Policing is not a spectator sport, and as such, neighborhood and community leaders must be involved in policing their own neighborhoods.
They’re going to get help from teams of police officers – new officers who graduate from field training July 8 – as part of the Milwaukee Police Department’s 2012 Building Community and Neighborhood Trust Policing Initiative.
“Police and community members must be engaged to create a positive impact in neighborhoods,” Chief Edward A. Flynn said. “Creating neighborhoods capable of sustaining civic life is critical in order to maintain a vibrant city that is attractive for economic development.
The Building Community and Neighborhood Trust Policing Initiative is designed to pair teams of officers with credible community leaders who can perform a neighborhood liaison role with the police within their specific neighborhood throughout the summer and fall. Neighborhood leaders will assist the police in identifying problems and solutions to those problems, as well as connecting police to other neighborhood resources that can be used to create a positive neighborhood impact.
There are several goals associated with this new initiative:
1. The reduction of crime, fear, and disorder in the selected neighborhoods
2. Improvement in the quality of life in the selected neighborhoods
3. Building trust between the community and police
4. Enhancing police legitimacy and credibility through the utilization of just procedures
5. Developing the leadership capacity of the officers and their community partners
6. Developing strong partnerships with neighborhood stakeholders
7. Collaborating with neighborhood stakeholders to identify problems and develop viable solutions to those problems utilizing problem-solving methods
The officers assigned to specific neighborhoods will not typically be dispatched to calls for police service; they will instead work proactively and collaboratively with neighborhood stakeholders to identify problems and develop solutions. Working the same neighborhood will give the officers an opportunity to gain familiarity with residents, take an ownership of neighborhood issues and establish relationships with stakeholders in those neighborhoods. Residents who may not otherwise report a crime or suspicious activity may be more willing to do so if they have a relationship with their neighborhood officer.