Service Before Self, Honor Above All

Policing in the 21st Century: A Report to the Community

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The Background

In Washington D.C. last summer, the United States Department of Justice recognized the Arlington Police Department as a forward thinking agency when it comes to building trust and working with our community to address solutions to problems.

The Arlington Police Department is one of 15 law enforcement agencies in the U.S. chosen to lead a charge to ensure that law enforcement remains a trusted and valued part of the community. Trust is critical to the stability of our city and the safety of each and every individual.

In 2014, a national task force was formed and charged with identifying best practices and making recommendations on how the country’s more than 118,000 police departments can promote effective crime reduction while building trust in the communities they serve.

This action came at a time when tragic events occurring in the U.S. were exposing rifts in the relationships between police officers and the communities we serve, particularly communities of color.

Task force recommendations  were centered around six pillars and published in a final report. The six pillars are described as the “gold standards of policing for the 21st century.”

This website is our report to the community and all that is being accomplished as we move forward with becoming a model policing agency for the twenty-first century.

A Summary of Policing in Arlington

We know community policing works in Arlington. Under the leadership of Police Chief Will Johnson, the Arlington Police Department engages in strong community policing efforts every day to prevent crime and  build trust.

From within the city’s four geographic areas, teams of police officers are participating in activities with community groups, schools, faith-based and civic organizations.  Officers do more than attend community events. They are hosting meetings and actively participating in discussions on issues of importance to the community. Officers have also implemented effective mentoring programs with youth.

When it comes to National Night Out, Arlington leads the nation in celebrating police and community partnerships. In a comparison of large U.S. cities with populations over 300,000 people, Arlington ranks #2 in the country in National Night Out participation.  With a commitment to procedural justice, APD is also focused on enhancing officer wellness, training, and policy development. Nothing is more important than trust and mutual respect between police officers and the community.

Six Pillars: Building Blocks of Community Policing

Watch the introduction

Pillar 1: Building Trust and Legitimacy

The Arlington, Texas Police Department engages in community policing efforts every day to prevent crime, build trust and strengthen police/community relations.

Pillar 2: Policy and Oversight

Pillar Two emphasizes that if police are to carry out their responsibilities according to established policies, these policies must reflect community values.

Pillar 3: Technology and Social Media

Pillar Three guides the implementation, use and evaluation of technology and social media for law enforcement agencies.

Pillar 4: Community Policing and Crime Reduction

Pillar Four focuses on the importance of community policing as a guiding philosophy in reducing crime. Community policing emphasizes neighborhoods working together with law enforcement to identify problems and collaborate on solutions.

Pillar 5: Training and Education

The need for expanded and more effective training are critical. Today’s officers must be capable to address a wide variety of challenges. Pillar Five focuses on the training and education needs of law enforcement.

Pillar 6: Officer Wellness and Safety

The wellness and overall safety of law enforcement officers are critical to the public safety profession. Pillar Six emphasizes the support and effective implementation of officer wellness and safety training programs.