Recently, the NYPD promoted Rodney Harrison to be the first African American to serve as the Chief of Detectives. Previously, Chief Harrison was the Chief of Patrol where he implemented numerous successful innovative community policing programs. Chief of Detectives Harrison has prioritized reducing crime and building community relationships, and is well positioned to lead New York’s detectives.
In recent years, generational distrust between communities and the police have been exacerbated by tragic high-profile incidents. For this reason, community relationship building has taken on greater importance. There are a variety of methods available to departments looking to improve community relations. For example, departments can engage the community in joint planning and problem solving, providing an avenue for the public to voice their concerns. Other options include improved training, promotion through youth development programs, and connecting members of the public to social resources.
There are several actions individual police officers can take as well. In addition to volunteering within their assigned precinct, officers can interact more often with citizens in peaceful situations. These actions build personal relationships with citizens, and allow the public to get to know person behind the badge.