When most law enforcement officers are called to a crime, they have lots of other pending calls competing for their attention. They address short-term problems, but sometimes can't address the long-term issues that cause crime.
Rancho Cordova Police Officer Tyler Neff describes this as "sticking your thumb in the dam" to stop leaks.
Neff is a problem-oriented policing (POP) officer for Rosemont and Rancho Cordova, and said he's able to take more time to try to prevent crime in the area.
"I come along and come up with long-term solutions to problems," he said.
Thursday morning, Neff and several other local law enforcement officials held at .
"POP is about policing the way it was a long time ago, when everybody knew who the officer was," he said.
Neff previously worked as a POP officer for a much larger area, but now only focuses on Rosemont and parts of Rancho Cordova. He served as a detective for the department before budget cuts forced him back into a patrol position.
Neff, who has worked for the department for 15 years, said he wants to do as much as he can to get better acquainted with the community. He volunteered to join the Board of Directors, and plans to take a couple longtime community members on a ride-along soon.
"There are things that these guys know about the area that I could never learn from any book or map," he said.
As for the issues he's dealt with recently, he said he often hears concerns about blight and unmaintained houses. He recalled a recent case where he asked local fire, code enforcement and child protective services officials to get involved with a house with overgrown weeds, cars parked on the lawn and toddlers playing in the street late at night.
"I don’t have all the answers, but I have my resources [that] I pull from," he said.
Neff also said residents are concerned about traffic–especially during school drop-offs and in the case of speeders on residential streets–as well as fights at local parks, which are sometimes gang-related.
He urged residents to call or email him after they report a crime to let him know what's going on in the area.
"If we don’t know about it, nothing’s going to happen," he said.
Neff can be reached at email@example.com or at 916-875-9650.