Community Relations and Outreach
The Community Relations and Outreach Unit continuously strive to maintain open communication between law enforcement and the community we serve. The unit was based on the recognition of the need for mutual understanding and cooperation to solve community and neighborhood problems. Through effective relationships, community members learn about policing while law enforcement members learn about the policing needs of the community.
To better understand a community’s need, we involve ourselves directly into neighborhood functions, create and promote community programs, and adopt various projects and services in order to better impact our mission. Our goal is to establish and maintain a healthy collaboration between law enforcement and the public which will foster positive support and a productive police-community relationship.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office is committed to helping our citizens keep themselves, their families and their communities safe from crime, the fear of crime and neighborhood decay. Working collaboratively with other local law enforcement officials, we help establish networking systems, provide educational materials, programs, training and safety tutorials to promote pro-active crime prevention in our community.
Through an active Community Oriented Policing philosophy, we believe that individual citizens should be empowered to work with law enforcement to help keep themselves safe. A number of programs we offer will provide tools that you can use to learn crime prevention strategies, engage other community members, coordinate with local law enforcement to aid in crime prevention, and to build and strength relationships.
All programs and trainings offered through the Crime Prevention Unit are always free of charge.
Neighborhood Watch is a safety program designed to bring together law enforcement agencies, community organizations, businesses and individual residents in an effort to deter and reduce crime in neighborhoods. As one of the oldest and most effective crime prevention programs in the country, it was created in 1972 and developed in response to requests from sheriffs and police chiefs seeking a crime prevention program involving citizens. Neighborhood Watch programs are an effective tool in fighting crime.
In a Neighborhood-Watch community, neighbors communicate and keep watch on each others’ homes and property, especially when someone is away. They report any suspicious activity to law enforcement and become an active contributor to a safer neighborhood. Working collaboratively with area law enforcement, Neighborhood Watch communities develop a closer sense of community, often building long-term friendships with each other. A neighborhood Watch system is easy to establish, simply by getting to know your neighbors and being willing to communicate crime and non-crime neighborhood related information.
By forming a watch group, you make it known that you won’t tolerate criminal activity in your community and you make your community less attractive for potential criminals. The program is simple and inexpensive, yet highly effective in the fight against crime. Statistics indicate that communities with active Neighborhood Watch programs show a marked decrease in burglaries and related crimes.
Download this brochure which explains the Neighborhood Watch Program in more detail. For those interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch group see our handbook and for those intrested in starting a Business Watch group see that handbook for more information. In each handbook the last page can be hung in your window to show your involvement.
The Community Liaison to Seniors program provides a proactive approach to help seniors and at-risk adults within our community avoid becoming victims of crime. All too often, seniors become targets of any number of scams, ranging from telephone scams to fraud scams. Criminals choose to prey on this group for a variety of reasons, some of which include their trusting personalities and the difficulty for a senior citizen to be a strong witness and follow a criminal case through prosecution.
Our Community Liaison to Seniors serve and partner with this group by providing invaluable education which will help them detect a scam before they become a victim. It also provides outreach and guidance to seniors on any number of law enforcement topics, including home security, emergency contacts within the community, and what to expect throughout an investigation and court prosecution if they do become a victim.
Stop and Prevent Elder Abuse
- "At-risk elder" means any person who is seventy years of age or older.
- "Abuse" means any of the following acts or omissions committed against an at-risk elder; (a) The nonaccidental infliction of bodily injury, serious bodily injury, or death,(b) Confinement or restraint that is unreasonable under generally accepted caretaking standards, (c) Subjection to sexual conduct or contact classified as a crime under this title and (d) Caretaker neglect.
- "Caretaker neglect" means neglect that occurs when adequate food, clothing, shelter, psychological care, physical care, medical care, or supervision is not secured for an at-risk adult or an at-risk elder or is not provided by a caretaker in a timely manner and with the degree of care that a reasonable person in the same situation would exercise; except that the withholding, withdrawing, or refusing of any medication, any medical procedure or device, or any treatment, including but not limited to resuscitation, cardiac pacing, mechanical ventilation, dialysis, and artificial nutrition and hydration, in accordance with any valid medical directive or order or as described in a palliative plan of care shall not be deemed caretaker neglect.
- "Exploitation" means an act or omission committed by a person who:(a) Uses deception, harassment, intimidation, or undue influence to permanently or temporarily deprive an at-risk elder of the use, benefit, or possession of anything of value, (b) In the absence of legal authority employs the services of a third party for the profit or advantage of the person or another person to the detriment of the at-risk elder or Forces, compels, coerces, or entices an at-risk elder to perform services for the profit or advantage of the person or another person against the will of the at-risk elder or misuses the property of an at-risk elder in a manner that adversely affects the at-risk elder's ability to receive health care or health care benefits or to pay bills for basic needs or obligations.
Who is a Mandatory Reporter?
- Health care providers and other medical personnel including: Physicians, surgeons, physicians’ assistants, osteopaths, physicians in training, podiatrists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists; medical examiners and coroners; registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and nurse practitioners; Emergency medical service providers; chiropractors; dentists; pharmacists
- Health care facility and mental health: hospital and long-term care facility personnel engaged in the admission, care, or treatment of patients; psychologists and other mental health professionals; social work practitioners
- Clergy members (with exceptions)
- Law enforcement officials and personnel
- Court-appointed guardians and conservators
- Fire protection personnel
- Community-centered board staff (think senior center or the like)
- Financial Institutions including: personnel of banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, and other lending or financial institutions
- Care Providers including: a caretaker, staff member, employee, or consultant for a licensed or certified care facility, agency, home, or governing board, including but not limited to home health providers; and a caretaker, staff member, employee of, or a consultant for, and a home care placement agency
How to Make a Report of Suspected Mistreatment
On and after July 1, 2014, any mandatory reporter who observes the abuse or exploitation of an at-risk elder, or who has reasonable cause to believe that an at-risk elder has been abused or has been exploited or is at imminent risk of abuse or exploitation, shall report such fact to a law enforcement agency not more than twenty-four hours after making the observation or discovery.
When making a report to law enforcement and Adult Protective Services, provide as much information as possible about the at-risk adult and the alleged perpetrator including:
- The adult’s demographic information, such as name, gender, date of birth, or approximate age, address, current location if different from permanent address, and phone number;
- Medical and/or disabling condition(s);
- Contact information for friends, family, neighbors, or caregivers;
- Specific concerns regarding the alleged mistreatment;
- Safety concerns for the adult;
- The alleged perpetrators information, such as name, gender, address, phone number and relationship to the at-risk adult, when mistreatment is alleged.