After the relentless criticism and public outcry over the police killing of George Floyd on May 25th, the city of Minneapolis is committed to regaining the people’s trust in the police department. After agreeing to ban chokeholds by police officers and requiring officers to report and intervene when they see unauthorized use of force by another officer, the City Council announced, with a veto-proof majority, to defund and dismantle the embattled police department.
The City Council’s Commitment
The City Council is committed to engaging with every willing community member in the city of Minneapolis to re-create a system of public safety that keeps people safe. Re-creating this system can be done by making the system into one that encourages community policing. Community policing has three key components: developing community partnerships, engaging in problem-solving, and implementing community policing organizational features.
Community policing encourages an interactive partnership between police officers and the people they serve. Connections between officers and members of the community can help develop trust and transparency. These connections will lead to more efficient and effective policing. Developing a trust-built relationship with support groups, issue and advocacy organizations, and the faith-based community will allow for more coordinated and targeted use of shared resources. Forming a strong relationship with local newspapers, television stations, and radio stations can also lead to greater transparency, a better public image, and more effective crime-solving.
Engaging in problem-solving encourages community policing officers to proactively identify problems, develop innovative responses, and evaluate the results. Officers need to efficiently identify issues, prioritize them, and determine the nature of the problem. Researching what is known about a problem and gain an in-depth understanding of all possible contributing factors helps officers determine what needs to be done. By creating a solution, evaluating the success of the response, and adjusting when necessary provides officers with the opportunity to fight crime and keep their communities safe proactively. Taking proactive steps to face the current problems that strain the community shows people that the officers care and are here to help.
A variety of organizational features and characteristics help support community policing partnerships and problem-solving efforts. A community policing structure provides line-level officers with decision-making authority and accountability. This structure encourages officers to interact and build relationships within their community. The community policing ideals are incorporated into all personnel practices, including; recruitment, hiring, sectioning, training, and evaluations. The goal and emphasis of every practice is the development of a positive relationship between police and the community.
The Minneapolis City Council is committed to dismantling the police department to reform and build a safer community. It is encouraging members to come forward and speak about recreating a system of public safety that actually makes people feel safe—creating a city where the police are appropriately trained, and where there is a relationship of trust between the officers and the people they serve.