Agencies of all sizes from across the country are implementing innovative programs to enhance police-community relations and better serve those that live, work, and visit their jurisdiction. Below are just a few examples of some of these ground-breaking programs. If you have a program you would like to share, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image courtesy of Apex, North Carolina, Police Department.
Safe Street Teams, Boston Police Department, Boston, Massachusetts
Boston Police Department (BPD) implemented Safe Street Teams throughout their jurisdiction. These teams consist of one sergeant and six police officers deployed in Boston’s most violent hot spot areas, identified through crime mapping. BPD held a series of meetings with community leaders so that all stakeholder could provide input on the program design and implementation. Through community events and meetings, the Safe Street Teams are able to work together and solve problems that arise in their area.
Next-Generation School Resource Officer, Connecticut State Police
Connecticut State Police’s (CSP) ‘next-generation’ school resource officer (SRO) program aims to build positive problem-solving relationships with the student body, their families and the faculty. The pilot is premised upon the community policing model whereby the trooper is an integral member of the school community, focusing on improved police and youth relationships and building a safer and more secure learning environment from the inside out. The pilot program strives to ensure a consistent response to incidents of student misbehavior, clarify the role of law enforcement in school disciplinary matters and reduce involvement of police and court agencies for misconduct at school and school-related events.
Operation Recess, Hopkins Police Department, Hopkins, Minnesota
Hopkins Police Department (HPD) created Operation Recess as a formal partnership between the elementary schools and the police department. Patrol officers spend one day a week at each of the elementary schools for three hours. Officers are not in uniform, and are there as rule enforcers, but as partners and supporters of the students. HPD officers are there to play and model cooperation problem-solving behavior.
CAUTION Program (Community Action Untied Team In Our Neighborhood), Michigan State Police
Michigan State Police (MSP) launched a pilot program that capitalizes on the strong faith community in Flint, Michigan. CAUTION is a partnership between the MSP and clergy of all faiths to create a two-way flow of information that fosters trust and improves public safety. Participating clergy, who receive training from the MSP, act as a quick response team to critical incidents to provide a calming influence at crime scenes and to act as a liaison between law enforcement officers and community members. CAUTION members utilize a 24/7 contact phone number to provide situational awareness to law enforcement and to pass on information useful in solving crimes and reducing the likelihood of civil unrest and retaliatory actions.
New Beginnings, Rhode Island State Police
Rhode Island State Police (RISP) launched an initiative to increase visibility in urban settings called New Beginnings. New Beginnings was created with the principal idea of sharing ideas between community members and law enforcement to facilitate a positive, open discussion. Troopers sustain this interaction by continually meeting with target communities to speak out against violence and praise positive contributions of individuals and groups toward the development of safer neighborhoods. Bridging the communication gap and developing respect in this way has ultimately improved community relations for RISP. This program proves to be an invaluable tool in reducing crime and allows the community to offer ideas and problem solving techniques that would otherwise remain unknown.