The City of Menlo Park is located in southern San Mateo County in California. Our community is home to over 34,000 residents and considered one of the most culturally and economically diverse populations in Silicon Valley. From 2013 to present, the police department worked closely with the community creating a police chief’s community advisory group, building more neighborhood watch groups, and providing education to the public by way of community based programs in a community academy for adults and a community youth academy.

The department also focused on partnering with public and private organizations and agencies to re-establish our community substation, providing a community safety police officer dedicated to working with schools and “at risk” students, and working with regional task forces. The model the Menlo Park Police Department uses is a prime example of how to utilize the community policing philosophy with a combination of partnerships and city resources to problem solve and increase public trust. 

Our police leadership appreciate and are receptive to input from the public and businesses. We continue to work to build our relationships and to be open to constructive criticism and suggestions. As we learned from collaborative processes, strategic plans that include the community are another opportunity to build trust and show that we are committed to transparency. As the community and the police department work together, we acknowledge that residents and business members are valuable resources and are the means to help solve problems. Our collective efforts will continue to improve the Menlo Park community. 

The police department’s community policing philosophy and practices are woven throughout the department. Community policing expands from the patrol officers who are visible in the neighborhoods to in-house staff that compile statistical information, update policies, and service the public via phone or the front counter. As part of our service delivery, we maintain that employee contacts with the public should inspire respect and generate cooperation and approval from the public we serve. This is accomplished by continuing to include the public in technological and policy decisions through our advisory group and providing all timely information and insights on our social media platforms.