NAACP Policing Forum – Orange County, NC

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Another report from the NAACP community forum with police chiefs in Orange County, NC. I wrote a response to the article:

“Some of you may know that, quite separately, I have begun advocating for the notion of citizen design of policing, specifically for Carrboro, but with application elsewhere, too.

The concept is that we might arrive at a point where police, elected officials and citizens might be more comfortable with all aspects of policing in their community if all three parties are engaged consensually in designing the policing approach.

In that regard, I have three comments on this article:

1) I applaud those police chiefs who are considering policies which take account of the concerns of the citizenry. I will applaud even louder when we have set up a process that allows citizens as well as police to be designing those policies. I am currently talking with three Carrboro Alderpeople about just such a process in Carrboro.

2) It’s no good complaining about the presence of police in a neighborhood if a resident in the neighborhood has called in a complaint to the police. That is the right of residents and police have to respond. Citizen design of policing is not an excuse to get police out of neighborhoods so that some individuals may then break the law in peace and quiet. If you want to reduce the presence and impact of police in a neighborhood, for sure, we want to address the policing. But at the same time, it is incumbent upon that neighborhood to ensure that folks in the neighborhood are not breaking the law or being a nuisance to their neighbors.

3) Chief Blue is oh so true (a poet!) with his last comment. If you live in Carrboro, keep an eye out for forthcoming community policing forums, where we will be trying to advance the notion of citizen design of policing. Maybe Chris Blue would like to advance a similar notion in Chapel Hill … ??”

I will be updating progress on citizen design of policing in Carrboro, NC (and elsewhere) on this blog.

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