The increase in the amount of motor patrols has lead to a decrease in interaction between citizens and police officers. Decreased interaction between police and citizens has led not only to deterioration of community relations but also to an inaccurate and unrealistic assessment of the police role. This deterioration of relations not only may increase inaccurate views of police and their roles but may also increase fear of crime and/or victimization.
In the era of community policing, such trends may have begun to change. Officer Zach Martinez has been working to change that, through his role as the community outreach officer responsible for downtown foot patrol. He has established friendships with business owners, merchants and local residents. He has become a fixture in the downtown area where business owners have come to depend on him for their security.
His partnership with the business community has fostered a better line of communication and education with the businesses, Visitors Bureau and Chamber of Commerce, and led to the recovery of stolen property and arrests of perpetrators and improved prevention measures. Martinez works closely with Community Outreach Officer Jason Farris.
Officer Martinez came from Los Angeles Police Department and has worked assignments including Patrol, Bicycle Team, Fraud and Juvenile Investigations/DARE. He has been an officer for over 20 years. He joined the Laguna Beach Police Employees’ Association Board of Directors in 2015.
The Above and Beyond Award is presented to public safety personnel from the private and public sector for going above and beyond in assisting and helping victims of crime, empowering them to survive and thrive.
Crime Survivors Inc. is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide hope and healing to victims and survivors of crime through advocacy and the support of resources, information and empowerment from the critical time after a crime occurs through the challenges and successes of surviving and thriving.