Community Policing

Welcome to the Community Policing web-page. This is a brief overview of our philosophy and some of the methods used. The Community Policing unit is responsible for 34 sites throughout the county, however, the techniques used can be applied to any area that PBSO patrols.


The Community Policing philosophy is a partnership between the citizens, other agencies, and the Sheriff’s Office. Other agencies include Code Enforcement, Building and Zoning, Fire Rescue, Animal Care and Control, the Solid Waste Authority, and many other entities. The goal of crime reduction can be achieved by improving quality of life issues. This approach is based on the Broken Windows Theory.

Broken Windows

The Broken Windows Theory, by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, basically states that if an area looks good, it sends a message that someone cares and crime tends to decrease. Should one window get broken and go un-repaired, other windows will probably get broken.


Another tool is Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design or CPTED. This program uses landscaping, lighting, and window placement to show that areas are monitored and have ownership.

SARA Model

Since Community Policing addresses the root of problems, rather than the symptoms, the SARA Model is used. SARA is an acronym for:

  • Scanning: Information is gathered
  • Analysis: The information is analyzed
  • Response: A plan is made to address the root issues
  • Analysis: Was the response successful?

If the Analysis shows that the plan was successful, the issue can be closed-out as a success. If not, a new SARA plan can be initiated until the issue has been resolved.

Regional Community Policing Institute – St. Petersburg, FL Numerous, free training courses are available either at the RCPI or online. Courses include topics such as the SARA Model, CPTED, Landlord/Tennant, and Grant-writing. All course materials are posted on this site and are free to download. Some courses are open to the public and may qualify for travel and hotel reimbursement.