Intelligence-led policing secures one sergeant 'Officer of the Year'

tstevens@ledger-enquirer.comMay 7, 2014 

In 2007, Sgt. Roderick Graham marched into Columbus Police Chief Ricky Boren's office and plopped down a proposal.

"The proposal was titled 'Intelligence-Led Policing,'" Boren said with a laugh during Wednesday afternoon's annual employee Recognition ceremony. "Intelligence-led policing was something that was catching on, but it wasn't catching on fast enough for Roderick. He put a proposal on my desk about an inch think, and at that time it called for him getting promoted to lieutenant."

It would be six more years before the department tried Graham's proposed method — a crime-prevention tactic which uses multiple streams of data to predict criminal "hot-spots" and assign officers to those locations.

Finally, in August 2013, the department gave intelligence-led policing a 90-day trial period.

"Since that time he has sent out 2200 bulletins to all bureaus in our department, as well as other agencies in our city," Boren said. "He works extremely hard to build relationships with other agencies."

It was the 24-year police veteran's diligent efforts — and his program's impressive results — that led CPD's award committee to name him 2014's Officer of the Year.

In less than a year, the program's implementation has led to the apprehension of 349 offenders. More than 200 of those were charged with narcotics offenses. The unit has also identified six gangs and more than 100 gang members.

After receiving his award, Graham said he was excited to see how new technology, such as the upcoming record management system, might improve his efforts.

"I think receiving Officer of the Year definitely validates the program," Graham said. "It was a little bit challenging to try and convince people that this was a needed concept. But I think when they started seeing the pluses to it, and started to see the advantages of it, that more and more people started coming to it."

Wednesday's two-part ceremony, attended by Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, honored dozens of officers. Fifty-eight received awards, gift cards and pins for years spent patrolling without a vehicular accident. More than 100 officers received recognition for five or more years of service, with three serving 40 years or more.

Lt. Charles Lee and Officer Kyle Johnson were also awarded meritorious service awards for their work on CPD's re-accreditation team.

Cpl. Richard Kimbrough received a medal of valor after he rescued numerous elderly patients from a grease fire at an unnamed east Columbus healthcare facility in December 2013.

"Richard and his partner were there conducting interviews into an incident that had occurred in that facility," Boren said. "While they were there, a grease fire broke out in the kitchen, requiring the total evacuation of some 20 elderly residents and several staff members."

Kimbrough first rescued an unconscious staff member before repeatedly returning to the building to assist others while officials worked to douse the flames.

"His actions were clearly instrumental in bringing this incident to a safe ending for the residents and staff of the health care facility," Boren said.

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