The Operations Division by virtue of its size and scope is the frontline in protecting the lives and property of Watsonville's residents and handles over 50,693 police-related activities a year. The men and women in this division are responsible for implementing the bulk of our community policing strategy.
The Operations Division maintains a staff of 47 sworn and non sworn employees. Patrol officers work around-the-clock, 365 days a year, to provide a quality of life whereby all residents and visitors have a sense of security and protection. Our average response time to Priority 1 calls is 4 minutes 6 seconds. We strive to have at least two bilingual officers on every shift.
Patrol officers utilize one satellite station at the Freedom Library, implementing the most innovative concept of Community Policing in the County. Watsonville Police Department (WPD) is currently exploring two additional satellite stations to improve response times.
The Operations Division strives to keep places frequented by our youth as safe as possible. Foot patrols of Downtown, City parks, the Plaza, Youth Center, PAL Centers (Rodriguez St. and Davis), Ramsay Park Center and Library are aimed at creating a safe environment.
The division picks up truant students and brings them to a designated location in the school district. The program known as Truancy Abatement Crime Suppression (TACS) is a means by which the school and the parents are alerted to a child out on the street instead of in school.
The Operations Division relies heavily on the services of civilian personnel in the form of Police Service Specialists (civilian report takers). Use of civilian officers has freed up additional time for our police officers to be more visible in the community.
Personnel & Training
The Operations Division also oversees Personnel and Training. Personnel and Training provides a comprehensive training program for our officers and ensures that the department continues to be compliant with all Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) mandates.
The Operations Division is the backbone of the Department's response to disasters. We have gained much experience in the management of local emergencies and disasters over the last twenty-five years. Floods in 1981 and 1982, an 18-month labor strike in 1985-1986, the Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989, the Pajaro Flood of 1995 and the county-wide wild fires of 2008 are just some of the major incidents we have experienced.