Recent events on the national stage such as the events in Ferguson and Baltimore, combined with media images of officers atop armored vehicles, dressed in military fatigues and armed with rifles, have thrust the issue of police-community relations to the national spotlight. With the public demanding increased legitimacy and accountability from law enforcement agencies, how do police executives develop and support a culture of policing that reinforces the importance of community engagement in managing public safety — while also enhancing officer morale?
Perhaps, as Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission Executive Director Sue Rahr suggests, law enforcement leaders need to shift their agency’s culture from that of a warrior to that of a guardian. She recommends leaders transform training programs, encourage tactical social interaction and promote justice-based policing, which uses the principles of procedural justice.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey believes that law enforcement officers need to show respect to those they are sworn to protect, hoping that police see themselves as a thread woven through the communities they serve through respectful interactions, and ensuring the protection of constitutional rights as a first priority.
Anthony Braga, Professor of Evidence-Based Criminology at Rutgers University and Harvard University Senior Research Fellow, believes police executives must be cautious and considerate when describing urban violence patterns to improve police-minority community relations.
Join us for this upcoming Research for the Real World seminar where forward-looking figures in the law enforcement community discuss their contributions to the Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety and examine how law enforcement can be improved through the adoption of community-minded policies.