It’s about time.
I read that Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, in conjunction with Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, is testing a neighborhood policing program that will see beat cops devote less time to fighting crime. Before anyone panics, there will still be plenty of officers available to respond to emergencies. Patrol cops will be taking time to get to know the people in the communities they’re assigned to patrol – the business owners, the residents, etc. The program’s objective is to build trust and positive communication between officers and the people they’re supposed to serve and protect. In addition, these officers will become familiar faces; they are to patrol the same neighborhood, every day, so that people can become more familiar with them.
Considering the anti-crime tactics that have mostly served to alienate people and make them more hostile and suspicious towards police, this news out of my hometown is very welcome, especially since I also read that New York plans on hiring even more officers than originally projected. On a personal level, I don’t have a problem with cops. More often than not, my encounters with police have been rather civil. Unfortunately, there are too many people who cannot say the same. As a result, nobody is happy, neither the people who live in the neighborhoods, nor the police who work them. More new cops doing the same old thing would have only made the problem worse.
I hope the city follows through with this initiative, and I hope it becomes enough of a success that other cities in this country follow suit. It will go a long way in teaching many officers who have never really known a black person that we are indeed human, and yes, our lives matter.
What do you think, Alarmers? Leave your comments below.