The Dublin Division of Police's new eight-member Community Impact Unit will start operating in January with its sights set on reducing Dublin's biggest issues.
"The new Community Impact Unit will focus on reducing property crime, traffic crashes and preventing major crimes," Dublin Police Chief Heinz von Eckartsberg told Dublin City Council members last week.
The new unit, introduced to council members Dec. 9, will be led by Sgt. Justin Paez with Officers Dave Jaeger and Joel Hall as CIU investigators; Officers Dan Beam, Todd Evans, Charles Sterling and Scott Brown as traffic officers; and Officer Eric Cochrun in charge of the canine officer.
Von Eckartsberg said the new Community Impact Unit came about from reorganization in the police department that ensured sworn officers would only do the duties of sworn officers.
The department also requested funding for new positions for the unit: two new police officers and two civilian positions.
"It was a very competitive process for all these positions and we're anxious to put them to work," von Eckartsberg said.
Traffic crashes and property crimes, such as thefts from vehicles, have long been a major part of police work in Dublin.
The traffic officers will work to reduce traffic crashes by investigating traffic complaints, traffic enforcement, leading the traffic safety committee, managing traffic safety campaigns and by managing a speed-reduction program.
To reduce property crime in Dublin, the unit will use proactive investigation strategies, suspect and area surveillance, suspect identification, suspect profile development, intelligence gathering and will contact probation or parole officers.
"This new unit has elements of the previously very successful Traffic Enforcement Unit and adds two investigators as a resource to conduct long-term and proactive criminal investigations," the staff report to council stated.