On Monday, vice president Joe Biden spoke live on CNN about the recent tragedies revolving around police brutality. One thing of note that Biden said was proposing that America would be better off if they were to re-adopt community policing. After the recent fatalities of Philander Castille, Alton Sterling, and the 5 police officers in Dallas, the nation has been in a frenzy over possible racism within the police force and what needs to be done in order to bring an end to the far too these far too frequent tragedies.
Americans have become wildly divided on the issue of police brutality. Some people have chosen to stand by the police force, while others have chosen to join the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The problem with the two sides of the debate is similar to that of all debates in the U.S., both sides view the two opinions to be mutually exclusive, and both have little to no intention to shake or budge on their beliefs. Community policing is a philosophy that holds the potential to please those on both sides of the debate, but will require a little exertion by both sides.
What it means
Community policing is defined by the Community Oriented Policing Service website as “a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies, which support the systematic 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.”
What this means is that the police force will make it a point to familiarize themselves with the local inhabitants of the areas they typically patrol. The ideology behind this idea is that arrests and incidents will become less randomized. Many of these police shootings are happening out of fear of the unknown. When police officers are in a dangerous situation, they need to assume the worst in order to keep themselves safe and this often leads to the unintended deaths of the suspects. Whether these fears are fueled by racism or not, they are still present, nonetheless.
With the implementation of community policing philosophies, the fear of the unknown will start to diminish. When the police force begins to know that names and personalities of their own community, they will be able to better understand situations and better keep themselves and the suspect out of harm’s way because they will not act on the basis of fear.
Community policing encourages the public to become a part of shaping the role of the police and have a say in which areas of public safety need to be given more attention. Through this collective effort, the community becomes a better place and the community’s approval of the police force increases.
What people need to first recognize is that these tragedies should not be dividing the nation, but bringing it together in order to find a solution. These events are horrific and unacceptable, but they are happening because of fault on both sides. With the increase in technology throughout the years, police officers spend less time patrolling in person and less time meeting their community. As community members also detach themselves from the outside world in a similar way and follow only what they hear through social media, they develop a hatred for police officers. If these fatalities are to lessen and America is to once again find trust within their protectors, we must all work together.
Now, more than ever, America needs to reevaluate the way that the police system is run. The people who are brave enough to dedicate their lives to protecting us, should not also be fearing us. Likewise, civilians should not be scared of the possibility of police brutality. We all deserve to feel safe in our own communities and the way to reach this goal is to make an effort to understand and know those around us. Efforts on the part of the police force and the public would be necessary in order for this to work, but this change is exactly what America needs. #Government #Democrats vs Republicans #Black Lives Matter