The Garner Police Department is a nationally accredited law enforcement agency composed of sixty-four sworn officers and five civilian staff members. The Department is led by the Chief of Police, Brandon V. Zuidema, and is broken into two primary components - the Office of the Chief of Police and the Operations Bureau. The Chief's Office includes the Administrative Support Unit and the Professional Standards Unit while the Operations Bureau, led by Deputy Chief Eric Copeland, includes the Criminal Investigations Division, the Patrol Division, the Support Services Division and the Traffic Safety Division.
Our Department endorses and adheres to community policing as an organizational philosophy that is designed to encourage cooperation and collaboration with our community stakeholders to reduce crime, address problems and improve the overall quality of life in Garner and Wake County.
Administrative Support Unit
The Administrative Support Unit includes the Administrative Manager and the Criminal Records Clerks. The Administrative Manager, Mrs. Dana Clay, serves as the Department's CALEA Accreditation Manager, supervises the Records staff, coordinates payroll and evaluation systems, manages grants and coordinates promotion and internal selection processes. The Records staff is responsible for responding to telephone and walk-in requests for service and assistance, for maintaining Department records and for tracking budgetary expenditures.
Criminal Investigations Division
The Investigations Division is a part of the Operations Bureau of the police department. The division is commanded by a Lieutenant and has a Sergeant and eight investigators. There are four general investigators, who are responsible for furthering the investigation of all felony crimes including (but not limited to) murder, rape, robbery, theft and fraud cases. The division has four investigators that handle gang crime, drugs and vice, and crimes involving special victims. This division of the police department also handles crime mapping and analysis. The investigators employ a team approach to major crime investigations, where multiple investigators are assigned to all major crimes.
The Patrol Division is the largest section in the Operations Bureau. There are 37 sworn officers assigned to the patrol division. These officers are led by the Deputy Chief and day to day operations are handled by the patrol Lieutenant assigned as the division commander. The officers are divided into five platoons of seven officers. The four primary patrol platoons each have a sergeant, a platoon leader and five police officers (one of whom is a canine handler). They work a rotating 12-hour schedule and they are the first persons to respond to all crimes, including responding to 911 calls and handling domestics, shopliftings, and all other reported crimes. The fifth platoon consists of a sergeant, a platoon leader and five officers; in addition to providing additional staffing during peak hours, this platoon provides staffing for special enforcement and other public safety initiatives. All personnel assigned to the Patrol Division are responsible for taking a proactive approach to partnerships, prevention and problem solving in the Garner community.
Professional Standards Unit
The Professional Standards Unit is part of the Office of the Chief of Police. This unit answers directly to the Police Chief and is staffed by a lieutenant and a sergeant. The Professional Standards Lieutenant serves as the Department’s Public Information Officer and is responsible for auditing, inspection and long range planning for the police department. The Professional Standards Lieutenant also manages the internal affairs function, including the investigation of complaints against officers as well as incidents involving the use of force by officers and vehicle pursuits. The Personnel and Training Sergeant is responsible for coordinating all Department training, recruiting and the fitness program.
Support Services Division
The Support Services Division is a part of the Operations Bureau of the police department. The division is commanded by a Lieutenant and has a Sergeant, four School Resource Officers, and one Crime Prevention Officer. The School Resource Officers (SRO) are assigned to Garner Magnet High School, East Garner Middle School and North Garner Middle School. The Crime Prevention Officer is responsible for organizing, attending and starting community watch programs. He also helps businesses with security audits and works with town planning to provide CPTED (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design) services to new buildings and businesses in Town. The Sergeant is the primary evidence custodian for the department and also provides day to day supervision of the SROs. The division Lieutenant is responsible for all department property, fleet services, and coordinates all secondary employment.
Traffic Safety Division
The Traffic Safety Division is a part of the Operations Bureau. There are five sworn officers assigned to the traffic unit who are supervised by a lieutenant and a sergeant. This division is responsible for the investigation of traffic accidents, addressing speed complaints, conducting traffic studies and analyses, and managing traffic control at large events like the Christmas Parade and the annual July 4th Celebration. Division personnel receive advanced training in accident investigation and reconstruction and traffic safety education and enforcement. This unit provides several services to the community including a DWI simulator, the seatbelt demonstrator, and the placement of portable speed signs in the community. This division also coordinates the School Crossing Guard program for the elementary schools inside the Town.