As a law enforcement agency, your ability to connect with and engage the community is essential to it’s health and harmony. By establishing relationships with your community members and opening up the lines of communication, not only will it increase the public’s trust level with law enforcement, in some cases, it will encourage community members to help in the fight to lower crime rates through community policing. An engaged community and community policing go hand-in-hand. But what is community policing? The United States Department of Justice has defined community policing as a philosophy that “focuses on crime and social disorder through the delivery of police services that includes aspects of traditional law enforcement, as well as prevention, problem-solving, community engagement, and partnerships.” Many law enforcement agencies have established community policing policies and according to a report by The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), community policing is comprised of three key components:
- Community partnerships
- Organization transformation
- Problem solving
As a law enforcement agency, how can you address those three key components, create a more engaged community and encourage community policing? You might want to start with social media and anonymous tipping. Social media – sharing updates, breaking news and even feel-good stories on social media make law enforcement agencies more approachable, trustworthy and transparent. The majority of your community members are already on social media so channels such as Facebook and Twitter allow you to reach a large amount of community members instantly. Anonymous tipping – anonymous tipping gives community members the chance to participate in the fight against crime without having to share any of their own identification information. This channel of information sharing has proven to put community members at ease, people are much more likely to report something anonymously and because almost everyone has a cell phone these days, it is very easy for community members to submit a tip via text on the fly. Want to learn more about community policing through community engagement? Visit our community policing feature topic page, or check out our community engagement case study with Loma Linda University Health who is using Everbridge Community Engagement solution to keep students and surrounding business safe and informed.