornerstone of community policing involves not only proactive problem solving, but building viable partnerships as well. We believe that the building of effective partnerships between the police and community requires an awareness of each other's cultures and limitations. Our ultimate objective is to institutionalize community policing through diverse partnerships and collaborative problem solving.

7. What specific advice do you have for mayors interested in replicating a program such as yours?

Full departmental support is essential for success. PACE is not a one-size-fits-all program, but rather is designed to meet the specific needs of individual communities. PACE is a long-term program. Results will not come overnight, but will accumulate over a period of time.

For more information, please contact:

Sgt. R.C. Stephens
Executive Officer, Training Division
Norfolk Police Department
7665 Sewells Point Road
Norfolk, Virginia 23518
Telephone: (757) 664-6902
Fax: (757) 664-6911

 

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