A unity of effort between the police and community is the foundation for protecting America and critical for securing our neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces.
Protecting our communities and the morale of the nation demands unwavering shared responsibility, the lifeline of public safety.
America must be fully committed, without reserve or excuse, to building bridges between the police and community as our way of life demands this collaboration.
Failure to share responsibility is not an option as without cohesiveness the results will only be distrust, discord, and disorder.
Community Policing, Understanding the Background
There is information on shared responsibility according to the U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing (COPS) posted on its website, which is as follows:
“Effective partnerships between law enforcement and community stakeholders are essential to public safety, and it is important that government agencies, community groups, nonprofits, businesses, and private citizens all embrace public safety as a shared responsibility. Law enforcement and community members must develop positive working relationships in order to build enduring solutions and increase trust between the police and the public.”
COPS is responsible for advancing the practice of community policing by preventing crime and eliminating the fear it creates by building trust throughout the community. The COPS document titled Community Policing Defined crystalizes shared responsibility as inseparable from community policing as follows:
“Community policing is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies that support the systemic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.”
NYPD Neighborhood Policing: A Cultural Change
The COPS Community Policing concept has been further developed by the NYPD into neighborhood policing. This is an intensified version of the community policing model reflecting a cultural change for 21st century policing.
This cultural change is best explained by NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill and Chief of Department Terence A. Monahan.
In a March 12, 2018 statement before the New York City Council Public Safety Committee in City Hall Council Chambers, Commissioner O’Neill shared his visionary leadership on neighborhood policing.
“Neighborhood Policing is not a program; it is not an initiative; and it is not just a few cops in some parts of the city trying to be nicer to people. It is a philosophy intended to reshape the approach to fulfilling our core mission—not only in an operational sense, but in the spirit and practice of every aspect of the work we do. Neighborhood Policing reflects a cultural change for our entire agency—for every NYPD employee, uniformed and civilian; for every bureau, division, and unit—and for everyone who lives, works, and plays in New York. It is about each of us sharing responsibility for public safety by working to reduce violence together—all while building trust. And it is the most radical, top-to-bottom, operational change the NYPD has embarked on in nearly 25 years. What we have learned in the NYPD is that if we want everyone who lives in our communities to trust and respect our police officers, all of us in leadership roles—from the Police Commissioner’s Office on down to the front-line supervisors on the street—also have to trust and respect our police officers. We have to allow our men and women in uniform to be decision-makers and problem-solvers. We need them to take responsibility for, and great pride in, the people and the areas of New York City they protect. And we need to treat everyone we serve equally and fairly. In short, this style of New York policing is a game-changer for our entire profession.”
On Feb. 11, 2018, Chief Monahan shared his steadfast dedication to neighborhood policing with community leaders at the New Jerusalem Worship Center in Jamaica, New York.
“The plan is a re-invention of the police patrol function, restoring the patrol officer to roles of problem solver and community guardian, who knows the neighborhood and works closely with residents, and giving the officers the time each day to play these roles effectively. It assigns the same officers to the same sectors on the same tours, helping the cops to know the neighborhood and the neighborhood to know the cops. The plan also provides two neighborhood coordinating officers in each sector, leading the way on community connection, problem solving, and crime fighting.”
On Mar. 20, 2018, both Commissioner O’Neill and Chief Monahan, addressed hundreds of NYPD personnel from ranks of captain and above at the NYPD annual Executive Conference. Both leaders emphasized that neighborhood policing is the heart of the NYPD mission. They emphasized that neighborhood policing is not a pilot program, but the new culture of the NYPD.
It was further emphasized that all NYPD members must reflect the neighborhood policing culture as well-rounded problem solvers. Yet, all must remain crime-fighters who build trust, strengthen community collaboration, and exemplify respect, courtesy, and professionalism.
The neighborhood policing culture is building bridges of trust built on the principle of shared responsibility.
As detailed in the Principles of American Policing, being pro-police and pro-community is the bedrock of public safety.
The NYPD deserves praise for its dedication to neighborhood policing.
Along with every member of the NYPD, may all privileged to call New York City home support neighborhood policing and be fully dedicated to shared responsibility to safeguard their city.
Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is a former confidant of the New York Yankees. His newest book is “Listen to Their Cries.” For more information, see www.vincentbove.com
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.