I have had the privilege throughout my career to be involved with policing initiatives that forge iron-clad partnerships with the community.
These partnerships, standing on the pillars of trust, respect, ethics, and character, are the heart of public safety in American communities.
These pillars ensure transparency, accountability, and legitimacy for both the police and community members. They must be adhered to by all who are privileged to call America home.
Building Police-Community Partnerships
In my article titled “Principles of American Policing” for the April 28, 2015 edition of the Epoch Times, the foundations of contemporary policing were memorialized.
The article highlighted that the first irrefutable principle of policing, inspired by Sir Robert Peel’s timeless nine principles, is that “being pro-police and pro-community is inseparable, indefatigable, and pre-eminent.”
In my opinion, these Principles of American Policing deserve not only reflection, but unwavering commitment to implementing programs, action plans, and certification initiatives for police and community members.
A Police-Community Model
The forging of pro-police and pro-community partnerships must be on the framework of American values, as it is critical to safeguarding our communities.
A mutual respect for police and community must begin in the family, which is the foundation of society. Building respect must also be complemented by efforts in our schools (where a positive police presence is critical) and through all facets of community life.
When respect is the foundation, society benefits through dialogue, trust, and collaboration.
Associations dedicated to pro-police and pro-community ideals are critical to this collaboration. These associations serve as a catalyst that inspire active participation.
One such association in New York City deserves credit as an exemplary model for building police-community unity.
The First Precinct Financial Area Security Council is dedicated to forging law enforcement, private security, military, and community partnerships to safeguard New York City.
On Wednesday, Oct. 13, the council hosted an event that punctuated its dedication through an extraordinary NYPD presentation.
The guest speaker, Terence A. Monahan, NYPD’s Chief of Patrol, crystalized the benefits of Neighborhood Policing.
First, it is important to understand Chief Monahan’s responsibility as Chief of Patrol, and his bureau’s importance to the Neighborhood Policing program.
The Patrol Services Bureau is the most visible in the NYPD. This bureau, commanded by Chief Monahan, involves 17,000 uniformed NYPD officers in 77 precincts. These officers have a critical role in Neighborhood Policing, which, according to Chief Monahan, “is the heartbeat of all of the work not only in the Patrol Bureau but with every member of the police department.”
Chief Monahan stressed that Neighborhood Policing increases police-community connectivity. The program helps city residents know their cops personally. It allows residents to experience the cop’s humanity, compassion, and character. Yet, it never undermines the cop’s ability to command respect in challenging incidents. The program insures that the officer’s training, confidence, and investigative skills are joined with people skills, all of which are necessary for public safety.
Neighborhood policing empowers the cop with conflict resolution, problem-solving, and de-escalation skills. Yet, it also insures that the cop has moral courage, ethical principles, and an unwavering fortitude to protect and serve those entrusted to his care.
In graphic slides, Chief Monahan stressed that Neighborhood Policing is inseparable from the needs of the community. Officers are connected with community members, as supported by effective staff management. This management allows the officer’s rapport with the community, empowers decision making, and makes the officer accountable for reducing crime.
As detailed on the NYPD website, “Neighborhood policing is sufficiently staffed to permit off-radio time for the sector officers, so they are not exclusively assigned to answering calls. The off-radio time is used to engage with neighborhood residents, identify problems, and work toward solutions. Sector officers have 33 percent of their eight-hour tours, or about two hours and 20 minutes each day, devoted to community-based, proactive, and problem-solving activities.”
Neighborhood Policing: Officer Training
The training for officers as presented by Chief Monahan included the following:
- Criminal Investigative Course—this enables officers to identify dangers, build a case, and utilize precision policing. The uniformed officers are enabled to develop and foster a working partnership with detectives. This training differentiates Neighborhood Policing from Community Policing as it empowers officers with investigative skills and resources.
- Mediation Course—a four day program that empowers officers with listening, social interaction, and conflict resolution skills.
- Public Speaking—humanizes officers and gives them the confidence necessary for speaking engagements with the community.
Chief Monahan also stressed the importance of the NYPD Build the Block facet of Neighborhood Policing. Build the Block implements neighborhood safety meetings and strategies between officers and the people. The meetings identifies public safety issues and implements solutions.
NYPD Mission: Illuminating Success
According to the NYPD, their mission is “to enhance the quality of life in New York City by working in partnership with the community to enforce the law, preserve peace, reduce fear, and maintain order. The Department is committed to accomplishing its mission of protecting the lives and property of all citizens of New York City by treating every citizen with compassion, courtesy, professionalism, and respect, while efficiently rendering police services and enforcing the laws impartially, by fighting crime both through deterrence and the relentless pursuit of criminals.”
The success of this mission is illuminated by statistics from the 2017 Neighborhood Policing Commands. These are memorialized on the NYPD website and were cited by Chief Monahan as follows:
- Communities with neighborhood policing commands experienced 30 percent fewer shooting incidents in the first quarter of 2017 when compared to the same period in 2016. It is likely that 48 fewer shooting incidents in the area contributed to the 8.5 percent reduction in homicides there.
- For the first quarter of 2017, neighborhood policing commands experienced a reduction in the seven major felony offenses (murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny of a motor vehicle) when compared to the first quarter of 2016. This means there were approximately 800 fewer major crimes committed in the neighborhood policing commands – and more people in these communities were protected from the pain and disruption caused by violent crime victimization.
The NYPD deserves praise for its Neighborhood Policing program, an expression of its ethical responsibility to build police-community partnerships.
In a personal chat with Chief Monahan after his presentation, I commended him for his service to the people of New York and his commitment to Neighborhood Policing.
During our chat, he stressed the difference between Neighborhood Policing and Community Policing. Chief Monahan emphasized that Neighborhood Policing empowers officers with comprehensive crime-fighting, criminal investigation, and people skills that strengthen their connection with the community, and makes them personally accountable for reducing crime.
The NYPD with its Neighborhood Policing program is contributing to the Reawakening of the Nation.
The program is reducing crime in New York City, and serves as a model for enhancing pro-police and pro-community partnerships nationwide.
Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is a former confidant of the New York Yankees. His newest book is “Listen to Their Cries.” For more information, see www.vincentbove.com