The Priority Oriented Policing (POP) Unit’s primary mission is to work closely with community based partners, Patrol Officers and Detectives on matters facing residents and youth in San Pablo. The unit works closely with all San Pablo schools, other City departments, residents and businesses to address quality of life and special crime issues promptly. This specialized unit is comprised of a Sergeant, School Resource Officers, Gang Officers and Code Enforcement. This program started in 1992, when a 19 year-old gang member was killed on the streets of San Pablo. Out of anguish from the inability to respond to cries for help from the deceased victim's mother, the Police In Schools to Offer Life (P.I.S.T.O.L.) Program was initiated. By August 1997 the position of School Resource Officer became a full time position in San Pablo.
The primary responsibility was working within the schools as a means of intervention and prevention on issues relating to firearms, drugs and gangs. In 2009, the San Pablo City Council expanded the P.I.S.T.O.L. Program from one officer to a team of people in order to better fight against juvenile delinquency and violence by working closely with youth. The unit was renamed as the Youth & Education Services (Y.E.S.) Unit. In 2010, the unit introduced the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program to San Pablo. G.R.E.A.T. is a series of 13 lessons designed to teach life skills and is taught in over 1400 communities worldwide.
The program is a school-based law enforcement officer-instructed classroom program that encourages student participation. In order to graduate the program students complete a community project. For more information on the G.R.E.A.T. Program visit www.great-online.org.
In 2014, the unit became the Priority Oriented Policing (POP) Unit once again and expanded its services.