The current climate surrounding law enforcement can be challenging, but it also provides opportunities to build bridges amongst diverse stakeholders and communities.
As the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) pointed out in its report on constitutional policing:
“This challenge has also been an opportunity for law enforcement – an opportunity to both effect positive change within the profession and find new ways to strengthen relationships between police departments and the communities that they serve.”
So what exactly is constitutional policing, and what does it look like for your department?
At its most fundamental, constitutional policing is legal policing. Law enforcement agencies and officers behave in ways that illustrate their awareness that the U.S. Constitution, their state’s constitutions, relevant court decisions, and other federal, state, and local laws and regulations restrain their actions as well as guide their work. Constitutional policing operates within the parameters set by those documents, regulations, and court rulings.
But true constitutional policing goes above and beyond the letter of the law.
Constitutional policing promotes a keen awareness of the civil liberties of society, and the importance of protecting the natural rights of the people that agencies serve. Police forces shouldn’t just be asking what the laws and regulations restrain them from doing. They should be actively working to protect the natural rights of the people they are policing.
This impacts everything from use-of-force to interacting with mentally ill suspects. By seeking to protect people’s natural human rights in every interaction, police can improve community relations and build public trust.
Our team includes a diverse set of viewpoints – police, community leaders, faith leaders, public policy experts, and others gathered together to advise agencies on how best to uphold the law as well as honoring the oath of office that each commissioned peace officer took upon entering into the public service.
Contact us today and see what our team can do in helping your agency restore the trust relationship with the people and communities that you serve.