Arlington and Philadelphia Officers Experience the Differences and Similarities of Policing
By Office of Communication
Posted on September 07, 2012, September 07, 2012

Two Philadelphia law enforcement officials have travelled some 1,500 miles to spend two weeks in Arlington as part of an Officer Exchange Program that allows them to analyze and observe differences in policing philosophies. The goal is to examine first-hand how different units within the two agencies function and identify new, innovative strategies for improving service to the community.

APD Sgt. Jeffrey Houston and Officer Craig Hermans are in Philadelphia studying police operations in the fourth largest police department in the nation. They have been meeting with senior command staff officials, observing training exercises and seeing first-hand how the department works.

In Arlington, Philadelphia Lt. Altovise Love-Craighead and Officer Shontay Weeks have spent time with many units, including the SWAT, Gangs and Robbery Unit and Victim Services. They have shadowed the Traffic Unit and rode out with Arlington officers in the west and south districts of the city.

This exchange program has also included site visits to the Media Office, Crime Prevention Unit, Dispatch Services and meetings with Internal Affairs and Fugitive Unit. They have also observed public safety operations at The Ballpark in Arlington and Cowboys Stadium.

Lt. Love-Craighead started her career with the Philadelphia Police Department in 1994. Officer Weeks joined the department in 1998.

While Arlington and Philadelphia have many differences, there are some similarities, Lt. Love-Craighead said.

"The basic idea of policing is the same," she said. "The difference is the manner in which it is facilitated."

The police lieutenant said one of the biggest differences involves the community.

"The Arlington Police Department offers many more opportunities for community engagement, especially volunteers," she said.

The Philadelphia Police Department employs 6,600 officers and 800 civilian employees compared to Arlington's 600 officers and 200 civilians.

"I have enjoyed learning the different aspects of the department and meeting a lot of great officers," Officer Weeks said. "We have been able to share experiences and learn things we can do in Philadelphia."

Officers will be returning to their respective departments this weekend. This exchange program was developed by Interim Deputy City Manager Dr. Theron Bowman and Philadelphia Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey.


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