Arguably, nothing is more important in policing today than gaining and holding the trust of the community, particularly those most affected by crime and violence. Today, the Police Foundation, with generous support from the Charles Koch Foundation, is releasing a new report that provides real-life examples and optimism for how foot patrol can help law enforcement officers and agencies reconnect and build strong, mutually supportive relationships with their communities.
The report, entitled Engaging Communities One Step at a Time, highlights the positive interactions and dialogue that are occurring between communities and foot patrol officers from the Cambridge (MA) Police Department, the New Haven (CT) Police Department, the Evanston (IL) Police Department, the Kalamazoo (MI) Department of Public Safety, and the Portland (OR) Police Bureau. The study found that foot patrol facilitates relationship-building between the police and the community while also enhancing the enforcement and problem-solving efforts of law enforcement.
The importance and timeliness of this study cannot be understated. “Given the recent events in policing and the ongoing national conversation about community-police relations, this study offers a glimpse of the positive policing and engagement occurring across the country”, said Jim Bueermann, president of the Police Foundation. Furthermore, it underscores the importance of relationships. As one community member asserted during the study, “The key to policing, no matter where you are in the country, is building relationships. It’s not rocket science.”
To view and download the full report, please click here.