If I Ruled the World – Community Service for Police Officers

Part of the strained relationship with law enforcement and private citizens is that in general people fear the police.  While the average white American doesn’t feel for their life when they see the police they likely aren’t at ease when they see the police on the highway while driving.  For example, if you are walking in the street in the police start walking toward you or ask to speak to you, your blood pressure probably goes up.  If the police showed up to your job randomly, everyone would be trying to figure out what they are there for.  If you are a minority the relationship is even more complicated because you fear the police and the police to some extent fear you.  I’ve personally have been profiled by police on my university campus the same day I was going to do a ride along to break down barriers with law enforcement!  I’ve also been given breaks on tickets by police on several occasions.  But in general, when I see a policeman wave and smile at me one time while they were driving, I turned around to see who they were waving at.  I think if police were required to do regular community service in the neighborhoods, they patrolled that could ease tensions and reduce stereotypes on both sides. I’m not talking about annual pancake breakfasts and bicycle giveaways at the police station.  I’m talking about cooks out at the park, joining the park district sports leagues, block parties, and marathons thru the city.  Neighborhood cleanups in all areas of the city not just the nice parts of town.  Street pick up games with citizens.  Yeah, some folks may not be excited about forced community involvement, but I think that once folks start getting involved general connections and relationships would be formed by let’s say 100 hours of community involvement a year with a minimum of 25 hours per quarter.  Can’t get new results without making changes.

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