Building Community Trust Takes a Long Time

April 2, 2018

It is no secret that building community trust is a difficult task. 


While going to school it was one of the most important topics discussed. I also remember being in class with a professor and ex-police chief asking all of us, "What is Justice?" 


This question is powerful. After dissecting it we were all back at square one - unclear and confused. 


Justice is an incredibly difficult word to tackle but probably one of the most important to think about when it comes to building community trust.


Your department can define justice through the culture it exudes. Justice can be boiled down to punishment or prevention.


It seems as society matures and moves into the digitally connected age we become more disconnected. There are stories about how police officers 50 years ago used to feel safe enough to interact with children and teens to the point they could become mentors and community leaders looked up to. No longer does this seem to be a common occurrence.


You and your department must remind citizens "U N I are in CommUNIty," that you are in it together to build that trust. 


Citizen attitudes toward transparency in local government is beginning to change and go digital. The proper balance between governmental secrecy and open government is at the forefront of contemporary public debate. Citizens have different degrees of interest in and demand for governmental transparency. Using data from a national online survey of more than 1,800 respondents, you develop several indices to measure citizens’ demand for transparency at the local level and explore its correlates. Also, examine the correlates of citizens’ reported requests for information from local government. The data and analysis suggest there are several dimensions to the public’s demand for transparency, including fiscal, safety, and government concerns, and principled openness. Age, political ideology, confidence in government leaders, frequency of contacting government, and especially the perception that there is currently not enough access to government appear to drive the public’s demand for transparency, although determinants differ for each dimension. Some, although not all, of these factors also predict citizens’ actual requests for government information.


Transparency is where First Responders Live helps. We have partnered with a Facebook page, "Policing for Our Community," to ask them questions, monitor and take notes on how it is improving relations with citizens in their community. We have some great case studies and stories of personal observations from the owners of the page like more people waving to them, talking to them, and even safer arrests. The most important thing is this department has been live streaming for about a year now. They were able to reach most, if not all, of their citizens in one year. Now most of the citizens know their officers and are active in their particiapation with the department. Including a live streaming community policing program into your department's repertoire of outreach efforts is paramount in today's world.  


By making this switch you could see a change in how your department is viewed and how it perceives justice itself. 


Interested? Contact us




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