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California PD Discusses Relationship with Community in New YouTube Video


vallejo PD seal

By the Vallejo (CA) Police Department
Introduction By Police Foundation
Staff

The Vallejo Police Department has commissioned a promotional video of the California city that it serves and protects. The eight-minute video examines the department’s relationship with the community, both the good and the bad, and addresses the need to reconnect to its roots, hence the name of the video — “Reconnecting” — which can be viewed below and on YouTube.

What’s particularly interesting about this effort is that while VPD paid for the video, it gave complete editorial control of the final product to the local company that recorded, edited and produced it. VPD did not give input or influence to the video. The reason for this was VPD wanted an honest, documentary-styled review of its relationship with the people of Vallejo, which has a population of nearly 120,000. Read More & Share

CSG Justice Center Webinar on Justice & Mental Health Collaboration Program Grant

CSG and BJA logos
On Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at 2:00pm EDT, the CSG Justice Center is hosting a webinar to discuss the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) and answer questions about completing proposals, which are due May 17, 2016. The webinar announcement and registration information are available here.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is continuing to support the efforts to increase public safety by facilitating collaboration among the criminal justice and mental health and substance abuse treatment systems to increase access to mental health and other treatment services for individuals with mental illnesses or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders. The JMHCP supports innovative cross-system collaboration for individuals with mental illnesses or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders who come into contact with the justice system. BJA is seeking applications that demonstrate a collaborative project between criminal justice and mental health partners from eligible applicants to plan, implement, or expand a justice and mental health collaboration program.

Law enforcement agencies that partner with a behavioral health provider to implement or expand specialized state or local law enforcement strategies that are tailored to the needs of people with mental disorders will receive priority consideration for funding.

The full BJA grant announcement and application are available at: https://www.bja.gov/Funding/JMHCP16.pdf. Applications will be accepted through Tuesday, May 17, 2016.

VRN Webinar: Recruiting a Diverse Police Department Through Digital Outreach

The Violence Reduction Network (VRN) is hosting a free webinar, entitled “Recruiting a Diverse Police Department Through Digital Outreach”, on April 21, 2016, from 3:00pm – 4:00pm EDT. This webinar is intended to teach participants about how the Chicago Police Department developed and implemented its 12-week digital outreach campaign to increase minority recruitment, and it will also discuss lessons learned to assist in future recruitment efforts. For more information or a link to register for the event, please click here.

VRN and DOJ logos

On Policing Release: Lessons Learned from Stockton, CA

In the latest release of On Policing, Stockton, California, Police Chief Eric Jones discusses the challenges he has encountered and overcome since his appointment in 2012. From leading the department through low morale and tight budgetary constraints amidst city bankruptcy, to handling a high profile bank robbery where police accidentally shot one of the hostages, he recounts the lessons he learned and offers advice on how to navigate similar situations in the future. Also, be sure to catch up on last week’s On Policing release where Chief Paul Walters offers his perspective on how departments can fully integrate SWAT teams into community-based policing. To read the full essays, please visit www.onpolicing.org.

If you would like to receive regular updates about our On Policing series, please subscribe to our mailing list at the bottom of the page and select to receive information about our “On Policing” series. If you are already a subscriber but are not currently subscribed to receive On Policing updates, just let us know! Feel free to reach us at onpolicing@policefoundation.org with any requests, questions, or new essay submissions.

Lessons Learned from Stockton, CA

Eric Jones photoBy Chief Eric Jones
Stockton, CA, Police Department

Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones knows all about trial by fire. Jones has spent his entire career in the Stockton, CA, department, working his way up the ranks until he became appointed as chief on March 1, 2012, shortly before the city had to file for bankruptcy, which led many of his experienced officers to leave.

Stockton has been considered a crime-heavy city for years, even ranking as Forbes’ eighth most dangerous city in the nation in 2012. And in July 2014, Jones faced one of the hardest, most stressful events any chief has had to face: three armed men stormed a Bank of the West branch, took three hostages, and led police on an hour-long chase, firing more than 100 rounds at the officers with an AK-47 and disabling a dozen police vehicles, including their armored vehicle. The event concluded with a dramatic shootout in which officers fired more than 600 rounds that left one hostage dead, killed by bullets fired by police officers. Jones was lauded for his handling of the traumatic event. None were really surprised because the chief has been praised throughout his tenure for showing how effective true leadership can be. Read More & Share

SWAT Teams can be Front-and-Center in Community-based Policing

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By Chief Paul M. Walters (Ret.)
Senior Associate with the Center for Public Safety Management

Before the recent terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, there were a growing number of people questioning the need for the militarization of police. Seeing law enforcement effectively use a military-grade vehicle while utilizing heavy duty weapons to eliminate the terrorist threat seems to have quelled many of those concerns.

