4/29/2010

Dispatch / Walking the Beat

Posted by MJ

It seems most of the council agrees that the city was mislead when the LPD solicited the LFD dispatch duties. Buffalo News and LUSJ reported.

I say give the police union a week to agree to accept the duties as solicited or move quick to turn it over to the county to ensure the transition prior to the "due by" date from the LFD negotiations.

Sort of related:

A nice article about retiring detective Yotter in the LUSJ the other day. Some quotes caught my eye:

…Yotter, a 1970 graduate of Wilson High School, said he started out as a “true beat cop,” walking the streets downtown for two years before he got into a patrol car…I miss that. I think they respected you more back then,” Yotter said….
It was probably because they knew a beat officer better (at all). Not only does walking a beat let the officer know intricacies of the area and people in it much better, but is conversely allows the people to get to know the officers better. Meeting and talking to an officer at a “good time” is much better for mutual respect than only meeting under ticketing/intervention/arrest circumstances.

Most citizens only know officers as the faces inside the car who only reluctantly come out to deal with you or worse. They are not going to have respect for them besides their power to detain. If you get to know each other as “neighbors” first, odds are there will a lot more friendliness. No different than a parent who only interacts through punishment: lack of respect is the least of the issues.

Officers in cars are a great reactive measure. Officers on their feet are a great preventive measure. Bring back the beat cop. Make each officer get out of their cars for a certain portion of their shift. Not only will we be safer, but we will also have a better relationship with each other. Or will that cost us 5% more a year?

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