How? First, COPS got out of the patrol cars and mixed in with the community. The Tampa COPS immediately investigate crimes themselves, instead of relaying the information and responsibility to detectives. COPS keep kids in school and off the streets, a tactic that has drastically reduced crime during school hours. COPS hold auctions where kids bid community service hours in exchange for impounded, unclaimed bicycles. COPS organized the area's first Girl Scout troop, and they are starting a Boy Scout troop. COPS organized crime-watch groups made up of volunteers who canvass their communities and help eliminate crimes such as vandalism, street-drinking, curfew violations, and prostitution. For every COPS officer in the community, there are dozens of watchful citizens who take pride in the cleanliness and safety of their community. This is government in partnership with the people.
Another crime-fighting partnership, Operation Safe Home, teams local and state law enforcement with the resources of HUD, Justice, Treasury, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy. This innovative partnership has not only combated gangs, drugs, and violence, but has also brought together a range of crime prevention initiatives to ensure long-term safety. Since 1994, Operation Safe Home has made a nationwide improvement in the safety of public housing with results like 8,000 arrests and the confiscation of 1,000 weapons as well as $5 million in drugs and drug money.(17)