Community Policing, Awareness, and Racial Intelligence

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“New York Police commended for working on bridging the gap between police and their community. More effort must be done to include Racial Intelligence training.  Improving communication between police and their communities, is one of the keys to success.” – Linda Webb, Founder RITE Academy

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That night, Officer Glenn Ziminski, second from right, spoke with a man arrested on Frisco Avenue. Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times

Original post Residents on the street rarely return the greetings of the precinct commander. Officers complain that their overtures are usually rebuffed, but they travel even short distances by car and drive down pedestrian paths in housing developments, cruising past staring faces. Many leave the Queens precinct for meals, some crossing into Nassau County for coffee at Starbucks.

On the other side are young men who say they remain the targets of police harassment and detect no new effort by officers to connect with them.

These are snapshots of the halting progress and enduring hurdles facing the New York Police Department, the country’s largest force, as it embarks on an ambitious effort to reshape everyday interactions between its patrol officers and residents of the city after a period of searing tension.

The 101st Precinct in Far Rockaway, an overgrown former beach resort dotted with Robert Moses-era public housing at the city’s eastern edge, is an early testing ground of a model of so-called community policing that fell out of favor in the 1990s as crime levels hit all-time highs. The idea is as simple as it is old-fashioned: Rather than chase 911 calls, certain officers patrol only a small area. They are meant to solve problems, not simply enforce the law.

The theory, in part, is that if officers are given ample time and steady beats, they can learn about local concerns, address percolating problems of crime and disorder before they boil over and, in doing so, improve frayed relations with skeptical communities. It has been endorsed on the national level by President Obama’s task force on 21st-century policing.

“There’s a lot riding on it,” the police commissioner, William J. Bratton, said recently of the concept, which will soon be expanded from four test precincts to more than a dozen others across the city, made possible by the addition of 1,300 officers.

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On a recent afternoon in Far Rockaway, the six officers sat on couches in the second-floor office of the Rockaway Youth Task Force for a conversation that roamed from the Black Lives Matter movement to strategies for backyard composting to the bureaucracy of the department.

Mr. Taylor and Ms. Outlaw, the precinct community council president, described their concerns about low-level arrests that appeared to be a form of petty harassment to young minorities: tickets for bicycling, for spitting on the sidewalk, for jaywalking.

“We already got the message — we’re not doing that petty stuff anymore,” Officer Lomangino said. “We have stopped.”

Mr. Taylor expressed frustration that the new approach seemed limited to a small number of local officers. “What do we do?” he asked. “The great work that you guys are doing is being undone by all these other things.”

“I’m with you,” Officer Lomangino said. “But enforcement will always be there. We’re the police.”

The RITE Academy is dedicated to bringing Racial Intelligence training inside the walls of law enforcement, and onto the streets of the communities they serve. Our exclusive ESRI continuing education, combining Emotional Intelligence (EI) PLUS Social Intelligence (SI), gives birth to the much needed, Racial Intelligence (RI).

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