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Importance of Community Partnerships with the Police

Posted by Shawna Ivy on Apr 30, 2024

In today’s unpredictable world, ensuring the safety and security of communities has become an increasingly complex challenge. Law enforcement agencies are responsible for maintaining order and protecting citizens. However, they cannot do it alone. Collaboration between law enforcement and the community is a must to bolster crime prevention and response.

Community partnerships with law enforcement foster trust, communication, and cooperation. When businesses, citizens, community groups, and government agencies actively engage with law enforcement, they develop positive lasting relationships as they become partners in safeguarding their neighborhoods. This teamwork creates a network of vigilant eyes and ears, that can only enhance the effectiveness of curbing crimes.

Here’s an excellent quote from the Community Oriented Policing Services video from the U.S. Department of Justice. “So, I see it as the community really taking responsibility for making good decisions and working with law enforcement rather than expecting law enforcement to do those accountable measures that we should be doing ourselves,” says Monica Terkildsen, Development and Compliance, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Department of Public Safety.

In other words, everybody is responsible for everyone else to paraphrase Richard Jensen, Training Coordinator Oglala Sioux Tribe, Department of Public Safety.

The Need to Build Police and Community Partnerships

The COPS office strongly urges law enforcement to build relationships with the private sector. These include businesses in commercial real estate, multifamily residential properties, retail centers, automotive dealerships, manufacturing facilities, construction, and many others.

Reaching Out to the Private Sector report from COPS states that businesses are strong innovators who react to and anticipate evolving customer needs. This ability requires businesses to develop efficiencies and structures for smooth operations. These are driven by quality, talent, products, and services.

The report goes on to explain that law enforcement can learn from successful businesses. In other words, the private sector implements strategies and methods that law enforcement can adopt. Many of the skills found in businesses can be applied to public safety.

Companies benefit from community partnerships with the police. Joining forces allows businesses to tap into law enforcement’s knowledge. They can learn how to address workplace violence and increase customer safety. Together, they can explore solutions on how they can solve community-related problems and mitigate risks.

COPS has a Collaboration Toolkit for Community Organizations available. It contains strategies to ensure a successful community partnership and tips to improve public trust. The toolkit delves into the nine elements of the collaboration process that lead to a fruitful relationship. It indicates police and community collaborations can:

  • Provide a systematic approach to address crime.
  • Achieve things that can’t be done alone.
  • Avoid redundancies between organizations.
  • Increase advocacy and resource development.
  • Add more visibility to the benefit of community-police partnerships.

Businesses will want to partner with law enforcement for multiple reasons. One of those is the most obvious in that they’ve got the resources to control crime without putting the public at risk. The second reason is high-ranking law enforcement officials are often involved with the boards of community organizations. They’re able to influence public policy in terms of crime prevention.

Another reason is they have access to current and reliable crime data. Such a system lets them map out the community to show where certain types of crimes occur, what time of day, what day of the week, and other details. And finally, many law enforcement officers have undergone training on the principles of community policing and collaborative problem-solving. They have experience in working with communities to address crime prevention and social disorder.

Adding a Security Partner in Community Partnership

A key factor to a successful partnership is working with an experienced security company. Companies like Stealth Monitoring have long-established relationships with law enforcement. Companies working with Stealth can benefit from that relationship.

For example, Stealth Monitoring collaborated with the police in Arlington, Texas. They hosted events focused on making neighborhoods safer. The Arlington Police, Stealth Monitoring representatives, and first responders came together to host a fun night of food and family activities for the community.

The alliance between Stealth and the Arlington Police Department started due to weekly shootings and gang activity in an Arlington multifamily residential community. Arlington Police saw Stealth’s video surveillance signs and reached out to the company for video clips.

The partnership proved rewarding as Stealth helped the Arlington police with shootings, break-ins, and a car theft ring. Not only has crime has gone down but it also eased tensions between residents and police officers. In fact, one of Stealth’s trained monitoring operators caught thieves attempting to commit a crime.

This allowed Arlington police to quickly arrive in the general area and stop the vehicle. It turned out to be a stolen car. The police department recognized the Stealth employee with a Citizen’s Certificate Award for her actions to stop the crooks.

Law enforcement agencies across North America value their partnership with Stealth Monitoring. Using proactive and intelligent video monitoring, the security company helps deter crime at retail properties, dealerships, office buildings, multifamily residential properties, manufacturing facilities, transportation and logistics facilities, and other commercial properties with outdoor assets.

