The strategy for policing a large city is unbelievably complex. It’s important to find a balance between honest hands-on police work and community relations. Community Policing is just such a model designed to police the community through robust partnerships which empower both officers and the community to solve public safety problems.
The Aurora Colorado Police Chief was fired this week for failing to keep the department properly balanced. Instead, Vanessa Wilson spent her time focused on diversity among officers and addressing racial bias. Her goal was focused entirely on the perception of Law Enforcement instead of the actual act of policing her city.
This does not mean that diversity among Police Officers is bad. It does not mean that racial bias is a good thing. But the firing of Vanessa Wilson is what happens when a Police Department only focuses on community perception and fails to keep the community safe.
An external audit of the Aurora Police Department found that there was a backlog of over 2,500 uninvestigated reports of carjackings, child abuse, and murders. This has resulted in several of the suspects re-offending, committing crimes that should never have happened.
This means that people experienced real trauma because of Wilson’s failure.
The hardworking Aurora Police Officers have been shackled for years now. Hopefully, with the impending appointment of a new Chief, the department will get back on track and Officers will be empowered to work with their community in true Community Policing fashion.
This would be best outcome for both the officers and the community.
What do you think, how important is community perception to a police department? What do you think of community policing? Should Chief Wilson have been fired? Let us know in the comments below.