Improving the effectiveness of law enforcement officers and fostering positive community relations
necessitates the implementation of a comprehensive strategy that acknowledges the ever-evolving
nature of both law enforcement practices and community dynamics. By implementing extensive training
programs, providing mental health support services, actively engaging with the community, allocating
resources effectively, and promoting the integration of personal and professional contacts, law
enforcement organizations may provide a conducive atmosphere that facilitates the success and high
performance of its officers. Also, the implementation of these tactics not only contributes to the overall
welfare of law enforcement personnel but also fosters the development of trust between law
enforcement agencies and the communities they are tasked with serving. This, in turn, leads to the
creation of safer and more cohesive environments for all individuals involved.
According to Chriss, James (2016), specialized training in responding to people who have behavioral
health needs and the development of Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) have provided promising evidence
of reducing the arrest rate of people who have mental illnesses, increased transfers to local hospitals,
reduced use-of-force encounters, and in some instances, increased use of mental health services for a
12-month period after a CIT encounter.
Access to naloxone kits and training on how to use them have helped law enforcement officers save
thousands of lives across the country. Studies have shown that opioid deaths can be reduced by 27 to 46
percent in communities that couple naloxone use with overdose education.
Addressing backlogs at publicly funded crime labs can help law enforcement agencies investigate crimes
more effectively and assist in reducing time between the commission of a crime and the clearance of
Ongoing training coupled with resources and support for officer physical and mental wellness can reduce
incidents of suicide, help manage PTSD and depression, and facilitate more positive interactions with
community members in the field.
Demanding shift schedules are another factor driving the decline in officer wellness. Law enforcement's
24-hour scheduling systems often work against officers' natural sleep instincts, which can inhibit their
ability to remain consistently well-rested.
Who will assume responsibility for the individuals responsible for the care of others? The personal and
interpersonal costs associated with the expectations put upon our first responders may be quite high.
Regrettably, those aspiring to contribute to their communities may encounter several negative
consequences, such as strained interpersonal connections with acquaintances, relatives, organizations,
and the public they are dedicated to serving. Additionally, they may experience physical discomfort,
heightened anxiety, PTSI (Post Traumatic Stress Injury), and depressive symptoms. Upon recognizing our
present condition of well-being, we are able to reestablish authority and undertake the appropriate
course of action. This fosters the development of resilience.
Chriss, James J.
Beyond Community Policing : from Early American Beginnings to the 21st Century