Field Operations is the larger of the two divisions and is commanded by one of the department's Commanders. 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.
The Traffic section has one officer who specializes in Child Car Safety Inspections.
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
Cell Phone Law
- Effective Jan 1, 2014, Teen Drivers who are under 18 years of age are prohibited from using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text–based communication while driving, even if it is equipped with a hands–free device.
Child Safety Seats
- Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat.
- Children under the age of 8 who are 4' 9" or taller may be secured by a safety belt in the back seat.
- Children who are 8 years and over shall be properly secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint system or safety belt.
- Passengers who are 16 years of age and over are subject to California's Mandatory Seat Belt law.
- Buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash. Also, seat belts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers.
Registration and Vehicle Transfers
- Effective Jan 1, 2014, a new law prohibits the transfer of ownership of a vehicle to a relative or a revocable living trust until all parking or toll–violation fines and penalties reported to the DMV are paid by the transferee.
Bicycles: Passing Distance
- Effective Sept. 16, 2014, a new law known as the “Three Feet for Safety Act”, will require a motor vehicle driver passing a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction to pass with no less than 3 feet between any part of the vehicle and any part of the bicycle or driver. When three feet is not possible, the motor vehicle must slow to a reasonable and prudent speed and only pass when no danger is present to the bicyclist. Failing to do so can incur a fine, regardless of a collision or not.
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 consists of handlers Officer Chris Leete and his partner Marx and Officer Nate Gelderman and his partner Dio. The Program is under the supervision of Sgt. Stan Rodrigues.
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 has one Police Officer who is assigned to the James Logan High School campus.
Public Service Officers (PSO)
Public Services Officers are civilian members of the police department and are assigned to Patrol. They are responsible for animal control, prisoner transportation, and other auxiliary functions of patrol. In addition to transporting prisoners, Public Services Officers also assist police officers by handling property crime reports that have no suspect information, documentation of non-injury vehicle collisions, sex-offender registration, parking enforcement, traffic control and more.
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.