The police force is successful protecting and serving a community when it also focuses on community engagement as a priority. This can be challenging when officers are consistently facing dangerous situations, unruly people and laws that are being broken. It’s one thing to simultaneously protect and serve while engaging the community, yet there are creative ways to get the job done as well.
One of the successes of any police community engagement program is to get officer involved in communities during their off time. They work hard, and they have families and responsibilities. However, we all should be giving back to our communities. Police personnel can come together and take part in community events, creating a police presence in a different way.
Seeing the officer that pulled you over last week at the community barbecue laughing up a storm may take the sting off a bit. In all seriousness, community remembers must be reminded that police are citizens of the same city, trying to live their lives like everyone else. Police community engagement can be handled in different ways. Officers can take things into their own hands, or they can look for opportunities presented by the police force within the community.
There might be a drug awareness program coming up. Perhaps there is a local festival to attend or some other community event on the calendar. Police officers must be aware of what is going on in the community in more ways than one. That is how they relate to the people living there, and this type of connection is how these officers better serve the community. The police in any city are part of the culture, and that is how they must carry themselves professionally. It’s a career that requires a serious investment in the well being of all members of the community, and this vision must be a focal point.