While working as a Neighborhood Police Officer, I was responsible for roughly one quarter of the city. My duties included working calls for service and performing all follow up investigation needed. Attending Community and Neighborhood Association meetings, Identifying crime problems and quality of life issues and developing a plan for eliminating them. I completed a monthly report that detailed my meetings, identified problems and develop strategies for addressing problems along with projected completion date and progress report. This was done for each of my assigned neighborhoods and collectively sent to the Chief of Police, City Council Members, Mayor and available for Officers and citizens. My area of responsibility was the following Neighborhood Association boundaries: Carver Park, East Riverside, Brook Oaks, Sanger Heights and Landon Branch I had the highest crime rate in the city. I worked with the neighborhood associations within my assigned area to develop a working relationship. I met with the Neighborhood Association members, churches, business owners and residents and we developed a plan for taking back the neighborhoods from the drug dealers. My plan included allowing the citizens to tell the Police Department what they perceived the problems to be. I quickly found that what the Police thought the neighborhoods problems were rated low on the scope of immediate concerns for the community. I initiated a two prong approach. Addressing crime was implemented with a zero tolerance approach but addressing the community’s quality of life (environment) was also vigorously initiated and pursued. Residents support the Police effort in reducing the crime and Police Officers participated in quality of life actions, such as digging out sidewalks, painting houses of the elderly and churches. I was successful with the help of the residents and today this same area that was once a mecca of murder, drug dealing and mayhem, an area where you couldn’t give your house away today enjoys: 2 State of the art Fire Stations, Cameron Park East which host professional speed boat races, Baylor University’s new state of the art Floyd Casey Stadium, Cameron Park Zoo, Town Homes (where project housing once stood) and a dramatic increase in home owners property value not to mention a massive reduction in crime. I advocate for Police Reform because I have seen a trend of unconstitutional arrests, abuse and flat out brutality by a small majority of officer nationwide. I am very concerned that these incidents go unchallenged by Law Enforcement Officers across the nation. It is my belief that Police Departments are unable or unwilling to police themselves. I feel that the silence on issues of police corruption on behalf of the Law Enforcement profession has caused the public to pull their trust away from police. This is particularly true in the African American, Hispanic and poor White communities. It is my hope that Congress will hold hearing on Police reform and invite and speak with Officers and not just Police Chiefs. I feel that Police Administrations collectively not exclusively have mismanaged their approach to crime and policing in inner city communities. Meaningful dialog does not exist, political practices and “good ole boy” mentalities have taken over the hiring and vetting process resulting in the type of officers that commit the atrocities us wittiness on social media and for African Americans personally.
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