Community Enhancement Division
The Community Enhancement Division (CED) is a component of the Department that most directly collaborates with the community and other agencies throughout the city to enhance partnerships and empower residents. The Division is composed of the Community Enhancement Unit, Crime Prevention Unit, and the School Resource Unit. In July 2016 the School Resource Unit was realigned from the Criminal Investigations Division to the Community Enhancement Division as a part of the reorganization of the Patrol Operations Bureau. The Community Enhancement Division is commanded by a Police Lieutenant.
The Community Enhancement Unit is commanded by one Police Sergeant and at full staffing has 9 Community Enhancement Officers (CED’S) and two full time, certified, civilian Crime Prevention Specialists assigned. The CED’s are liaisons assigned to specific districts and are responsible for not only addressing neighborhood quality of life issues (by acting as a liaison between the citizens and various other city departments), but they also must fulfill the same basic duties and responsibilities of a Uniform Patrol Officer, including answering calls for service. The Crime Prevention Specialists work with the CED’s to provide citizens with guidance and resources to ensure their homes and businesses are safe and secure. Crime Prevention Specialists also conduct security surveys as a free service to interested parties. The Community Enhancement Unit also manages both the Department’s Neighborhood Watch training program and Safety Town. Safety Town is a Public/private partnership between the Department, Portsmouth Public Schools, the Portsmouth Sheriff’s Office, and numerous private donors and sponsors. Safety Town provides various safety courses to school-age children in Portsmouth, focusing on topics such as bike, vehicle, and pedestrian safety. Members of the Community Enhancement Division are also required to regularly attend Civic League and Neighborhood Watch meetings in their assigned neighborhoods.
The Community Enhancement Unit conducted several warrant sweeps, prostitution operations, spotting and surveillance operations, and traffic checkpoints throughout the year. CEDs are responsible for establishing positive communication and partnerships between the Police Department and citizens, civic leagues, churches, schools, and businesses. These partnerships allow for increased communication and resource sharing to more effectively address crime and community concerns.
Along with the reorganization of Uniform Patrol, the Community Enhancement Unit also created a Homeless Outreach Team (HOT). This is comprised of two HOT Officers who are responsible for identifying the homeless throughout the city and working with Social Services, shelters, and other agencies and organizations to assist with those in need. Additionally, they are tasked with working the communities, businesses, and civic leagues to address issues regarding vagrancy and crimes associated. As liaisons with this population, the HOT Officers also work closely with officers and investigators to identify and locate persons of interest.