The Pleasanton Police Department will hold a public open house starting at 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. today where it will unveil its new "brand" platform for the organization.
The event, free and featuring activities and presentations of interest to all age groups, will be held at the department's headquarters at 4833 Bernal Ave.
It will mark the first time in Pleasanton's history that police have created a brand platform for their organization.
"This is something that I really wanted to do," said Pleasanton police chief Dave Spiller. "Branding, I think, is a promise we make to the community."
The brand is made up of the symbolic gold star that is traditional to law enforcement.
However the star is open and "connecting to the traditional arch that everybody identifies with as Pleasanton," said Spiller.
He added: "There's not really a lot of hard edges because I don't know if we're that hard or hard-edged. We want to appear the way the logo appears."
Just below "Pleasanton Police" is the logo's strapline -- "Better Together."
"I think it's a great tagline for who Pleasanton is," said Spiller. "Because we are better together."
The branding conversation came up a year ago when the police department was discussing its strategic plan. A part of that discussion included updating its visuals in the department, according to Sgt. Maria Munayer.
"We decided we wanted to start branding," she said.
And so, the branding process began.
A branding committee was formed, made up of members from all different levels of the police department, which included: Sgt. Julie Fragomeli, Det. Benjamin Sarasua, Officer Marty Billdt, Officer Ken McNeill, Officer Craig Hobizal, police chief administrative assistant Kim Monfort, dispatcher Linda Reynolds, community service officer Shannon Revel-Whitaker, as well as Munayer.
The eight members went through specialized training and connected with industry experts in the private sector.
"We didn't want this to be a marketing campaign," said Munayer. "We wanted to find out what our brand identity is and also what the equity of our brand was."
In order to get feedback about how the public viewed the police department, the committee sent out surveys to Pleasanton residents, police department employees and city departments. In addition, they conducted "Man on the Street" interviews and connected with the community at city events.
"Before we go out and say 'This is who we are, this is what we are,' we wanted to make sure our strengths were aligned with the community's needs. We wanted our brand to be credible," said Munayer.
Another way the committee received feedback was by meeting with focus groups that represented the community, such as: the youth, school administrators, the Pleasanton Downtown Association, Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, neighborhood watch block captains and retired Pleasanton PD employees.
From there, the committee pulled out key ideas and themes from the feedback that helped them identify the community's, and even the police department's, needs.
Sarasua, who met with the youth focus group, said the youth wanted to see more presence of police on campus.
"They want to see more connectedness with the police department," he added. "We want to be able to break down those barriers where they feel like they couldn't approach us ... just see us as people rather than people of power with a badge and uniform on."
Spiller noted that not all the feedback was positive feedback.
"One of the hardest things was the negative comments," McNeill said. "We had to step back and take a hard look at what they were saying ... and a lot of what they had said, there was a lot of truth."
According to Spiller, all the data received was of huge importance to him.
"What people say, how people feel ... having that information is so powerful," said Spiller. "It really set out to frame our brand identity."
Munayer added that hearing and reading people's stories about their experience with the police department also factored into what phrases were used in the bland platform.
For example: " a guardian," "a trusted neighbor," "doors are always open," and "small town service."
"The language in there is contradictory to some traditions of law enforcement," Munayer said. "You'll see some language in there that's reflective of and what's distinctive to Pleasanton."
After a year (nine months dedicated to research) and a conference room full of poster boards of themes and ideas, the branding committee created the Pleasanton Police Department's first ever brand platform -- which can be viewed online and at Saturday's open house ... and soon to be seen all over Pleasanton.
"Our brand isn't just our logo. That's just the representation," said Munayer. "Our brand is really who we are, what we stand for, what we believe ... a distinctive promise that only we can give."