Don't Worry! We're Just Here For The War
Many people have probably heard that at the federal level, the Department of Justice plans on focusing its efforts on eradicating violent crime. In fact it has been at times termed, a “War on Violent Crime.”
Now, I'm not trying to be "that guy," however, I want to express my concern in not wanting American policing to follow the same path it took in the 1980's.
Essentially, if you have areas, that have a high rate of violent crime and a large degree of mistrust and disdain for the police, there is a problem. When you have that going on, there are only two conclusions.
A. The majority of the populous in that area enjoy violent crime.
B. The majority of the populace do not enjoy violent crime. However, they are being mistreated by the police.
Here's a hint, answer A. is not the right answer.
Essentially, you can never be successful in combating violent crime without the support of the majority of the community. Without having a majority of the community's support, you lack the intelligence of knowing who the bad guys are. Since the bulk of your police officers are not going to be from the community they're policing, a lack of good relationship with the community and intelligence can be detrimental.
Essentially, that would be like going to war with a foreign country, without all of the fancy intelligence gathering agencies and sources. Instead, just sending in the infantry and saying go forth, prosper and get those bad guys.
Now, let's say that it is a minority community in which you lack a good relationship and intelligence with; can anyone guess what suddenly, most times unintentionally, becomes the uniform of the enemy?
If you want to, actually combat violent crime, you cannot exclude the community. Indeed, if there is already a bad relationship between the police and the community in an area, you must repair that relationship first before you can be successful in combating any crime. The definition of how you rebuild that relationship and gain public trust is indeed police reform.
Most importantly, you ever notice who is never consulted whenever the topic of combating violent crime in a community? The actual people who live in the community. Basically, it is always a bunch of people, who don’t live in high crime areas, discussing how to fix problems in high crime areas.
People might not want to hear what is said, however, if anyone actually spoke to the community, indeed, the people of a community will tell you EXACTLY what they need to improve their quality of life. Now, if you aren’t willing to communicate and listen to the community, can you really say that you care about a community or the violent crime that occurs within it?