Policing is so much more than arresting, and punishing violent offenders. Policing is a balance of establishing a connection with each and every person [regardless of the community], no matter how [prominent] destructive, or unfortunate. About eight years ago I challenged myself, in policing to build more positive functional relationships regardless of race, gender, sexual preference, poverty level, religious affiliation, or social, economic category. I made a conscious decision to the example to what a police officer should be a morally sound man.
As, I researched the beginning of where “community policing” began I found that according to Lewis (2011), Sir Robert Peel was the mind behind the beginning of Modern Law enforcement in 1829 by founding the Metropolitan London Police force. According to Nazemi (2009), Sir Robert Peel, while being classified the father of the modern law enforcement he was also set the foundation for the innovative “Peelian Principles” which consist of the following nine principles that police departments today still use and model their agencies foundation for community policing.
Peelian Principle 1 – “The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.”
Peelian Principle 2 – “The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.”
Peelian Principle 3 – “Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.”
Peelian Principle 4 – “The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.”
Peelian Principle 5 – “Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to the public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.”
Peelian Principle 6 – “Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.”
Peelian Principle 7 – “Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”
Peelian Principle 8 – “Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.”
Peelian Principle 9 – “The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.”
While following these innovative principles by Sir Robert Peel, I also believe that we as a society, whether we are police officers, teachers, or the general public, we have to be empathetic to those communities that aren’t thriving and that are poverty ridden. In a quest to continue to be empathetic and balanced to each and every social community situation, we should look for a possible integration of the “The Beloved Community” concept that was a philosophy that was pushed by Dr. Martin Luther King. According to Spero (2017), there are “Six Steps to Nonviolent Social Change” which consist of the following.
SIX STEPS OF NONVIOLENT SOCIAL CHANGE
The Six Steps for Nonviolent Social Change are based on Dr. King’s nonviolent campaigns and teachings that emphasize love in action. Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence, as reviewed in the Six Principles of Nonviolence, guide these steps for social and interpersonal change.
1. INFORMATION GATHERING: To understand and articulate an issue, problem or injustice facing a person, community, or institution you must do research. You must investigate and gather all vital information from all sides of the argument or issue so as to increase your understanding of the problem. You must become an expert on your opponent’s position.
2. EDUCATION: It is essential to inform others, including your opposition, about your issue. This minimizes misunderstandings and gains you support and sympathy.
3. PERSONAL COMMITMENT: Daily check and affirm your faith in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence. Eliminate hidden motives and prepare yourself to accept suffering, if necessary, in your work for justice.
4. DISCUSSION/NEGOTIATION: Using grace, humor, and intelligence, confront the other party with a list of injustices and a plan for addressing and resolving these injustices. Look for what is positive in every action and statement the opposition makes. Do not seek to humiliate the opponent but to call forth the good in the opponent.
5. DIRECT ACTION: These are actions taken when the opponent is unwilling to enter into, or remain in, discussion/negotiation. These actions impose a “creative tension” into the conflict, supplying moral pressure on your opponent to work with you in resolving the injustice.
6. RECONCILIATION: Nonviolence seeks friendship and understanding with the opponent. Nonviolence does not seek to defeat the opponent. Nonviolence is directed against evil systems, forces, oppressive policies, unjust acts, but not against persons. Through reasoned compromise, both sides resolve the injustice with a plan of action. Each act of reconciliation is one step closer to the “Beloved Community.”
It is clear that while we have, two great foundations presented above to integrate with each other. However, we as a society must continue to be empathetic to each other. I would like to believe that we all would have a better understanding of each other if we just mentally place ourselves in each other’s situation. As a police officer, I would say to my colleagues immerse yourselves in the communities you serve. By not just following the above steps, and principles but interacting in community events, attend the community church while on duty and off duty, speak to the people even if they don’t speak to you, and help as many people in the community you can. While doing all of these tasks you must remain consistent with your efforts, and I like to believe that, the fruits of your labor will replenish the community. However, you may or may not see the reaping what you sowed; it may be the next police officer, teacher, or any service worker.
In conclusion, the answer to our community’s challenges is staring us right in the face, we as a society, choose not to follow the innovative foundation that has already been set in place. The two presentations that were given above and the small acts of kindness I presented are quite the balance of what society should strive to be. Given our repeated mistakes and downward spirals in our social community relationships, I would say it is time to start following the direction of these two innovative men.
E. D. Poyner is the CEO and Co-founder of a small non-profit that deals with the service professionals social and emotional health.Eric has been a police officer for 19-years and is also currently enrolled in the Masters of Entrepreneurship Program at Western Carolina University.Webmasters and other article publishers are hereby granted article reproduction permission as long as this article in its entirety, author’s information, and any links remain intact. Copyright 2016 by Eric Detron Poyner.
Lewis, M.A.(2011, December 1), Perspective Peel’s Legacy.Retrieved from http://leb.fbi.gov/2011/december/perspective-peels-legacy.
Nazemi, S.(2017, February 1), Sir Robert Peel’s Nine Principals of Policing. Retrieved from http://lacp.org/2009-Articles-Main/062609-Peels9Principals-SandyNazemi.htm
(2017,February 28), Retrieved from: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-philosophy