Friday, December 08, 2006

Community Policing: Hope for America

There is an American crisis of shattered communities as indicated by broken families, gang activity and serious incidents of school and community violence.

The concept of community policing and its proper development into the culture of a police department prior to its practical application in the community is more critical then ever to the nation. The U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services explains community policing:
"Community policing 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. The community policing model balances reactive responses to calls for service with proactive problem-solving centered on the causes of crime and disorder. Community policing requires police and citizens to join together as partners in the course of both identifying and effectively addressing these issues."
Over the past several weeks, I have had the privilege of conducting a security vulnerability assessment for middle schools and a high school with a combined population of over 3,000 within a school district, address 1,500 high school students on leadership, present character and patriotism education to over 300 elementary students and deliver presentations to hundreds of educators, emergency management and law enforcement officials at various venues throughout the United States entitled "School Security, Character Education, Emergency Planning, Lockdowns and Evacuations."

During these opportunities, I have had open interaction with an extraordinary cross section of America. To a person, Americans from throughout the nation have stated without reservation that the hope of America is community; the community of the classroom, the community of the family, the community of the school, the community of the corporation, the community of the law enforcement agency, the community of the neighborhood, the community of the town and ultimately the community of the nation. American educators, law enforcement officials, company employees and the students of our nation's schools are calling out with full force firm conviction that community is the answer to the American crisis of brokenness and it is through the leadership, vigilance and collaboration of these members of society, particularly through American schools, that America will be restored to its rightful destiny of strength of purpose, hope to the world and rise again, admired as a nation dedicated to community.

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