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Draft Recommendation: Enhance Law Enforcement Programs and Activities

Presentation to the Task Force

This revised draft recommendation was presented to the full Task Force on Monday, April 13, 2015.

Meeting Agenda and Details

Previous version of this draft recommendation.

Summary

The Community Policing philosophy is based on the understanding that a strong and supportive relationship between law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and the communities they serve is critical to effective policing and community development. For some communities in Sonoma County, this relationship has been strained and trust has been eroded. In order to begin to bridge this gap and rebuild trust, new law enforcement programs and activities to engage and support communities are warranted.

Brief Overview of Process

In preparing the recommendations for Law Enforcement Programs and Activities, the committee reviewed the DOJ Community Oriented Policing Services publication, the San Francisco Community Policing report as well as community policing programs from around the country.  In addition, we interviewed local law enforcement personnel and many community leaders.

Recommendation

A. Beginning meetings with LE and CBO's in their "beat" areas to identify concerns and develop problem solving strategies.

Rationale:
Engaging in proactive examination of identified problems is one of the hallmarks of community policing. If the community is to be a full partner, LEA's need to include organizations that work with the community and advocate on its behalf. These organizations can also be crucial to the effectiveness of town hall meetings.

B. Developing a resource list for the community and training officers to be service navigators.

C. Providing LE with "community resource cards" specific to their beat that can be carried on their person or in their vehicle and given out to community members.

Rationale:
Where community problems can best be addressed by referrals to service providers, LE can act as a conduit to those services. Beat boundaries that correspond to neighborhood boundaries strengthen the connection between the community and the LEA.

D. Developing an outreach plan to reach youth in underserved areas with existing programs such as: Explorer Scouts, Cadet and V.I.P. programs. These programs should include a component that begins in elementary school.

E. Establishing a Police Athletic League (P.A.L.) in underserved areas

F. Strengthening career public safety pathways for local high schools and including careers in subsidiary fields such as dispatcher and field tech. Engaging career technical programs and other CBO'S in carrying out this goal;

Rationale:
In order to have an LE that is representative of the community it serves, it is necessary to have an adequate pipeline of potential recruits from underserved areas and unrepresented populations. Strengthening the "pipeline" for recruitment of individuals from these areas and populations requires programs that engage young people of diverse backgrounds and genders with LE and in LE activities

G. Increasing the availability for "ride-a longs, job shadowing and tours (jail, SRJC Training Center) in underserved areas.

H. Developing a communication and outreach plan to engage residents in language appropriate Citizen's Academies.

Rationale:
Understanding the vital role LE plays in protecting the community and experiencing the officer work environment helps to bridge gaps and promotes empathy between LE and the community.

I. Designing activities to be place based or provide transportation to site so students and adults in underserved communities can participate.

Rationale:
Transportation is an impediment to full participation for many in underserved areas. Providing transportation where needed assures that all who wish to participate in the programs are able to do so. 

Resources needed

  • Scholarships
  • Transportation

(Staff or LE can give us information as to the cost of the various programs listed)

Contact Information

Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Address
Sonoma County Administration Building
575 Administration Drive
Room 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403