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Pillar 1: Building Trust & Legitimacy

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21st Century Policing in PlymouthPeople are more likely to obey the law when they believe that those who are enforcing it have legitimate authority. The public confers legitimacy only on those they believe are acting in just ways. Building trust and legitimacy is not only the first pillar but also the foundational principle underlying the nature of relations between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

Since the 1990s, policing has become more effective, better equipped and better organized to tackle crime. Despite this, polls show the public’s confidence in police work has remained flat, and in some cases, confidence has declined. Decades of research and practice support the premise that people are more likely to obey the law when they believe that those who are enforcing it have the legitimate authority to do so.

Recommendation   Description  Completed
1.1 Law enforcement culture should embrace a guardian mindset to build public trust and legitimacy. Toward that end, police and sheriffs’ departments should adopt procedural justice as the guiding principle for internal and external policies and practices to guide their interactions with the citizens they serve.  Completed
1.2 Law enforcement agencies should acknowledge the role of policing in past and present injustice and discrimination and how it is a hurdle to the promotion of community trust.  Completed
1.3 Law enforcement agencies should establish a culture of transparency and accountability in order to build public trust and legitimacy. This will help ensure decision making is understood and in accord with stated policy.  Completed
1.4 Law enforcement agencies should promote legitimacy internally within the organization by applying the principles of procedural justice.  Completed
1.5 Law enforcement agencies should proactively promote public trust by initiating positive non-enforcement activities to engage communities that typically have high rates of investigative and enforcement involvement with government agencies.  Completed
1.6 Law enforcement agencies should consider the potential damage to public trust when implementing crime fighting strategies.  Completed
1.7 Law enforcement agencies should track the level of trust in police by their communities just as they measure changes in crime. Annual community surveys, ideally standardized across jurisdictions and with accepted sampling protocols, can measure how policing in that community affects public trust.

Law enforcement agencies should strive to create a workforce that contains a broad range of diversity including race, gender, language, life experience, and cultural background to improve understanding and effectiveness in dealing with all communities.

1.9 Law enforcement agencies should build relationships based on trust with immigrant communities. This is central to overall public safety.  Completed

Examples of ways Plymouth demonstrates Building Trust and Legitimacy

  • New and current officers are trained on procedural justice, professionalism and community policing.

  • The PPD enforces policies on discrimination, impartial policing, customer service, internal affairs/citizen complaints, conduct unbecoming of an officer and bias motivated crimes.

  • Department instructors recently updated all training standards for sworn and civilian employees and volunteers to include de-escalation, both 8-hour and 40-hour Critical Incident Training and procedural justice.

  • All use of force reports are completed and reviewed by department command staff.

  • The PPD has a policy outlining data releases, which allows the department to release information to the media and public as soon as reasonably possible regarding critical incidents.

  • The PPD compiles weekly incident and arrest reports.

  • The PPD and the City of Plymouth utilize notification systems such as Alert Plymouth, eNotify, Nextdoor, Facebook and Twitter to communicate with the community in regards to safety information or critical incidents.

  • The PPD participates in community programs like Toys for Tots, Red Robin Special Olympics events, Presents with Public Safety and more.

  • The PPD hosts Night to Unite and participates in Music in Plymouth and Fire & Ice.

  • The PPD participates in the DARE program and the Police Explorers Program.

  • The PPD has school resource officers on staff at public high schools and middle schools.

  • The PPD utilizes LanguageLine to provide adequate help to members of the community who speak languages other than English.

  • The PPD has recently implemented new performance evaluations of officers to include the 21st Century Policing model concepts.

  • The PPD is developing a new community engagement program to reach identified communities of need that will be implemented in 2017.

  • The PPD has emphasized the importance of positive officer nonenforcement field contacts with the community.