Inclusivity and the Police Department
Inclusivity and the Police Department
The Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department’s vision of providing exceptional law enforcement services, building community partnerships, and engaging the community in problem solving demonstrates its commitment to inclusivity. The ultimate goal of the Police Department is to know each person in our diverse community. Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Officers and staff are working to foster and strengthen community relationships through partnerships, collaboration, and individual communications.
Because the misconduct of some Police Officers throughout the country has shone a spotlight on the conduct of Police Officers everywhere, it is important that the public know that all Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Officers:
- Wear body cameras, and every police vehicle is equipped with an in-car camera system. Internal Police Department regulations require that all law enforcement interactions be recorded.
- Participate in mandated anti-racism and anti-profiling training. In addition, each Officer provided an opportunity to complete additional training to address implicit bias and best practices for fair and impartial policing, with emphasis on an understanding and respect for cultural diversity.
- Participate in de-escalation and crisis intervention training.
- Undergo complete background investigations prior to hiring, including an “open source” review of social media posts, and serve an 18-month probation when starting with the Town.
- Are held accountable through a thorough investigation process for any complaints received regarding any alleged misconduct.
- Abide by strict use of force procedures, including a review of every use of force.
Los Gatos is rightly proud of its Police Department and its “guardian” approach to keep the public safe and ensure the public peace. The Department continuously reviews its policies and procedures to employ the best practices of community policing. This is critical to establishing and maintaining the public trust.
In August 2021, the Police Department launched a Police Transparency and Data Page with easily accessible information regarding:
- Stop data
- Hate crimes and hate incidents
- Mental health
- Crime statistics
- Use of force
- CA Public Records Act
The Neighborhood Watch program is one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime and engage the community. Neighborhood Watch fights the isolation that crime both creates and feeds upon. It forges bonds among area residents, helps reduce burglaries and robberies and improves relations between police and the communities they serve. For more information on how to get involved, visit the Police Neighborhood Watch webpage.
The Police Department also works directly with the community on emergency preparedness through the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). This 21-hour course offers training in disaster preparation response and recovery skills and is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). CERT is an all-volunteer, community-based emergency preparedness organization, supported by and operating within the command structure of the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department. The primary mission of LGMS CERT is to provide support and assistance to our communities and emergency services personnel during emergencies or disasters. But an equally important mission is to increase the overall level of disaster readiness by training and educating individuals within the communities of Los Gatos and Monte Sereno in emergency preparedness and basic disaster response techniques. For details on how you can join, please visit the CERT webpage.
In order to better assist the community and help improve interactions with those who have special needs, in 2020 the Police Department launched the Special Needs Awareness Program (SNAP). SNAP is a voluntary and confidential program with no cost to enroll. It is designed to provide First Responders with important information when responding to calls that involve individuals who may have a memory disorder, hearing impairment, autism or other behavioral disability. For details, visit the SNAP webpage.
The Los-Gatos Monte Sereno Police Department’s Use of Force Policy and Oversight can be viewed here. Among other provisions, the Department prohibits the use of chokeholds, requires Officers to use all reasonable means to de-escalate a situation before force is used, and mandates a duty to intercede to prevent the use of unreasonable force if it is observed. In all contacts with the public, Department members strive to act with integrity, compassion, and professionalism.
The Automated License Plate Reader Policy can be viewed here.
The Police Department Policy Manual can be viewed here. Due to continuous changes in the law and operational policies, the Policy Manual remains a fluid document. The Department is continuously reviewing and updating its policies and procedures to ensure that it is employing the best practices for hiring, training, eliminating bias, and ensuring the public's safety.