When most people think about the police, they commonly visualize a uniformed officer who is assigned to patrol. It is the most visible unit of the Police Department. It is also the largest unit, with twenty-two officers (76%) assigned from a total of twenty-nine officers.
These officers' primary duties are: respond to calls for service, patrol the neighborhoods and business areas for criminal activity, stop traffic violators and assist the public as needed.
In addition to routine patrol duties the officers spend many hours each year at district court, municipal court, drivers license hearings, and attending training classes. The dedicated officers of the Patrol Division provide the primary function of the police department by answering calls for service and performing self-initiated activity. In addition to the various types of calls, they also must routinely complete reports to document the above activity. On average, over one-fourth of a patrol officers' regular shift is dedicated to writing police reports.
Officers not responding to calls for service or writing reports are responsible for patrolling their district to promote high visibility, proactively look for criminal activity, and developing rapport with citizens and the business community. The City of Merriam has 65 miles of streets within its 4.5 square miles. The City is divided into three districts for patrol: North, Center, and South.
Maj. Darren McLaughlin is the commander of the patrol unit which is made up of uniformed officers. Manpower allocation and scheduling are his primary responsibilities. He is also responsible for investigating all citizen complaints on officers, internal investigations, and all use of force incidents.