Better police training could reduce incidents
Across the country, there has been a call to action for increased oversight of local police forces. One call has been to give funding for body cameras, which will apparently provide transparency and clarity to police actions and decisions. The City of Lockport has recently put into practice such a strategy. Hopefully it will work.
However, oversight of police practice shouldn’t just involve taping what decisions they make, but also training how to make the right decisions. The cost of cameras will only allow us to replay the unfortunate scenario rather than training the officer in the proper way to mitigate the scenario. Increased training in basic community interactions is important. Allowing and encouraging police to get out of their cars to patrol on bike and foot. Talking to residents will encourage officers to realize more neighborhood needs while also engaging the public. This creates a police force that feels like part of the community, rather than merely patrolling a community.
Advocating for police cameras is the first step in accountability for police practices. To really create a community police force in our city, we need to train the police to not only be police officers, but remember that they, too, are part of the community, not against it.
Nicholas Di Virgilio