There has been a steady evolution in the expectations of and demands on police officers. The use-of-force incidents and officer-involved shootings, have created a mistrust of police and highlighted the widening gap felt between officers and the communities they serve. Communities are increasingly demanding a new approach to policing, a far different approach from focused on only pursuing criminal offenders. The communities expect officers to focus on peacekeeping efforts and building relationships between officers and community problems to solve local problems.
The Cross Plains Police Department is committed to building relationships with the people we serve. Not only collaboration, trust and problem-solving, but a commitment to transparency and accountability. We believe that community involvement is the only way to solve community problems. This approach to law enforcement involves the whole community by giving some responsibility for creating positive outcomes to the community. Many law enforcement agencies have had community policing programs for years, but today's environment requires that community policing evolve beyond a single program or stand-alone policy into a foundational principle for any agency's operation.
Community policing is more than any one program or partnership. It is a philosophy that emphasizes a guardian mind-set wherein officers see themselves as part of the community they serve, working side-by-side with community members to create a safe, livable and vibrant community. It asserts that a major goal of any law enforcement agency should not only be to bring offenders to justice, but to actively improve the lives of everyone that lives, works or visits the community.
Building community policing philosophies into every aspect of a department is no small task. It requires time, collaboration, active listening and open-mindedness. The spirit of community policing requires a change in how the community and officers se their roles in society. While officers used to be viewed as warriors, today's world demands guardians.
Bridging the gap between community members and officers requires direct interpersonal interactions and a concerted effort to understand each other. Community and police department buy-in is necessary for our success. Today's world of ever-advancing technology and instant communication presents a novel environment for police departments. Standing apart from residents as outside observers and peacekeepers is not sufficient to create safe and healthy communities.
The Cross Plains Police Department wants the community members to know their officers and have their officers know them. In doing so, the department earns the community's trust. The resulting relationships are invaluable when responding to calls for service and performing other law enforcement work.
On behalf of the men and women of the Cross Plains Police Department I want to invite you to be an active participant in the initiatives of our community. We encourage you to contact us with your questions or concerns regarding these initiatives or any other issues.