“We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose. We stand together until the end.” This is a famous quote from the United States’ 28th President, Woodrow T. Wilson. Yet this quote resonates more so today as we see the division between police and citizens along with the numerous protests in response to police misconduct, and the continuous distrust among citizens. Therefore, the concept of community policing is now the most important concept within criminal justice as it is necessary to help bridge the gaps between communities and law enforcement. Community-oriented policing is “an organization-wide policing philosophy and management approach that promotes community, government, police partnerships, and proactive problem solving to reduce a jurisdiction’s crime and social disorder.”1
Implementing such a concept in every precinct can propel moving our country to a more peaceful partnership between those in blue and citizens. As we ponder about ways to bring the community and police officers together, we must sift out the issues that keep them divided. One main issue that divides police and community members is fear of the unknown—i.e., cultural unknowns. If officers are unaware of the cultural differences and ideals of the citizens in which they are interacting, they may detect “normal” or cultural behavior as threatening behavior. This only instills fear in officers, and distrust and miscommunication for citizens. Because of this, we have seen the Zimmerman-Martin cases, in which a Skittles bag and hoodie were seen as suspicious and threatening. Similarly, in the Ahmaud Arbery case that occurred in Brunswick, GA, an unarmed 25-year-old Black man was pursued and fatally shot while jogging in a neighborhood on a public street.