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3ways Officers can improve Neighborhood Relationships

When Law Enforcement Officers are more familiar with the convicted criminals versus the tax paying citizens within the communities on their assigned beat, that’s an obvious problem.

There has been a struggle for new officers especially. The new officer usually wants to bring about change within the black and brown communities they are assigned to serve. However this becomes a challenge, when there is a great divide within the relationship of these communities and the Police departments that’s hired to protect and serve. Leaving the new officer who wants to bring about change left standing alone. The newly hired officer usually wants improved neighborhood relations. These communities have learned not to trust any officer making this relationship impossible to unite.

However, here are some suggestions for strengthening the community and officer divide.

From the seasoned officer to the rookie assigned to these neighborhoods, they must practice and maintain a better repore with the elders and the citizens within these communities. If we as citizens and officers assume more ownership of the true concern, we can make positive strides. Here are some key suggestions that may help improve our communities for the betterment of us all. While defunding the police will never be a solution, using their allocated budget towards additional training and not tactical training we all should see improvement.

 1. First suggestion is to invite more officers to live in the communities they are assigned to serve. Knowing there is an officer on the same block tends to drive the crime out and ease the citizens of the community. An elderly gentleman once told me how safe he and his wife felt living in his community. He shared there is a Cardiologist and an ER physician that lives on his street. He was once forced to call 911 for his wife. He stated before the medics arrived, his neighbors the Cardiologist and ER physician were at his house which made him trust his neighbors.It’s sorta like the adage “I am my Brother’s Keeper.” Having a Police Officer in the community would reassure the citizens that he/she is part of the community and with the respect towards that one officer, this could possibly allow the black and brown communities to become trustful of our officers.

 2. Having police officers interact more with the black and brown communities. Instead of staying in the police cruisers, if the officers would walk the beat and  meet with the citizens of these communities, this too will strengthen these severed relationships. There must be some connection for there to be some trust. The only way you can earn trust, you must learn from the people in these communities. The officer and the citizens must not perceive one another as enemies. This strained relationship will continue if no one is willing to take the initiative to meet on a mutual basis. We can’t continue with the “screw the police” mentality and the police can’t continue to assume every black and brown person is a criminal and continue with the excessive use of force.

 3. The importance of volunteering in the communities. Whether it be a food drive, a back to school supplies for the children, providing services to the local homeless shelters or even the halfway houses to those once incarcerated now being acclimated back to society. These acts of kindness speak volumes when strengthening relations within these communities.I cannot say enough about the importance of volunteering and achieving the trust of the public. Now is the time to stitch a new garment, of humanity,kindness and equality. There can be no more 2 America’s.

Defunding the Police isn’t the answer.

Lulu Swain

Tags: citizens police Relationships

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