ATASCADERO, Calif. -- With continued cuts to law enforcement, central coast cities are finding new ways to address long-term problems in the community.
Atascadero is the latest city to roll out a community policing program that assigns officers to a certain section of the city.
With 26 officers on call for a city with the population of 27,000, it can be difficult for Atascadero police to get to everything.
"We cover 24/7 so there is a likelihood when someone calls in for something and its at a different time of day or a different day of the week, they may get a different officer," Sergeant Keith Falerios of the Atascadero Police Department.
The department is launching a new program that assigns officers to certain areas of the city so the next time you call 9-11 for the same problem you wont keep getting different officers.
"It's going to give the citizens who live in that area a single point of contact within the police department," Sergeant Gregg Meyer of the Atascadero Police Department.
The Atascadero Police divides the city in 5 areas: A, B, C, D, E. Areas A and B are West of Highway 101 and are residential areas, where as areas C and D, east of Highway 101 have more schools and businesses.
Area E is where most of the action happens with more businesses in the area and more traffic. More officers will be assigned to Area E.
"It's like having a friend at the department," says Falerios.
"Everyone wants a friend at the department well now every service district will have a friend at the department that they can go directly to."
Santa Maria Police just launched their own version of community policing, breaking up the city into 3 designated zones
"What we're trying to do. We're trying to have accountability," says Corporal Eligio Lara of the Santa Maria Police Department.
Each sergeant assigned to an area in Atascadero will serve that district for one year.
You can log onto the Atascadero Police Department's website to contact the officer assigned to your service area.
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