We are operating a number of programs in Camden and with the Camden County Police Department. A number of these programs were piloted for the first time in Camden and since have expanded elsewhere.
In partnership with the Camden-County Police Department (CCPD), the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 218, and Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, and with generous funding from the Campbell Soup Foundation, the Joshua and Marjorie Harris Family Foundation, and the Open Society Foundation, the Policing Project is pioneering a dynamic police-youth engagement program. The program not only brings high school youth and police together to interact in substantive ways, but has them work to solve a real community problem of their choosing.
Community Ambassadors Initiative
The Community Ambassadors initiative is an innovative training program for new CCPD officers that adds meaningful community engagement to traditional knock-and-talks. In this program, new officers partner with community members who serve as "Ambassadors" for their neighborhood. Ambassadors help orient the new officers to the neighborhood by sharing their perspectives, providing insight into local concerns, and guiding officers in understanding the unique fabric of their community. By creating a partnership between new officers and established community members, the initiative seeks to both provides critical training for officers who are new to the job, and build trust between community members and police by empowering the public’s voice around policing.
The CCPD is the first jurisdiction to fully engage with the Policing Project's Manuals Initiative, which both puts the department's manual online and also "translates" important sections of the manual into plain language, making it far more publicly accessible. Learn more here.
Body-Worn Camera Policy
The Policing Project partnered with the CCPD to solicit community input on the department’s body-worn camera policy to ensure that its policy is consistent with the values and interests of Camden residents. The Policing Project designed a comprehensive feedback process with multiple opportunities for participation, including a public website, an online questionnaire, two community forums, and officer focus groups. In response to the public feedback, the CCPD made a number of changes to its policy, including on activation, notification, and public access.
The Policing Project then worked with the CCPD to produce a report that summarizes the community feedback, and explains how that feedback is reflected in the CCPD’s revised body-worn camera policy, or why the department thought it advisable to proceed otherwise.