The Havre Police Department, as a part of Chief Kirk Fitch’s plan to get out into the community, has opened its first off-site office in Havre High School’s main office.
The former supply room will be used to get officers closer to “those who are in vulnerable age groups, subject to peer pressure to commit crimes or abuse drugs and alcohol, ” according to a department press release.
One of Fitch’s first priorities after taking over the department in January was to increase the department’s presence in the community, with more officers, more patrolling, and more community programs.
This is the first of these off-site offices that Fitch hopes to have up soon to increase visibility of and communication with officers.
“An important factor with those entities, all those kids are at the prime ages for not only being susceptible for drugs and alcohol and peer pressure, but that is also the age group that commits a lot of crimes, ” Fitch said. “So interaction, for students, offers a chance for them to see the officers as more human than just law enforcement. ”
The Havre Public School Districts are also excited about the collaboration and improved relationship.
“I think it’s great for our district, ” Superintendent Andy Carlson said. “Currently the only interaction the PD has with the schools is when something is wrong. It’s not usually a good scenario when they’re called. ”
The next community office will be set up on the Montana State University-Northern campus.
“Each educational institution has agreed to furnish a room, computer and other office equipment, ” the department release says. “Officers will utilize these offices as bases of operations and will be on and off the campus throughout the day and evening. ”
For more information about the Havre Police Department or its Community Services programs, contact Officer Ryan Pearson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 406-265-4361.