When most people think about the police, they commonly visualize a uniformed officer who is assigned to patrol. It is the most visible unit of the Police Department. It is also the largest unit, with twenty-two officers (76%) assigned from a total of twenty-nine officers.
These officers' primary duties are: respond to calls for service, patrol the neighborhoods and business areas for criminal activity, stop traffic violators and assist the public as needed.
In addition to routine patrol duties the officers spend many hours each year at district court, municipal court, drivers license hearings, and attending training classes. The dedicated officers of the Patrol Division provide the primary function of the police department by answering calls for service and performing self-initiated activity. In addition to the various types of calls, they also must routinely complete reports to document the above activity. On average, over one-fourth of a patrol officers' regular shift is dedicated to writing police reports.
Officers not responding to calls for service or writing reports are responsible for patrolling their district to promote high visibility, proactively look for criminal activity, and developing rapport with citizens and the business community. The City of Merriam has 65 miles of streets within its 4.5 square miles. The City is divided into three districts for patrol: North, Center, and South.
Maj. Darren McLaughlin is the commander of the patrol unit which is made up of uniformed officers. Manpower allocation and scheduling are his primary responsibilities. He is also responsible for investigating all citizen complaints on officers, internal investigations, and all use of force incidents.
The Merriam Police Department makes it a top priority to conduct comprehensive examinations of any incident when force is involved in making an arrest. It's critical to be absolutely sure each use of force was necessary and within policy. Therefore, each incident is reviewed by the officer’s supervisor and a three-member Use of Force Panel for a thorough analysis. The panel and supervisor examine the reports, videos, witness statements, and other evidence to get a complete understanding of the incident. Recommendations then are made to the training committee to consider whether lessons learned from the incident could benefit all officers in future work and improve best-practice standards.
View 2020 Use of Force FAQs Presentation