Journalists Kate Abbey-Lambertz and Joseph Erbentraut provide some hope for us in their article, “How America’s Police Forces Are Solving The Crisis Of Mistrust” on the Huffington Post website today. They provide some great examples from around the country.
Their report an excellent overview on community-oriented policing (and the word “oriented” is important part of how we talk about it). It is far too easy to think of “community policing” as simply policing the community; whereas, to me, “community-ORIENTED policing” more accurately describes what it is or should be.
Years ago, I described community-oriented policing as:
“Community-oriented policing is the work done by police assigned to a specific neighborhoods or business areas. They become not only community workers, but also organizers. They work collaboratively with citizens preventing, controlling, and eliminating crime and other disorder in their area.”
From the Huffington Post article:
“The system of policing has earned our mistrust,” said Opal Tometi, a New York-based activist and co-founder of the #BlackLivesMatter campaign. In many ways, Tometi’s group embodies the recent decline in relations between police and communities.
“#BlackLivesMatter protests across the country have called for reforms including increased accountability surrounding police shootings and a reduction in the use of military equipment by local police departments. The shooting of two New York City police officers shortly after the announcement of the Garner verdict further intensified the national debate on policing in America.
“But beyond the headlines, many police forces are working to build trust with their communities. Police experts say that improved relations can be attributed largely to common-sense approaches that build on the philosophy known as community policing…”
I urge you to read the full report HERE.
And for a check-list which will help you to rate the “goodness” of your police department, see HERE for an idea…