Montgomery Police Create Precincts

The downtown police headquarters will service all three precincts.
The downtown police headquarters will service all three precincts.

As the city of Montgomery grows, the police department is taking a cue from larger cities by creating precincts.

Thursday, Police Chief Art Baylor announced he's implementing the suggestion, which was made by his staff. The plan is designed to help officers cover the ever-expanding city.

"The actual growth of the city is a challenge to get officers from point A to point B," Chief Baylor explained.

With the precinct strategy, police are dividing the city into three sectors, or three small towns if you will -- north, south, and west.

Instead of one patrol captain over the entire city, there will be three.

"What we are doing is reducing overload," explained Mayor Bobby Bright.

Bright says it's about allowing officers to focus on the residents of a specific area, which he says will help fight crime.

"By focusing on one area, they can be much better educated about the conditions and much more prepared," Bright said.

Police say the precincts will also improve the department's relations with the community, since residents can call and talk directly to the captain of their precinct.

"That is one of the biggest positives in my opinion," said Chief Baylor. "The residents will get to know the officers. It's almost like the beat cop."

There won't be any new police buildings in the precincts. The current police headquarters downtown will service all three. Therefore, officials say, the new system is costing the city virtually nothing.

"We're using what we have, trying to be smarter with what we have," Chief Baylor said.

But eventually, he says he hopes there will be precinct buildings, just like in larger cities, because the capital city is growing all the time.

Reporter: Mark Bullock