How to Develop Meaningful Police-Community Engagement?
Developing meaningful, substantive community-police engagement is not easy. And there are few models for what this sort of engagement even should look like. Still, government by the people requires us to try.
Here at the Policing Project, we have five questions that we believe should be answered at the outset of any engagement process in order to make sure it is effective:
1. What are the goals of the engagement?
2. With whom do you want to engage?
3. What is being done to educate the audience so that it can engage in a meaningful way?
4. What steps will be taken to ensure that those who choose to engage actually are heard?
5. What will be done to respond to input, in order to show respect for those who participated?
Knowing the answers to these questions at the beginning of each project, we are developing and trying out different community-engagement approaches in partnership with the local police and communities across the country.