But some still question how a full-time, highly trained military type police unit can operate in a community-based police department. Some might argue it seems counter-intuitive at best because the two naturally feel to be at conflict with the other.

I could not disagree more. In reality, a highly trained military type police unit is a critical element in a department’s ability to protect the community they serve. Read More & Share

Recruiting, Selecting, and Retaining Law Enforcement Officers

Brett MeadeBy Brett Meade, Ed.D.
Deputy Chief of Police
University of Central Florida

Ask any law enforcement executive worldwide to list the most challenging internal issue facing their respective agencies, and the vast majority will mention recruiting, selecting and retaining sworn personnel.  The fact is, given the current environment of the policing profession, recruiting the next generation of police officers is more difficult than ever. With the pressures, demands, and expectations of the community, finding individuals who want to step into and stay in this uncertain and dangerous career is a daunting task.

Costs are always a concern, as the standard cost to recruit, hire, equip, and fully train a police officer from the time they submit their initial application to the time they can function independently may exceed $100,000 and take up to eighteen months. A law enforcement agency needs about three-five years of service to recoup this initial investment.

Open positions lead to increased overtime costs to fill needed shift coverage, decreased officer morale due to the inability to take time off or transfer to other units, and decreased delivery of services to the community. Turnover cannot be completely eliminated, as some officers will use an agency as a stepping stone while others realize that police work is not for them.  From a retention viewpoint, many agencies are suffering from a leadership vacuum caused by mass retirements and other turnover causes. Loss of trained officers with a few years’ experience under their belt who understand the community and are just becoming eligible for promotion is especially damaging to an agency and hinders succession planning. Read More & Share

Policing Youth Policy Briefs: Opportunities for Positive Police-Youth Interaction

Policing Youth Policy Briefs: Opportunities for Positive Police-Youth Interaction

The Police Foundation, in collaboration with the California Police Chiefs Association and the California State Sheriffs’ Association and with funding from the California Endowment, produced a series of youth-focused policy briefs to enhance law enforcement knowledge and understanding of youth development in an effort to help improve outcomes for youth and public safety.

Line level personnel from both police and sheriff’s agencies more often than not, respond to sensitive situations, such as domestic family disputes, and in some jurisdictions are called on by the school to respond to incidents on campus. With the national debate surrounding the role of law enforcement in communities and more specifically in schools, it is important to provide law enforcement leaders and line level personnel with resources focused on helping to define the role of officers, identify best practices for youth police engagement, and educate law enforcement about the science of  youth development and working with young adults, with the overall goal of enhancing trust and cooperation between police, youth, and their families.

The four policy brief series is designed for California law enforcement executives but is applicable to law enforcement nationwide. Law enforcement executives from across the country can use these briefs to inform their strategies and to best define the role of their officers in schools and communities. The first brief is an introduction that challenges law enforcement executives to develop a vision for positive police-youth interactions.

Topics of the remaining policy briefs include:

  • Teen Brain: Preparing Your Officers to Engage with Youth
  • Defining the Role of School-Based Police Officers
  • The Career Pipeline Concept

For more information, visit the Youth Policing Project page or contact:

Jennifer Zeunik
Director of Programs
(202) 833-1460
jzeunik@policefoundation.org

“On Policing”: Changing the Approach to Training and Community Relations

In this week’s On Policing release, Executive Director Sue Rahr (Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission) discusses the need for a culture shift in policing from a “warrior” mindset to a “guardian” mindset, and Chief Andrew Bidou offers insight into how law enforcement can build and improve positive relationships with the community.

Both essays share a common theme—law enforcement needs to take steps to bridge the growing divide between police and the communities they serve. Chief Bidou lays out concrete steps his department has taken to accomplish this, and he speaks to the overwhelming response his department has received.  Director Rahr takes a slightly different approach, asserting that change needs to begin with a shift in focus in officer training and development.

Check out the new essays here or visit www.onpolicing.org. We encourage you to leave any comments or thoughts you may have, and please share the essays with others! We also encourage you to contribute to the series. If you are interested, please send your 500-1000 word essay to onpolicing@policefoundation.org.

Building Guardians to Create a Better Community

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By Sue Rahr
Executive Director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission

As a profession, law enforcement has become very good at fighting crime. The FBI stats have proven it over the past several years.

Yet, as a profession, we are struggling. And much of it, though unintentional, is self-inflicted.

While we have done a great job attacking the disease in the community that is violent crime, the way some have carried out the effort has damaged the immune system built on public trust. The results have been eye-opening and are tremendously important: it turns out most people care more about how they are treated than the crime rate – a phenomenon demonstrated over decades of social science research.

We shouldn’t be surprised by that. Who enjoys being conquered? Demeaned? Intimidated?

The results explain the negative cloud that has engulfed policing in this country and the growing divide between cops and citizens. Some communities fear police rather than seeing them as a source of protection and help.

So how did we get here? Read More & Share

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