Building and maintaining trust between police and the communities they serve is essential for addressing crime and promoting public safety. It is also among the greatest challenges facing law enforcement. In this session, Kassy Alia Ray, Ph.D. and CEO of Serve & Connect, Chief of Police of the Richmond Police Department Bisa French, Chief of Police of the Appex Police Department Jason Armstrong, Chief of Police from the Kearny Police Department Bryan Waugh, Chief Superintendent of the Royal Bahamas Task Force Chaswell Hanna, Ph.D., and David Williams, retired from the Illinois State Police, discussed real-world examples that highlight how best practices from community policing have helped departments overcome, face, or prevent challenges in environments that experience heightened rates of distrust in a diversity of settings. Panelists also showcased how the IACP’s Trust-Building Campaign can be used to implement a comprehensive community policing approach within agencies ranging from urban and rural settings to national and international contexts.
The IACP’s Trust-Building Campaign was a central tenet of this session. Key Focus Areas of the campaign include Bias-Free Policing, Use of Force, Leadership and Culture, Victim Services, Community Relations, and Recruitment, Hiring, & Retention. Within those focus areas are more detailed strategies for building trust. For example, with community relations, it’s important to educate communities on the dynamics of policing, and set reasonable expectations for their police, establishing shared expectations of the role police have in the community and how to evaluate police performance. For Victim Services, establishing partnerships to provide for mental health, substance abuse, and youth deflection/diversion resources in their community is crucial.