During the next few weeks I will be publishing excerpts from twenty or more of these essays with the hope of generating some discussion on what these police leaders and academics have to say about the future of our men and women in blue.
Enjoy and please comment!
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“Agencies that can establish communitywide trust will be in better position to expend necessary financial resources on reducing violent crime…
“Although… nontraditional models have proven successful in highlighting the many attributes of law enforcement, additional work in the area of relationship building is imperative. The area deserving attention and effort during the next 10 years can be found in partnership building in those neighborhoods experiencing violent crime. The cornerstone of success for the future of law enforcement will be the ability of the agency to be viewed as competent by all cultures within a city. Relationship and partnership development between police and at-risk or even failing neighborhoods can prove challenging and must be driven by the agency executive.
“When a community stands behind its police department and engages in an active partnership development with the men and women serving and protecting, crime rates tend to drop” (my emphasis).
[Barbara Duncan, chief of police, Salisbury, Maryland.]
“We have arguably created a police and justice model more concerned with organizational comfort and efficiency, premised on organizational consolidation, than with effectiveness or sensitivity for the police consumer. What if we were to re-imagine an American justice system, designed from the ground up, for the benefit of its victims, its families, even its suspects and defendants, and ultimately the community?
“We would create consolidated, approachable, neighborhood-level police stations with community problem-solving courts (my emphasis). The facility would include an access point to a range of government, private, and non-profit wraparound social support services, particularly for first-time, at-risk youth offenders when positive interventions early in a juvenile’s criminal lifecycle might preclude later, more serious criminal activity.
“This model would dissolve traditional organizational silos by utilizing a case management team that would review individual cases and create tailored responses including drug and mental health treatment. Local neighborhood-level community courts can acknowledge that low-level, quality-of-life crimes that erode community standards initially degrade neighborhoods. Local courts are more likely to take the time and effort to craft meaningful responses to local crime. Officer workspaces arranged around a conference table would promote a collaborative problem-solving approach and encourage officers to ‘connect the dots.’
“This work environment would help reinforce innovative management and training systems that encourage community problem-solving approaches…”
[Jim Burack, town administrator and chief of police, Milliken, Colorado.]