COMMUNITY POLICING: now & then

Fellow Citizens001

COMMUNITY POLICING: then & now.

The shooting of Michael Brown and the following protests in Ferguson, MO, and around the United States have brought to the forefront once again the notion of ‘community policing.’ Pres. Obama sends from the White House, “Recent events in Ferguson, Missouri and around the country have highlighted the importance of strong, collaborative relationships between local police and the communities they protect. As the nation has observed, trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve is essential to the stability of our communities, the integrity of our criminal justice system, and the safe and effective delivery of policing services.” Obama has called for millions to be spent on police body cameras.

Having spent some years during my ministry in Cincinnati working on the ‘Collaborative Agreement’ I feel I have a bit of experience. Thanks to the hard work of Al Gerhardstein and other committed citizens, “Collaborative Agreement: This class action lawsuit against the City of Cincinnati resulted in a city-wide decree prohibiting racial profiling, established use of force reforms, established the Citizens Complaint Authority to review claims of police misconduct, established the Community Police Partnering Center to promote positive civic engagement with police, implemented community problem oriented policing, and assessed progress during the five year term of the decree under contract with RAND Corporation.” I contributed my mite to this work, serving on the Partnering Center’s PR Committee. While the use of cameras in patrol cars was part of the agreement, citizens working together with police were central. One person I served with was the president of the police union. Developing technical solutions to replace the hard work of interpersonal relations has been the eternal curse.

That’s why the photo of my father, Gov. Frank W. Carpenter, leads this blog posting, “COMMUNITY POLICING.” Perhaps the most detailed scholarly study of his work in Mindanao and Sulu is Peter Gordon Gowing’s, MANDATE IN MOROLAND. My favorite remark from him about my Father is, “He traveled incessantly throughout the Department on regular inspection trips. Everywhere he conferred with Moro datus, Pagan leaders, missionaries, Arab teachers, Filipino and American officials, military officers, Chinese traders, Japanese planters, newspaper men, foreign emissaries, and investors and speculators. … Governor Carpenter was his own best policeman. His tact, personality, integrity and sense of justice did more to preserve peace and order in the Department than any other factor.”

My Father’s label for this photo is, “A chat with my Mohammedan fellow citizens.” Community policing!

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