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Pillar 4 — Community Policing and Crime Reduction

EPPD Halloween on the Mall event imageCommunity policing promotes organizational strategies supporting the use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques that proactively address immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues. Through the past few decades, rates of both violent and property crime have dropped dramatically across the country. However, some communities and segments of the population have not benefited from the decrease as much as others, and some not at all.

Community policing combines a focus on intervention and prevention through problem solving by forming collaborative partnerships with schools, social services and other stakeholders. In this way, community policing not only improves public safety, but also enhances social connectivity and economic strength, which increases community resilience to crime. Law enforcement’s obligation is to reduce crime fairly while protecting the rights of citizens. Any prevention strategy that unintentionally violates civil rights, compromises police legitimacy or undermines trust is counterproductive. It must also be stressed that the absence of crime is not the final goal of law enforcement. Rather, it is the promotion and protection of public safety while respecting the dignity and rights of all.

Recommendation Description

Law enforcement agencies should develop and adopt policies and strategies that reinforce the importance of community engagement in managing public safety.

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Community policing should be infused throughout the culture and organizational structure of law enforcement agencies.

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Law enforcement agencies should engage in multidisciplinary, community team approaches for planning, implementing, and responding to crisis situations with complex causal factors.

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Communities should support a culture and practice of policing that reflects the values of protection and promotion of the dignity of all, especially the most vulnerable.

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Community policing emphasizes working with neighborhood residents to co-produce public safety. Law enforcement agencies should work with community residents to identify problems and collaborate on implementing solutions that produce meaningful results for the community.

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Communities should adopt policies and programs that address the needs of children and youth most at risk for crime or violence and reduce aggressive law enforcement tactics that stigmatize youth and marginalize their participation in schools and communities.

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Communities need to affirm and recognize the voices of youth in community decision making, facilitate youth-led research and problem solving, and develop and fund youth leadership training and life skills through positive youth/police collaboration and interactions.

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How the Eden Prairie Police Department Demonstrates Community Policing and Crime Reduction