Craig Police Department seeking resident input on program

The Craig Police Department wants input on the department's direction over the next five years.

But only a diversified group of community volunteers will make the effort worth everyone's time, said Chief Walt Vanatta.

"We're looking for volunteers from different segments of community groups," Vanatta said.

Police are in the early stages of updating the department's five-year strategic plan, a process last revisited in 2000. That effort led to goals for this year under topics ranging from community partnerships, to specific budgetary and technological aims and youth outreach efforts.

For this year, the department has targeted more effort toward bilingual education while continuing or starting six specific youth-centered initiatives, among the 13 items expressed by residents and officers.

Roughly 90 percent of the department's 2002 goals were met, according to detective Storm Fallon.

Expansion of Craig police's D.A.R.E. program to local elementary schools didn't happen because of time constraints in the school day, Fallon said.

Vanatta said he believes that past strategic planning efforts have largely shaped today's department.

"It gives us some measurable objectives in order to make sure we're accomplishing what we're here for," the chief said.

Volunteers would be asked to commit to meetings and coordination over the next three to four months. Meetings shouldn't drag out more than two hours one day per week, Vanatta

said.

"We'd get the committee together, I'd give them a ballpark time-frame (to finish work) and they could decide what they want to," he said.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at pshockley@craigdailypress.com

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