Public Safety is a Collaborative Effort Between Cops and Community
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
National Community Policing Week, Oct. 3-9
As a community member and a career prosecutor, I recognize that local, state, and federal law enforcement officers play a vital role in the welfare of our community. Law enforcement, however, can’t solve public safety problems alone. Protecting the safety of our community, preventing and reducing crime, and preserving peace and justice, is a collaborative effort between law enforcement and the entire community.
National Community Policing Week, Oct. 3-9, 2021, is an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to supporting and advancing the practice of community policing. Community policing is a public safety philosophy based on partnership and cooperation between law enforcement and the communities that they are sworn to protect. At the center of community policing is the idea that all members of the community, both officer and civilian, have a stake in the safety of their neighborhoods where they live and work.
This week’s observance is a timely reminder of the need to fortify the bonds between law enforcement and the community. Unfortunately, those relationships become strained at times. Although most of the community shares the goals of public safety and crime prevention, we aren’t always working well together as a team. Perhaps National Community Policing Week would be a good time to take steps toward building and maintaining trust between officers and community members. This is critical to addressing both the concerns of the community and needs of law enforcement. Some of these underlying tensions won’t be resolved overnight, but we can take constructive action to strengthen the vital relationship between law enforcement and the community.
Community policing encourages interactive partnerships with community groups, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, businesses, and other stakeholders in the community. Indeed, police officers are members of many of these groups, and share their vested interest in the well being of the community. It is equally important for police officers to be honored for their sacrifices and supported by their communities as it is for the members of those communities to feel they are being served fairly and justly by our men and women in blue. Community policing strives to strike that balance.
The Department of Justice has invested heavily in the concept of community policing. For example, the department provides resources to the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services for hiring police officers across America, including police departments in this district, and advancing 21st-century policing efforts. The department provides millions of dollars in grants to agencies that demonstrate robust community policing initiatives.
National Community Policing Week is a timely reminder that solutions to the problem of crime and violence will only be as healthy and long-lasting as the relationship between law enforcement and the community.
Teresa A. Moore
Acting United States Attorney
Western District of Missouri
Updated October 1, 2021