New program assigns officers to neighborhoods

In addition to patrolling the area, helping out with traffic issues and at city events, Pismo Beach police volunteers will also help publicize a department program that launched in November: My Cop.

Police officials have divided up the city into 19 zones and assigned an officer to each one. The intent is to allow officers to get to know residents in their area and respond to quality-of-life issues, such as noise complaints, before they escalate into larger problems, said police Cmdr. Mark Miller.

Once registered, residents can submit a complaint, which will be sent to the officer assigned to that zone. Officers can also contact residents in their area to give them updates on road closures, special events, safety tips and crime trends.

Police Chief Jeff Norton came up with the idea after seeing a similar program in the central-Oregon city of Prineville.

Miller said the volunteers will help publicize the program while on patrol.

For more information or to register, go to www.pismobeach.org/police and click on “My Cop Program” on the left-hand side of the page. Residents can also find their zone and read a brief biography of the officer assigned to their neighborhood.