If a police officer has introduced himself or herself to you recently, there’s a reason. It’s called “Community Contact,” a program that encourages all officers to proactively interact with residents and business owners. This personal connection allows officers to learn about and effectively address neighborhood concerns and enhances relations between police officers and the community.
It was instituted in April 2019. And despite social distancing requirements brought on by Covid-19, there have been 2,848 “Community Contacts” to date.
The program is part of the Department’s long-standing commitment to community policing. Indeed, the Department’s core philosophy is Police And Community Together – or PACT.
Every member of the Department is a community-policing practitioner. Over the years this has required a move from the traditional model of policing-patrolling in cars for the purpose of responding to emergency calls.
In the traditional model, officers most often meet residents while they are under duress, with the result that many of these understandably tense encounters are negative. By taking officers out of patrol cars and making them more proactive, a genuine opportunity exists for better understanding between members of the Department and those they protect. Under “Community Contact,” every interaction is viewed as an opportunity to gain public support and further the Department’s goals of providing safety for all the city’s residents.