By Thomas Lemmer. Published in the December 2016 issue of the journal Forum by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standard Board – Executive Institute.
Post Ferguson, police-community relations were impacted nationally. A comprehensive survey of Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police members was conducted in December 2015. The survey showed police perceptions of community relations were also impacted at the local level beyond Ferguson. However, the survey data also clearly indicated the value of being proactive. Those agencies with the highest levels of active community engagement were more likely to be optimist about improving police-community relations going forward.
In policing, perhaps more than any other profession, a focus on identifiable facts is a consistently sought after objective. However, the facts exist within a context where reality both helps to form and is formed by perceptions.
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