When I say “community focused policing”, I’m essentially referring to building trust between police and everyone else. If people can trust police to act sensibly and with their best interests in mind, they can do a lot to help the police do their job, including just the simple act of reporting a crime. If police can similarly trust people to help them and treat them as other humans, it can do a lot to help and reduce the stress on people who literally risk their lives to keep us safe.
Obviously, this isn’t fast or easy, and can’t be enacted through legislation. It’s a process of trying to build relationships between police and communities so that, for example, more people get to know a police officer personally, hopefully as a friend. This should also be complemented with significant and fair police oversight, which is something that can more easily be acted on swiftly by the Council.
As a Councillor, my goal will be to facilitate this and push back against both forces of police militarization, such as the armoured vehicle the Council previously pledged to buy, before stepping back on it, as well as the demands to defund the police, which I think puts people and families at risk by making police the enemy and failing to establish a serious alternative towards protecting people from violent crime.