“Law enforcement is the ‘last resort’”
– Mayor of Oakland, Libby Schaaf
What\’s the most important thing in law enforcement?
Truly what has to happen first is a very strong commitment by any law enforcement agency in building trust. It\’s trust first, then, the Law as last resort.
How can you build trust?
Well, one of the first objectives is to have law enforcement or community training. In this way, law enforcement officers that are tasked with enforcing the law, often police officers, and are trained to think about peace, stability and positive measures to prevent violence.
Good News! In Oakland, each police officer has been required to have 8-hour training about why and how people in the community distrust Oakland police. For example, this shows community awareness and it shows an effort to understand the other person’s side.
There are programs such as Ceasefire Intervention, which has helped homicides to go down by more than 30% last year.1 Essentially the program treats gangs by helping refer them to social services, encouraging talks and positive communications from law officials.1
Therefore, both police officials and community members can undergo community building activities and peace training. In this way, both sides commit to a long-term solution of expecting the best, working for the best, and achieving peace.
Does this take work?
It sure does. Most anything in life takes hard earned work to achieve hard earned results. And what could be a better result than peace?
May Our Communities Heal,
P.S. Perhaps you’d like to support peace today, click here if so!
1 Hernández, Lauren, “With gun killings down in Oakland, police credit Ceasefire program”, San Francisco Chronicle, August 24, 2018,https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/article/Gun-homicides-down-in-Oakland-police-credit-13173249.php
Fig. 1: Photo by Rawpixel on Unsplash
Fig. 2: Photo by Matt Popovich on Unsplash
Fig. 3: Photo by Alice Donovan Rouse on Unsplash