When David Plesich takes over as Reynoldsburg's new police chief March 26, he will find a new mission statement and a list of 2018 goals already in place.

He also will be able to glean information from a survey now being conducted on the department's Facebook page.

City Safety Director Jim Mosic -- himself a retired Worthington police chief -- said the survey is designed to "gauge the community interest in being engaged."

That should fit well with Plesich's plan to focus on community policing.

The department's mission is "to promote a safer Reynoldsburg through education, prevention and enforcement," according to the 2018 list of goals.

"If we don't know where we're headed, how will we get there?" Mosic asks on the first page of the document.

"Goals stimulate progress and create a unifying focus," he said.

He said the goals should be in line with the department's core values of "professionalism, teamwork and dedication."

"Some of our community forums were not well attended, so I wanted to see if I could reach more people through social media," Mosic said. "The survey is very basic and I hope to expand upon what we learn."

The survey asks people in which ward they reside. They are then asked to answer questions about whether issues such as car break-ins or burglaries, abandoned cars, etc., are prevalent in their ward.

Mosic said the survey results would help in the development of a strategic plan.

Establishing goals is not new -- the police department already has a policy requiring annual goals for each unit.

"After conducting a brief audit of the organization, I relied on my previous work experience and training to develop broader goals," Mosic said. "Then I asked the agency to develop specific goals for each unit within our organization.

"I have only been with the city since September and have been impressed with the caliber of the officers we have on board," he said.

"We are expanding our ranks and need to do so in a manner that engages the public and addresses their concerns."

The list of department goals says the most important thing is "to be accountable to the community." In order to do that, the document says officers must strive to achieve "effectiveness, trust and transparency."

Other goals include reducing the number of car crashes by assigning officers at least twice a week to areas based on citizen complaints and/or traffic crash analysis; and reducing criminal activity in retail and business districts, focusing on Taylor Square, Shoppes at East Broad and Brice Road-Livingston Avenue businesses.

In 2017, there were 454 first-degree misdemeanor petty theft charges filed and 565 theft-related calls for service in the city, according to the goals document.

Possible actions by the department include:

* Having officers park their cruisers in conspicuous locations and conducting foot patrols in order to meet business owners and employees.

* Having school resource officers conduct school walk-throughs at least once a week "to provide visibility" and "to interact with students under positive circumstances."

Mosic said his mission as director of public safety is to "embrace a community-oriented approach, adhering to the principle that the police are the public and the public are the police."

"The mission of the police, in the broadest sense, is to improve the quality of life to those in the community and to protect the civil rights of those in society," he said.

editorial@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekNews