In order for communities to remain safe, the members of the community need to partner with the police force of their respective municipality. Neither police, nor community residents can successfully fend off crime on their own. The police have the muscle and equipment necessary to confront criminals head-on and apprehend them. However, community residents possess a more intimate knowledge of the specific problems which are plaguing their neighborhoods. Only by means of a partnership will criminals be effectively thwarted from carrying out their nefarious intentions in communities.
Unfortunately, police officers have come under immense suspicion in recent years. If there is to be any alliance formed between police and the communities they serve, trust must be re-established. A key component to forming trust is adopting a policy of transparency. Police need to keep their communities up to date on all relevant information regarding criminal activity and the police’s investigative and preventative response to said criminal activity. Once law enforcement agencies display their good will with a policy of transparency, citizens will be more likely to open up and share.
Citizens will be able to aid police in their law enforcement efforts if they are given the opportunity to and feel comfortable with sharing pertinent information regarding the workings of their neighborhoods. Police need to know where crimes are taking place and what kind of crimes they are. Nuisance crimes that affect quality of life, are often manifested in vandalism and graffiti, especially in parks. These types of park crimes invite more hideous and violent crimes into the neighborhood. If citizens are willing to work with the police to remove these types of crimes the overall crime will decrease. To make the neighborhood safe, communities need implement a Park Vandalism Deterrent Program, which includes cameras designed specifically to stop vandalism and other nuisance crimes that plague parks.