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Building Bridges

NCJ Number
Police Chief Volume: 72 Issue: 9 Dated: September 2005 Pages: 97-98,100
H. Lloyd Perkins; Thomas Winn; Martin Dunn
Date Published
September 2005
3 pages
This article describes the "Building Bridges" program of the Camillus Police Department (New York State), which was intended to improve minority groups' access to the department, and the program of National Police Week sponsored by the Jaffrey Police Department (New Hampshire).
Representatives of numerous minority and advocacy groups were invited to an inaugural meeting for the purpose of forming an advisory group called the Camillus Bridges Committee. The police union group was also asked to participate in the advisory group. At its initial meeting, the Bridges Committee was asked by the department for its input in rewriting the department's mission statement. The committee responded by rewriting the department's internal affairs policy and creating a departmental policy that prohibits bias-based policing. The department even went so far as to invite representatives of diverse groups to attend departmental planning sessions, where they were given an opportunity to express their concerns. Various members of the committee are regularly called upon for their advice on matters of civil rights, personnel complaints, and administrative issues. Activities of the National Police Week conducted by the Jaffrey Police Department are designed to acquaint citizens with police work and instruct citizens in crime prevention and safety practices. During the week, the department conducts citizen ride-alongs with patrol officers, so residents can witness the kinds of services provided by the police. Participants are also given a tour of police facilities and police equipment. Courses are conducted on bicycle safety and firearm safety. The week concludes with a Police Fun Day, during which officers conduct demonstrations of police equipment and offer safety tips on various topics. Educational materials are also distributed.