Improving Police-Community Relations

Option 1: Improving Police-Community Relations

CRJ300 – Introduction to Criminal Justice

Colorado State University – Global Campus

As the newly appointed chief of police of this town, I serve 100,000 citizens with 100 sworn officers. In recent years, the relationship between the community and this department has been strained. I want to make it not just my goal but the goal of every officer to improve upon that relationship. Every officer is a member of this community, including myself, and to improve our standing I have come up with three initiatives to get us going in the right direction. I think it is very important we instill trust in this community, and to do this I would like there to be more transparency, collaboration with the community and increased diversity. By initiating these tools, I am confident that this will enhance the relationship between citizen and officer, as well as the safety of this town.

To start, I would like to build on the transparency between the police department and the community. To do this I would like to make resources more available to the public. “The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing recommended that to embrace a culture of transparency, law enforcement agencies should make all department policies available for public review and regularly post on the department’s website information about stops, summonses, arrests, reported crime, and other law enforcement data, aggregated by demographics” (U.S. DOJ, 2015). Transparency is crucial to positive police-community relationships. The community should not feel like information is being withheld from them, and so long as we do what we can to provide as much information, then I am sure that we can close the gaps on the communities concerns of mistrust.

In addition to this, I also believe that it is important that there be collaboration with the community. Typically, the only interaction that the public has with law enforcement is in that context. “This can result in people developing negative associations with the police – for example, if the only contact they have ever had with police consisted of receiving a traffic citation or calling the police to report being the victim of a crime” (U.S. DOJ, 2017). I suggest that the department holds events that will allow the community to interact with officers on a one-on-one basis. Some of these events that I would like to initiate include “Coffee with a Cop”, increased police ride-alongs, and more activities involving schools. Police officials are a part of this community and I want to remind the community of that by having all officers acting like they are a part of this community.

Lastly, the lack of diversity that can be seen throughout most all police departments across the nation has been an influence on the tension between police officials and communities. “Ruptured and spoiled relations between police and many of the communities they serve—particularly communities of color—are among some of the greatest challenges facing contemporary American society. American policing’s overreliance on punitive enforcement, especially for minor transgressions, has resulted in a recurring adversarial dynamic that fans the flames of deeply rooted acrimony toward police in many communities already enduring systemic problems of racism, poverty, high crime rates, and limited access to social services” (Neusteter & Jones, 2018). Police departments should present policing as a profession of understanding. Increasing recruitment of people who want to become officers based on a realistic understanding that the large majority of police officers’ time is spent addressing community requests (U.S. DOJ, 2017).

The community is our job. It is our mission to protect and serve every individual of this town. For many years, in many towns across America, the relationships between citizens and police officials has been strained through misrepresentation, media and stereotypes. As the newly appointed chief of police I want to change all of that. I want there to be more transparency in our actions. I want there to be more community interaction so that the public see’s all officers as not just that, but also as their neighbors they can count on. I want to eliminate the ideas of bias that have been placed on police department and increase the understanding that every officer is here to protect this community. The three initiatives I want to bring to this department address all of than and more and I cannot wait to get started on making these goals a reality.


Neusteter, R., & Jones, K. (2018, June 1). Vera Institute. Retrieved September 29, 2019, from

U.S. Department of Justice. (2015). Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, May 2015. Washington, DC: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

U.S. Department of Justice. (2017). Importance of Police-Community Relationships and Resources for Further Reading.