The police in American communities not only work to keep citizens safe, but they look to the public to collaborate with them to keep the community safe. Strong positive relationships between police and the community is essential to effective police work. Police officials must rely on their citizens to speak out when they see a crime or suspicious activity. By forging relationships within the community, police officers can do their jobs to the best of their ability.
The National Police Association relies on citizens who understand the importance of police work to offer their support to help ensure our men and women in blue have all that they need to keep our towns safe. Everyone who supports The National Police Association supports the work of building stronger bonds between police and the communities they serve.
Below are some different tips that police departments can utilize to build stronger relationships in their communities:
- Police Should Be Transparent About Their Internal Disciplinary Measures – The National Police Association is very aware that some communities have a built-in distrust towards the police force. This can be caused by a single officer who handled a situation poorly or a media portrayal of a police officer who abuses their power. Police officers need the support of their local officials and their local citizens. It’s imperative that any issues within a police department are addressed head on and made public so that every citizen knows that the goal of the police is to enforce the law and help their fellow citizen.
- Police Officers Should Release Information on Critical Incidents on Their Website – The more the public understands about what is going on in their community, the more likely they are to comprehend when they are witnessing something suspicions. Of course, only information that won’t affect an investigation should be shared, but it’s great when a community can see just how hard a police department is working on their behalf.
- Police Participation in Community Events is Incredibly Important – Even if a person’s only interaction with a police officer is for something as small as a traffic citation, it is often still a negative experience. While the fault lies at the feet of the person who committed the crime, having just a single negative experience can hurt public perception. Police officers who get involved with local school activities, community events and local sport activities can do a lot to shift public perception.
Ultimately, the National Police Association understands that police officers have an all too often thankless job. They put their lives on their line to protect their fellow citizen and often receive very little praise in return. However, police stations that get proactive about shifting public perception can gather more public support and better protect themselves and their communities.