A rookie pitches in to feed residents as part of an annual Community Affairs sponsored event. / Ruddy Roye
After a spike of recent shootings in New York City, the Police Department is starting a 6 month pilot program to build better community relations at the eight busiest precincts. The program pairs rookie cops with mentors to learn from seasoned police officers rather than being paired with rookies like themselves. They will be assigned a regular beat, to establish stronger roots in the neighborhood.
Six community mentors will introduce the newest police officers to residents and local business owners. The intention is to improve the police department’s image in some of the neighborhoods with the highest crime. This is not to say that there are not skeptics in these neighborhoods but creating trust takes time. Building relationships among the police and residents started with a friendly BBQ.
Bill Bratton, Police Commissioner, knows a lot about building relationships and finding a more personable approach to law enforcement. This program provides the newest police officers with continuity, supervision and oversight by the departments’ experienced officers, offering a longer term view of their job. It makes common sense to create a bond and shared concerns for safety between the officers and the residents. How else can the police department show that really care about the people they are assigned to protect and serve?