The reason the partnership works well is that trained monitoring operators and intelligent video monitoring systems collaborate to detect threats. Once they identify a threat, the trained monitoring operator can immediately contact the local police and share information about the suspects, any weapons, and vehicle information.

The monitoring operator can keep the police apprised of the criminals’ movements and location. This helps increase safety for the officers as they’ll have information about what’s happening before they get there.

How Businesses Benefit from Police and Community Partnerships

Whether you’re an owner or operator at a multifamily residential property, retail store, automotive dealership, or commercial office building, investing in a community partnership with the police could benefit your business.

Commercial and office buildings

Commercial real estate properties tend to have many entrances and exits for people and vehicles. This gives criminals an advantage as they have choices of where they get away. It’s easy for employees to become complacent as they’re focused on their work and don’t always notice suspicious behavior.

Multifamily residential properties

Employees and residents in apartment communities don’t know everyone’s faces. It makes it challenging to know who belongs and who does not belong in the building. Moreover, multifamily residential buildings house many cars in one place. Partnering with law enforcement may have police officers doing random checks on the apartment. Their presence along with video cameras can act as a strong deterrent.

Retail centers

Shopping centers are increasingly becoming attractive spots for theft. Crooks deem these areas as good candidates for theft because of the crowds that allow them to blend in. They also target retail buildings for the diversity of products and vehicles. They’re able to commit crimes without being noticed by the distracted shoppers and people all around.

Dealerships

Car theft crimes have been climbing, which puts automotive dealerships and their high-valued assets at risk for theft. Organized crime gangs tend to look for specific makes and models of vehicles. They know they have a good chance of finding it at an auto dealership.

Construction sites

The construction industry has wrestled with safety and security issues, such as theft, vandalism, safety hazards, and worker accidents. Heavy equipment theft alone accounts for substantial losses every year. Any crime that occurs on a construction site can heavily disrupt project timelines leading to high penalties, which could result in substantial financial losses for the company.

How Remote Video Surveillance Supports Community Partnerships

A security company like Stealth strategically places security cameras in businesses like dealerships, warehouse facilities, apartment buildings, construction sites, shopping centers, and many other businesses and facilities.

This proactive security solution acts as silent sentinels that can provide a constant stream of visual information. The cameras can serve as a deterrent to criminal activity. Perpetrators may be less likely to engage in unlawful behavior when they notice the cameras.

Moreover, video surveillance systems provide law enforcement with invaluable resources for investigations. In the event of a crime, footage from surveillance cameras can provide vital evidence that could aid in the identification and apprehension of suspects.

Incorporating remote monitoring further amplifies the effectiveness of video surveillance. In some cases, the community partnership with the police and the security company allows law enforcement to have remote access to the cameras.

Remote monitoring allows law enforcement agencies to oversee multiple locations simultaneously without any geographical constraints. With real-time access to video feeds, officers can swiftly respond to incidents as they unfold, thereby reducing response times and enhancing overall public safety.

Additionally, the benefits of video surveillance and remote monitoring go beyond crime deterrence. These technologies can also help during various emergencies, such as natural disasters or medical issues. By providing situational awareness to first responders, trained monitoring operators can help facilitate swift and coordinated responses. They have the potential to save lives and minimize damage.

Although the integration of video surveillance and remote monitoring offers benefits, it is essential to pay attention to privacy concerns. Companies like Stealth Monitoring have transparent policies and robust safeguards to assure the police and businesses that they use these technologies responsibly and ethically.

The community partnership also fosters open dialogue with the community about the purpose and scope of surveillance measures. This helps gain trust and allay fears.

To sum up, community partnerships with law enforcement along with the integration of video surveillance and remote monitoring, can be instrumental in augmenting security and maintaining public safety.

Communities, businesses, government organizations, security companies, and law enforcement agencies working together can create safer environments for everyone to live, work, and thrive. Adopting these technologies responsibly helps ensure there is a balance between security and privacy, ultimately fostering stronger and more resilient communities.

To learn more about security partnerships, contact us.

Texas Private Security License Number: B14187
California Alarm Operator License Number: ACO7876
Florida Alarm System Contractor I License Number: EF20001598
Tennessee Alarm Contracting Company License Number: 2294
Virginia Private Security Services Business License Number: 11-19499
Alabama Electronic Security License # 002116
Canada TSBC License: LEL0200704