Full question: How do we create a police department that engages the community and lessens the divide? I look at some of the things that Camden, NJ police force has done to build greater rapport such as having new officers introduce themselves to the neighborhood they patrol. Also, I feel it’s important that communities that have been historically oppressed by LE must find a way to inspire youth to serve. The police must reflect the communities they serve and should/must include those from the community. A two way effort needs to happen for the future. All about the long game.
Answer: See answer above. In addition, all of our officers work to find ways to engage the community. For example, officers are often found playing basketball on local playgrounds, practicing skateboarding with kids, throwing a football when they see a game underway, handing out “tickets” for a Frosty at Wendy’s for being “caught” doing a good deed, or chatting with residents while out on bike patrol. Officers are encouraged to find ways to get out of their cars and connect with residents in the community, not only because it’s part of their job, but also because they value getting to know residents.
Regarding inspiring people to serve: We agree and take this very seriously, which is why we have worked hard to transform our recruitment practices https://www.shakeronline.com/720/Recruitment-Hiring to expand the number of qualified applicants who chose to apply.