|Sad, but truly felt by LEOs|
What are the police doing?
1. Police are getting more training and trying to filter back into community policing by building public trust through programs and events. Community policing has never gone away in law enforcement. They are just beefing up its importance and trying to add more substance to the concept. Additionally, they are using community partnerships to help build a bridge and gain public trust. When our department introduced this concept decades ago, they encouraged going back to some "walk beats" so officers could have face to face communication with neighbors and business owners to build community relationships and in turn be partners in intel information and combating crime.
2. Community volunteering has become more of policy and sponsorship rather than a suggestion. Many departments have affiliated themselves with Special Olympics, March of Dimes, United Way, and other non-profits. Cities are also hosting blue line sports events. In the past Shop With A Cop has been popular at Christmas time. A shocker to many is these programs have been in place for decades, but go virtually unnoticed until now when the media puts spotlight on them or agencies highlight the events. These interactions and "meshing"as I call it, is still important and may continue taking shape again in one form or another and additionally through events, food drives, housing projects, neighborhood watch programs, community meetings, etc.
3. Public service announcements, social media campaigns, and marketing. Police is now a business. Before it was just a service branch of government. With the technology changing, police are joining the club and interacting on the interwebs and also various media outlets. Any way to get a positive message and transparency out there...they are doing.
4. More PIOs or public information officers are being filtered into the community for two-way conversations and discussions. The officer delivering announcements and trusted information-who brings the press releases is now a public figure and not just a company mouthpiece.
5. Image boosting through diversity hires, policy change, community partnerships, and transparency. The police are trying their best to build the gaps and gain trust through any means possible. Liaisons from various community groups and organizations become beneficial in connecting with citizens. Online sites and groups such as Humanizing the Badge, Uniform Stories, and The Thin Blue Line among others are putting the word out about inside knowledge and interworkings of cops. Cops are tweeting!
6. Citizen groups formed by friends and family such as "Back the Blue" campaigns,"Sea of Blue" Facebook groups, and "police gear or swag" to distribute to supporters.
7. Going back to the basics: How To Talk To People, Personal Delivery, Culture Sensitivity, and Interpersonal Communications.
8. Body Cameras. Welcome to Youtube where your worst moments are captured by police and released for public enjoyment. Or to counter a false claim. Or to vindicate a victim. Or for that simple thing of TRANSPARENCY that the public demands.
So that's not all, but that's some. My fingers are tired and I have to save them for my grad school papers. Can you think of things I haven't mentioned? What ideas and/or solutions do you think are needed?