The Planning Unit is staffed by a Police Planner with a Master's Degree in Justice Administration, is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Old Dominion University and receives direction from the Chief of Police and Deputy Chief of Police. The Police Planner performs detailed research and analysis on various topics of concern to the Department, assists with preparing the Department's annual budget presentation, constructs and analyzes citizen surveys in conjunction with Community Policing, provides statistical reports to the Chief of Police, City Manager and other agencies, compiles and prints the Department's Annual Report that summarizes Department statistics each year. The Police Planner also serves as the Department's Volunteer Coordinator and coordinates a 150 hour internship with various colleges and universities with an average of 10 college interns each semester.
The Police Planner also functions as the Department's Grants Coordinator. Since 1995, the Planner has submitted and been awarded nearly $14 million in Federal and State grant initiatives. These funds have been used to hire 75 additional police officers, 19 additional civilian employees, purchase over 200 laptop computers that officers use in the field, the purchase of wearable cameras, tasers, Intelligence Unit surveillance equipment, computer crimes equipment to combat crimes against children, various marine craft and equipment for the Marine Patrol unit, new SWAT equipment, traffic enforcement equipment, and other programs and equipment throughout the Department.