It seems like everyday I wake up and turn on the news, or receive a notification on my phone, another tragedy has taken place somewhere in the world. It really got me thinking. Is there more tragedy in the world today, or is this a result of everyone being better connected in today’s age with the internet, social media, and smartphones?
I recently read a great article that summarized a speech given by American author, and futurist, Ray Kurzweil, at a conference in Seattle, July 21 and 22.
According to Kurzweil, people from all walks of life believe the world is getting worse. I have to admit, sometimes I also get this feeling. He continued by saying that it is not the world that is getting worse, but instead it is information access that is getting better.
A century ago, a battle, wiping out an entire village, would never be heard about. Today, not only do we hear about disasters, but we experience them. It is one thing to read about a tragedy, but now when you turn on the news, you are bombarded by videos, pictures, and audio, straight from the scene of the tragedy. This attack on our senses has a much stronger and longer lasting effect on our minds.
Terrorism has always been around in some form, an example are the IRA in Ireland, who made it their mission to separate Ireland from the United Kingdom, by any means necessary, including, but not limited to terrorism. But there is the other side of this ordeal as well, the government, attempting forcibly, to prevent their leaving, by many of the same means. Even though it was officially sanctioned, it amounted to the same kinds of trauma to those going through it.
We no longer miss out on any tragedy. The whole world knows about it and experiences it the same. It is important to remember that these events have always happened. Younger generations may not remember or might not have been around to experience some of the tragedies in recent times.
In reality, we live in a world that is safer, and better then it has ever been. Thanks to advancements in medicine and quality of life, life expectancy is higher then it has ever been, and infant mortality rates around the world are lower then ever before. Poverty rates are dropping and global unemployment is also dropping.
As a community we have to remember we live in a world that is more connected than it has ever been. This does not mean we should simply ignore the tragedies around the world, but instead put them on a more global perspective, scale or point of view.
It has been a tragic couple of weeks in America. The killing of innocent people by police and the killing of Dallas police officers has the world shaking it’s head in disbelief.
Distrust for, dissatisfaction with, and fear towards police are rising issues in North America. Police are becoming more militarized and disconnected from the community. Action needs to be taken. Good thing there is already a policing policy, that is supposed to be in place, just for these kinds of situations. Too bad it isn’t being fully utilized on a mass scale.
Community policing, is a strategy of policing that focuses on police building ties and working closely with the community. It requires police, to use a proactive approach in addressing public safety concerns.
The contemporary community policing movement, emphasizes changing the role of law enforcement, from a reactive, incident-driven bureaucracy, to a more open, quality-oriented partnership with the local community.
This is achieved by going out into the community and talking to local residents, business owners, and organizations, to build a trustworthy relationship between police and the community. Citizens get to know the police, see they are out there to serve and protect, and so, are more likely to provide tips on criminal activities. Familiarity, generally eases the fear and anxiety a community may have developed for police. Officers held accountable to the civilians they are serving.
Community policing focuses on solving crimes that the community is actually concerned about, instead of an outside agenda and actually solving crimes with support and assistance from the community. I believe this would bring about a much safer community and mend some of the open wounds between the general public and the police force.
It has been around for years, but I believe, it's not being utilized on a mass scale, which could have a real effect. In the United States, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, established the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), within the Justice Department, to promote community policing.
Police should not be the enemy. I believe, if police were assigned to one area of the community and established real working relationships with the public, than the world would be a safer, happier, more inclusive place.
Connecting with the public also provides police with more creative problem solving techniques, to provide alternatives to traditional law enforcement.
When things go wrong, who do we call? The police. It’s about time we bring back what policing was invented for, to serve and protect the community.