As the new chief of the Smallville Police Department, this job will be a great undertaking. As I take office, it is very important to address many of the problems that this city is facing in order to improve the lives of Smallville residents as well as provide a pleasant and safe environment for the individuals that travel into the city for baseball events, other forms of entertainment or simply those that are travelling through on the interstate. Some specific problems that need to be addressed by the police chief's office include the corruption in the city, the force incidents that are facing our police department as well as the high turnover rate of our police force.
Foremost, an issue that the police department faces is that of force incidents. The track record of department having lost three different civil rights and excessive force lawsuits in the last two years does not reflect well on the police department overall. It is important that the police treat it is citizens with respect otherwise, it creates a rift between the police and the public. As we have seen in the past when police force incidents have gotten out of control, there is a great outcry from the public. In Philadelphia, there was viral video that leaked of two officers beating a man outside of a takeout restaurant for nearly two minutes while onlookers in the background "told the officers to stop and that they were going to kill him" (Watkins). The public outcry that followed the beating in Philadelphia was substantial and forced the Philadelphia police department to launch an investigation. It that type of police behavior that allows for the public to be deterred by the police force. There should be no mishaps like these that the police department has to deal with as it puts kinks in the strength and solidarity of a community. This behavior is unacceptable in that, as mentioned before, the police department is here to serve and protect the public, not hurt them and use excessive force which ultimately, creates harsh divides. Instances like these create distance between the police and the public- without each other, and then the community has a more unpleasant environment to live in. Potentially, internal training programs need to be held, with no additional costs, having senior officers teach a course in how to deal with situations where they are faced with potentially life threatening circumstances. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security offers a program aimed at law enforcement that we could base our own internal on- it provide the officer "the ability to identify the purpose of the protestor devices" or in this case the individual being arrested, the ability to "discuss legal issues" associated with arrests and also "outline the responsibilities" of the officer on the scene (Center for Domestic Preparedness, 2010). Training would offer the other officers a forum to ask questions, evaluate different scenarios as well as practice defensive tactics, speech, body language among other things in order to avoid future force incidents and law suits. This would help the police officers gain extra information and also would help the department avoid future incidences with the public.
Furthermore, the corruption in the city must be addressed in order to re-affirm the citizens of Smallville's faith in their police department. The police department is here to serve and protect the people of a given community but with speculation of corruption is driving a rift between the people and the police department. There has been speculation that some of the council members have maintained corruption and illegal relationships with high ranking member of the police department. To address this problem, it may be best that the high ranking members be suspended temporarily pending an internal investigation. This communication to the public would certainly reinforce the notion to the Smallville public that the police department is serious about serving their best interests and not themselves. It is absolutely imperative that the public has faith in the police department. Having the public and the police department working together would create a more secure environment as they would each other to keep the community safe.
Further problems between the police and community include that the police department has been ignoring neighborhood and business groups which has…
Sources Used in Document:
Center for Domestic Preparedness, Initials. (2010, June 21). Resident training: performance defensiveness. Retrieved from http://cdp.dhs.gov/resident/pd.html.
"Police Community Relations Council." Citizens Information Center. Anne Arundel County, MD, 2008. Web. 29 Apr 2011. .
Watkins, Boyce. "Philly Police beating Stirs Storms of Protest." San Francisco Bay View. San Francisco Bay View, 14 Sep 2010. Web. 28 Apr 2011. .