Mobile, Ala. (WALA)- Mobile Police Chief James Barber says he is changing the way the department holds its precincts accountable for crime trends.
Chief James Barber says in the past, some Mobile police officers covered up or reclassified crimes in their precinct to avoid being called out about a crime in the area.
He plans to change that.
“What we are looking at is how we can help precincts do it and not basically beating somebody up over the fact that they had a rise in burglaries,” said Barber.
From now on the chief is opening up weekly accountability meetings to other agencies like the FBI, the sheriff’s and the district attorney’s office. That way if a precinct is having a problem, Barber says, the resources they need to succeed are right there in the room with them.
” The level of cooperation you saw today between the agencies, unprecedented,” said Barber.
The chief is also starting an accountability process that runs through the chain of command. In the past, the chief says, everything that happened in a precinct, good or bad, would fall on the shoulders of the Captain. The captain would get direction from his commanders and would try to make sure the message got to his officers.
Now the chief is including sergeants in the mix and they will get weekly updates on what is and isn’t working in their area. Sergeants and Captains will be expected to give new direction to the officers on the streets.
This new accountability system is part of CoBRA ( Command Based Response and Accountability) system. It was included in the chief’s strategic plan he presented when he took office.