Arlington, TX: A Community Policing Story Arlington, TX - A Community Policing Story - Page 13

Supporting Peel’s second principle, decades of academic research have established that public trust contributes to greater public deference when the police have personal interactions with members of the community, 12 increased compliance with the law, 13 higher levels of cooperation with police efforts to manage crime, 14 and stronger institutional support for police departments. 15 Perhaps more importantly, academic research has also underscored the critical disadvantages of public mistrust. For example, recent studies suggest that “high-profile cases of police violence—disproportionately experienced by Black men—may present a serious threat to public safety if they lower citizen crime reporting” and thus undermine the ability of law enforcement to fulfill public safety objectives; for example, after Milwaukee officers severely beat Frank Jude, an unarmed Black man, the police department received approximately 22,000 fewer calls for service, particularly from Black residents, over the next year. 16 On the other hand, an organizational commitment to building public trust, particularly among marginalized communities, is essential to achieving public safety objectives. Indeed, the Task Force on 21st Century Policing—which comprised law enforcement executives, criminal justice practitioners, academic researchers, and community advocates—identified its first pillar, building trust and legitimacy, as “the foundational principle underlying [the task force’s] inquiry into the nature of relations between law enforcement and the communities they serve.” 17 Following the Arlington Police Department’s selection as one of 15 law enforcement agencies identified as an “exemplary implementation model” for the task force, Chief Johnson similarly emphasized trust building as an urgent, albeit long-term, objective within the profession: Trust is not built during a crisis; it is not built quickly, and no matter how much trust you build, it can erode over time. Building public trust requires constant devotion, a focus on relationships, and a demonstrated commitment to achieve community goals through personal and organizational actions. 18 In establishing public trust as a formal metric of success, law enforcement agencies should invest not only in community-based policies, practices, and programs but also in an agency- wide framework that supports and ultimately sustains trust building as a priority. 12. Tom R. Tyler and Yuen J. Huo, Trust in the Law: Encouraging Public Cooperation with the Police and Courts (NY: Russell-Sage Foundation, 2002). 13. Tom R. Tyler, “Procedural Justice, Legitimacy, and Compliance,” in Why People Obey the Law (Princeton University Press, 2006). 14. Tom R. Tyler and Jeffrey Fagan, “Why Do People Cooperate with the Police?” Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 6 (2008): 231–275, 15. Jason Sunshine and Tom R. Tyler, “The Role of Procedural Justice and Legitimacy in Shaping Public Support for Policing,” Law and Society Review 37, no. 3 (2003): 513–548, 16. Matthew Desmond, Andrew V. Papachristos, and David S. Kirk, “Police Violence and Citizen Crime Reporting in the Black Community,” American Sociological Review 81, no. 5 (2016): 857-876, 10.1177/0003122416663494. 17. President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing (Washington, DC: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, 2015), 9, Publications/cops-p311-pub.pdf. 18. Arlington Police Department, “Arlington Police Chosen to Lead Efforts” (see note 4). Getting Started: Key Concepts and Definitions 5