Portland police want to build on department successes in the coming year, improving communications with the community, strengthening ties with the city’s youth and cutting crime.

The department has unveiled a five-year strategic plan, which codifies many initiatives that are already under way.

“If you need to find and understand where you’re going, you have to have a road map to get there,” said Chief James Craig. “It’s just simply good business. Any major corporation that wants to go somewhere and wants to be successful has to have a strategic plan.”

A plan can be used to measure achievement and improvement, he said. The five-year plan has been in development for several months. It is the department’s first, Craig said.

The plan includes the department’s mission statement, its vision and a series of commitments: service excellence, community engagement and resource management.

It lists four major goals: reducing crime, fostering a culture of excellence, enhancing youth relations and improving communications.

Within those goals are some specifics, including assigning officers in a way that reduces car burglaries; fostering relationships between patrol teams and senior lead officers. and improving the department’s use of social media. The department also plans to increase officer involvement in the schools and with at-risk youth. It also calls for relying more on crime statistics to guide how officers are assigned.

It does not include specific actions such as equipment purchases or personnel assignments. Rather, it is meant to be a broad outline of the department’s intended future.

Craig hopes that as other city departments plan for the future, they will incorporate one another’s goals to ensure the city’s progress is coordinated.

Craig said the department’s plan is not a direct reflection of his personal agenda — supervisors, command staff and a committee led by Lt. Don Krier worked on the document — but it does reflect his priorities.

“My mission is to move a good police department to greatness,” Craig said. “If we’re really about the business of being a great police department, we need to be about the business of innovation and change, and not accepting just the status quo.”

In addition to its goals, the plan calls for the department to meet with community groups in the years ahead to assess how well the department is meeting its strategic goals and how the plan should change to meet evolving community needs.

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

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