Good Police Community Relationships Are Dependent On Mutual Trust And Respect

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Positive police-community relationships are dependent on mutual trust and respect. When officers treat citizens with suspicions and disrespect, citizens are likely to reciprocate the behavior, which impinges the police-community relationships. The encounter between the Israeli officer and Ethiopian native, Demas Fikadey is a prime example of how negative behavior can tarnish an already divided community (Liebermann, 2015). Israel, like many European countries, is currently receiving a steady stream of refugees from Africa and the Middle East; by implementing a tough military approach and threats of incarceration, the Israeli government reaffirmed the ideal of totalitarian. In an effort to reduce violence, bridge the gap, and build trust amongst Israeli law enforcement and refugee communities, three things must happen: first, establish a community outreach unit, second, change the police culture from top down, and lastly, reinforce positive behavior that generates trust and respect for local law enforcement. The Israeli government is facing a unique situation; as a war-torn country itself, the Israeli government is suspicious and weary of refugees and immigrants entering their country. Nevertheless, the country must play host to refugees and immigrants from neighboring countries; as a result, local law enforcement are not properly trained to engage the new faces of Israel. The local law enforcement should establish a community outreach unit whose sole responsibility is to engage the community and bridge the cultural gap. This is where community outreach through public engagement is crucial; further, public engagement postulates that informal mechanism rather than formal play a greater role in building relationships. By trea... ... middle of paper ... ...that is both bilingual and bicultural; further, the unit should be outfitted with officers that have the capacity for caring and understanding. Second, cultural change throughout the department is salient. The change must be from the top down and everyone must have a vested interest to improve the organization. Lastly, leaders must hold officers accountable; they must encourage and reinforce positive behaviors while swiftly addressing the negatives. Israeli leaders and officers alike are facing unique challenges, however, there are greater opportunities to build trusts and seek mutual understandings through community engagement. The community engagement process fosters mutual respect, allow officers to explain their actions while giving citizens an opportunity to voice their opinion, and a mutually agreed tailor solution that enhances police-community relations.

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