Our hearts go out to the men, women and families of the Dallas Police Department as we, as a nation, mourn their loss.
At the same time we as leaders within law enforcement must all recommit to providing the best service we can to the communities within which we live and work.
We must commit to both protecting and to serving our communities
We must commit to holding ourselves to the highest standards
We must commit to fair and impartial policing
We must commit to caring for ourselves and our peers so that we may better do all of these things
This has been a horrible week… for law enforcement in the United States. Two controversial police shootings have brought the people in many cities around the country to expressions of outrage and anguish. Now a sniper (or several perpetrators) have ambushed 12 Dallas Police Officers, killing 5 of them, as they worked to protect a peaceful demonstration protesting police involvement in the shootings of Philando Castile by an officer of the St. Anthony Village Police Department in Minnesota and the shooting of Alton Sterling by officers of the Baton Rouge Police Department in Louisiana.
Leaders from around the country have called for calm, compassion and leadership in rebuilding community trust in their law enforcement agencies and the people who provide those services.
We all, as Americans, need to work together to build the society we desire. To that end I ask: what is our law enforcement commitment to building better, stronger, healthier communities?
I believe that law enforcement has, and has always had, a pivotal leadership role in the development of the infrastructure and functioning of effective neighborhoods and communities.
I believe that what has come to bear many names is just good, old fashioned, policing.
We not only have a role in policing our communities, but I believe we have a leadership mandate to be the governments representatives at a neighborhood level and while all the problem solving doesn’t fall squarely on our shoulders we do have an obligation to be active players as well as conduits to the resources needed to improve the social capital of the communities we serve.
I invite you to engage in this discussion both here in this forum, as well as in your own neighborhood.
I encourage you to read our special report “Building Community Support & Public Trust: An Action Plan for Law Enforcement” which you can find here: http://www.copsalive.org/PublicSupport/
For an additional action planning sheet on Building Public Trust CLICK HERE
Let’s not let these people die in vein, rather let us recommit to rebuilding trust and engaging with the leaders of our area to become better than we were before.
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