Balance: The Cop, the Kids, and the Community

Retired Detective Cedric Mitchell

It must be said that to start to bridge the gap we most first bringing the police and the communities we serve together. That requires that we see each other for who we are, “human” and the fact that we have more in common than we think. Positive youth interaction with law enforcement holds critical long-term implications for progress. In a growing number of cities, police are working with youth groups and
finding that violence involving youth is rapidly decreasing. An argument can be made that the true assessment of a police officer is how he or she interacts with the youth. If police can gain the trust in this young generation, those individuals will hopefully carry that trust over to when they become parents and pass that trust down to their kids, creating a generational recycling of trust. Successful communication and building relationships with the community will always require continuous effort and the flexibility to respond to local needs. But many small steps add up to success. The Cop, the Kid, and the Community focuses on ideas to help build that connection.

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