Bismarck police Sgt. John Brocker on Monday shows a map that divides Bismarck into six community policing districts. Brocker and Chief Dave Draovitch gave details on the Bismarck Community Oriented Policing program, which is intended to reconnect the police department with the community.

The Bismarck Police Department on Monday announced the launch of its Bismarck Community Oriented Policing Program, an effort by the department to work more closely with the public.

“This is about reconnecting with the public, us getting out from behind our desks, getting out to talk to you, connecting with the community and finding out what you have to say,” Sgt. John Brocker said.

The program will include six Community Policing Districts, a revival of the Neighborhood Crime Watch program, and Business Watch, a companion program to Neighborhood Crime Watch.

Brocker said the programs are designed to promote relationships between the department and neighborhoods, connect neighbors with one another, and help people recognize and report suspicious activity.

“Imagine what 72,000 pairs of eyes can do to strengthen our community,” Brocker said.

Outreach programs will include neighborhood canvassing, business and home security surveys and community presentations. Police also will continue to offer an ice cream ticket program, which rewards kids for doing things like wearing a helmet while riding a bike.

Brocker said the development of the program started when he took over the crime prevention section in December. He felt there was a need to reconnect with the public and be more transparent.

“There’s no better way to do that than to get out and talk to you face to face,” Brocker said.

Bismarck will be divided into six districts for better delivery of services, management of the neighborhood watch and communications, and organization of meetings and events. Each of the districts will have an advisory committee that will act as a liaison between their district Neighborhood Watch captains and the police department. Anyone interested in serving on a committee should contact the crime prevention section at cpd@bismarcknd.gov.

The re-introduction of Neighborhood Crime Watch is meant to work hand in hand with the policing districts to help neighbors look out for each other. Information on forming a team can be obtained at ncw@bismarcknd.gov. Business Watch information is available at bw@bismarcknd.gov.

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(Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or Travis.Svihovec@bismarcktribune.com)