|Field Operations Division
Field Operations is the larger of the two divisions and is commanded by one of the department's two captains. The Field Operations division consists primarily of uniformed personnel, who provide most of the typical police services, including patrol, traffic, and miscellaneous community services. The division is comprised of the following sections and units:
Patrol is the cornerstone of the Police Department. These are the officers out in the community responding to calls for service day and night, maintaining order, ensuring safe traffic flow, and providing the overall sense of security and well being for the community.
Personnel assigned to the Patrol section are trained to handle anything from a simple parking complaint to an in-progress assault with a deadly weapon. They are dedicated to perform their assignments as professionals, even under the most difficult circumstances. Patrol personnel are responsible for keeping abreast of all internal department policies and procedures intended to help them perform their job more efficiently.
Patrol personnel are charged with the responsibility of applying law enforcement solutions to complicated community problems. Patrol personnel give life to the philosophy of Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS) in their day-to-day operations. It is the responsibility of Patrol personnel to apply available department resources to their fullest potential.
When critical incidents occur beyond the normal capabilities of Patrol, such as large scale civil disturbances or crimes involving the use of sophisticated weaponry or hostages, Patrol can depend on the specialized capabilities of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team and the Hostage Negotiations Team (HNT).
The Traffic section is comprised of three motor officers under the direct supervision of a traffic sergeant. A commander has administrative responsibilities over the section. The primary responsibility of the traffic section is traffic enforcement duties and collision investigation. The Traffic section provides selective traffic enforcement at various locations throughout the City and twelve (12) school locations at the request of the community members, School District personnel and City officials.
Traffic Law Update
The driving laws for California change frequently and the public is usually the last to know. Our goal is to provide an update in proposed or recently enacted traffic laws to members of the community in a timely manner. The following laws were taken from the vehicle code. If you need additional information pertaining to driving rules and regulations, you can visit the California Department of Motor Vehicles at: www.dmv.ca.gov
Rules of the Road
- Did you know that effective July 1, 2005 you are required to drive with your headlamps on during inclement weather? This is a friendly reminder to turn your headlamps on during rain, fog, mist, snow, or other precipitation or atmospheric moisture.
Driver’s License Restrictions
- Vehicle Section 12814.6 Prohibits a provisional licensee from carrying passengers under the age of 20, unless accompanied by a licensed parent/guardian, licensed/certified instructor or a licensed driver 25 years of age or older, during the first 12 months (previously six months) the driver is licensed.
- Prohibits a provisional licensee from driving between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. (currently 12 midnight and 5 a.m.).
- Increases the jail time to a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of six months in jail when a person is found guilty of engaging in a motor vehicle speed contest and the driver causes injury to someone other than himself. If it is a second or subsequent offense and serious bodily injury occurs, the jail time is increased to a maximum of one year.
Canine (K-9) Unit
In July of 1994 the Union City Police Department developed and implemented a police canine program to assist patrol officers on the street. The department currently has two canines on patrol that are used in the locating and apprehension of violent misdemeanor and felony suspects, as well as in the search of missing adults and children.
A multi-agency agreement between our neighboring police agencies is in place to ensure that a police canine is immediately available should the need arise. The canines live in the home of the handler when off-duty. The handlers are responsible for the feeding, caring, and maintenance of their dogs.
The current team consisits of handlers Officer Robert Kensic and his partner Axel, and handler Officer Brian Baumgartner and his partenr Edy. The Program is under the supervision of Sergeant Raul Galindo.
Field Training Unit
All newly hired police officers, whether new to law enforcement or a transfer from another police agency, are required to complete the Union City Police Department’s Field Training Program certified by the California Peace Officer’s Standards and Training Commission (POST). The purpose of the program is to ensure that new officers understand how to effectively apply what they were taught in the basic police academy, and, to ensure they understand the policies and procedures of the Union City Police Department.
Union City uses a five phase, seventeen-week training program, which includes a three-week orientation phase, three four-week training phases with a dedicated field training officer (FTO) assigned to the recruit, and a two-week shadow phase in which the FTO is in an observation mode to evaluate the recruit's performance and determine whether the recruit is ready for solo patrol.
Crisis Response Unit
The Union City SWAT Team is comprised of a 12-member tactical response team supported by a hostage negotiation team (HNT). The team is supervised by two team leaders and two assistant team leaders. The tactical team includes two trained sniper/observer positions.
Tactical team members are selected through a competitive selection process consisting of a physical fitness test, firearms proficiency, an oral interview, and a psychological test. Newly selected team members must successfully complete a two-week basic SWAT school along with ongoing in-house training.
The tactical team attends 12 hours of training every month. The snipers train an additional 4 hours a month. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the tactical team receives additional training in civil disturbance and terrorist incident response. Training is the responsibility of the team leaders and assistance team leaders, who develop and facilitate training with outside agencies.
SWAT is prepared to respond to crisis situations including barricaded suspects, hostage rescues, natural disasters, and civil disturbances.
The Community Services section is comprised of the Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS) unit, the Union Landing Shopping Complex team, and the School Resource Officer (SRO) program.
Community Oriented Policing & Problem Solving (COPPS) Unit
The COPPS unit officers have a variety of responsibilities and are involved in several programs that include, but are not limited to, crime prevention, nuisance abatement through the Community Health Action Team (CHAT), and neighborhood dispute mediation.
The Crime Prevention program provides such services as residential and commercial security surveys, presentations to community groups on crime prevention and related topics, coordinating neighborhood watch programs and providing statistical data to the public on request.
Members of CHAT are comprised of Police, Neighborhood Preservation, Fire, Building, Public Works and Alameda County Housing personnel who work together to find solutions to issues affecting the quality of life in our communities.
The COPPS unit is often instrumental in resolving neighborhood disputes within the city. These disputes can range from chronic barking dog complaints to neighbors disputing over a property fence line. The COPPS unit also routinely participates in crime prevention and neighborhood watch presentations to various groups and organizations.
Union Landing Detachment
The Union Landing Shopping Complex Policing Team consists of one corporal and two officers. The team works out of the Police Sub-Station that is located across from the Century 25 movie theaters.
The Union Landing team is responsible for the overall security of the complex. Besides investigating all crimes and incidents that occur in the complex, they also assist merchants with loss prevention and general security needs.
School Resource Officers
The School Resource Officer program is a cooperative effort with the New Haven Unified School District and the City of Union City. The program currently consists of two officers who are assigned to the James Logan High School campus and one officer assigned to the Connolly-Carabello Continuation High School.
The New Haven Unified School District and the City of Union City share the expense of the officers with the school district providing funding equal to one-half the salary and benefits for a ten (10) month period each year.
Animal Services Unit
The Animal Services unit is comprised of one Public Services Officer and one part-time cadet. The unit is responsible for responding to animal related calls for service ranging from, but not limited to, nuisance or vicious dog reports, dog bite reports, reports of sick or injured animals, and cruelty to animal reports.