President’s 21st Century Task Force on Policing


While taking a break from being all fancy-smanchy about my book and radio interviews, I took the time finally to track down contact details for the President’s 21st Century Task Force on Policing, and to send them a few comments about Citizen Design of Policing. I attach my e-mail:

“Dear Friends,

In an attempt to find a model of new policing which can serve as a template for rebuilding trust between police agencies and their communities, I am advocating in my hometown of Carrboro, NC for a concept called ‘Citizen Design of Policing.’

The principle is simple: create a space, a forum, an opportunity where elected officials, police and concerned citizens can gather, share their concerns – and here is the important part – develop a process where the group consensually designs the policing approach in the community going forward.

This way, the community knows that the policing approach is one that it has designed, police know they have the full support of the community, and trust and comfort is rebuilt.

The how is more tricky. Simple. But tricky. It involves time and culture shift. The mechanism already exists. Every single law enforcement agency in this country is funded by an institution run by elected officials. ‘All’ that has to happen is that law enforcement officers accept that, going forward, they no longer design rules of engagement and operation on their own – elected officials now take the lead, aided by law enforcement officers and concerned citizens.

This is not pie in the sky. We have held two forums already in Carrboro. And the culture shift is already happening. I attach two links. The first is the one I posted on my associated blog before the second forum:

The second like is my review of that second forum:

Those two links pretty much encapsulate practical implementation of a model I think could have favorable consequences across our nation. More can be found on my blog at

I hope this might be of some use to the Task Force.

Your truly,
Geoff Gilson”


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