Imagine you have been asked to provide information to your community at a town hall meeting about the functions of your local police department. You have been asked to provide a Policing Awareness Report handout to the people who attend.
Consider the research on the following items:
- The impact of policing in your community
- Community programs offered by the police
- Theories of criminal behavior that most align with the goals and programs of police in your community
Write a report to provide to the townhall meeting attendees in which you explain your findings with the following sections to answer the following:
1. What is the mission of your local police department?
2. What goals does your local police department have? How do they work to accomplish these goals?
- What are the various roles police play in your community? What is their impact?
- How do your local police partner with citizens and other entities?
- What community programs (e.g., D.A.R.E., Police Explorers) are offered by your local police department?
- Explain the programs, including the benefits they provide to society and the role the police play in these programs.
Policing Awareness Report Overview
Over the past decade, relations between law enforcement agencies and the general public have become a major focal point within the United States. These relations are at an all-time low across the nation; with many expressing their distrust for the police and whether they are actually serving and protecting the communities they frequently patrol. Calls for accountability within law enforcement agencies now occupy the national debate with many lobby groups blatantly claiming that police officers have largely failed to discharge their duties diligently (McGuire et al., 2021). The sharp rise in officer-involved shootings of racial minorities is now a major area of concern for activists who now call for a complete overhaul of law enforcement agencies in the United States. Incidences such as the slaying of unarmed individuals, such as George Floyd and Briana Taylor, have reignited the debate on police brutality and the inaction of state and federal agencies. It is for this very reason that groups such as the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement have called for a thorough policing of law enforcement agencies and even gone as far as making controversial suggestions such as de-funding police precincts.
In light of the recent realities in police-community relations, it is worth noting that the North Providence Police Department (NPPD) has remained dedicated to upholding the basic tenets of policing within our community. The North Providence Police Department has , time and again, made it abundantly clear that their sole responsibility is to maintain law and order within the entire Providence region while guaranteeing individuals of their personal safety. However, the department also acknowledges that it also has to express a tough stance against sporadic crimes witnessed within the area and to deal with offenders within the confines of the law. The recent spate of armed robberies, home-invasions, smash-and-grab burglaries, and homicides are a clear indication of the challenges the department is up against hence the need to support the department during this difficult period. Officers from the North Providence Police Department currently serve between 33,000 and 34, 000 residents residing within the Providence region and its environs (North Providence Police Department, 2021). Although the officers are thinly stretched throughout this extensive swathe of territory, they remain committed to offering much-needed law enforcement services and maintaining order. The NPPD is also a notable pioneer of community policing which it considers a necessary strategy when attempting to cultivate trust and accountability with the local population.
Mission of Policing Awareness
The primary mission of the North Providence Police Department is to improve relations with the local communities to pave the way for community policing in the long run. Department chiefs now realize that the solution to crime, especially in inner-city, is implementing a rigorous community-policing strategy designed to curb antisocial behavior among vulnerable members of society. This strategy should also involve developing a deep inter-personal relationship with community leaders able to alert the police about suspicious activities within their areas while establishing possible mitigation strategies designed to curb insecurity. Moreover, the department also seeks to ensure that community policing is designated as a mainstream policing strategy within the Providence region and also taught in the police academy. This is meant to ensure that rookie officers are immediately conscious of their role in serving the community while developing relationships based on respect and trust. Besides, the North Providence Police Department’s mission also encompasses the provision of high-quality policing services and a timely response to any reports filed by complainants (North Providence Police Department, 2021). This will only be achieved by focusing exclusively on personal excellence in policing and espousing personal responsibility among law enforcement officers.
Goals of Policing Awareness
The main goal of policing awareness is building public trust to guarantee that the community will develop total trust in the local police department. This process should always begin with law enforcement agencies reiterating that their sole objective is to serve the people rather than police. Departments that are able to form a rapport with the local communities often reap the benefits of this relationship; evident in an overall reduction in spates of crime while boosting public trust in law enforcement agencies. Additionally, policing awareness by the North Providence Police Department also seeks to promote professionalism among its officers to ensure that their conduct remains within the law. This often involves capacity building programs designed with the main aim of ensuring that officers are fully aware of all critical tenets of the US Constitution and are able to implement them while respecting people’s individual rights (Ling, 2015). This fits perfectly in the department’s goal of maintaining public safety while upholding individual’s personal rights , inclusive of the protection of life and property. This goal can only be achieved through an exclusive focus on developing workable collaborative programs to blur the purported divide between the public and law enforcement officials.
Role of the Community in Policing Awareness
Today, the North Providence Police Department realizes the sheer importance of improving relations with local communities as a basic solution to some of the problems plaguing the department. Officers from the department now recognize their individual impact in transforming the tide of negative relations between law enforcement agencies and local communities (Fielding, 2015).One of the most highly-recommended strategies has often involved the regular patrolling of major crime-ridden areas while also attempting to develop a symbiotic relationship with the public. Additionally, the department recently created a highly trained crisis management team to address any emerging challenges stemming from police interactions with the public. This program was specifically designed to cultivate public confidence in the police while also ensuring that individual officers are always held to account. The “Coffee with a Cop” program is also among one of the most successful community policing initiatives now designed to improve relations between law enforcement officers and the public.
The ultimate success of the North Providence Police Department also relies heavily on its emphasis on the actual importance of intra- and inter-departmental collaboration across precincts located in different regions across the US. This strategy is designed to serve as a useful conduit for the dissemination of critical information on police-community relations and some of the most viable solutions to employ when aspiring for long-term success. Moreover, this process also includes the integration of programs designed to involve community leaders in the decision-making process while ensuring that individual feedback is always considered. High-level cooperation initiatives, such as partnering with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies also creates a unique opportunity for brainstorming on how to improve police relations with citizens. Security-based information can always be shared within such forums which always goes a long way in improving the operational capability of strategies such as “Code Watch and Community Watch”.
The involvement of law enforcement agencies in policing awareness strategies is also essential when attempting to lessen the divide currently present between the police and law enforcement agencies. Bridging this gap, through notable initiatives such as “Coffee with a Cop” and “Code Watch and Community Watch”, fosters a great deal of trust in the capacity and dedication of law enforcement agencies and is bound to eventually go a long way in improving damaged relations. Such forums also provide a unique platform for conducting theft awareness initiatives, the integration of mediation in solving local disputes within the community, and the identification and documenting of serial repeat offenders.