In December of 2014, President Obama issued an Executive Order appointing a task force on 21st century policing to respond to a number of serious incidents between law enforcement and the communities they serve and protect. The task force comprised leaders from law enforcement, police unions, academia, and civil rights organizations, as well as community members. The President wanted a quick but thorough response that would begin the process of healing and restore community trust.
The mission of the Executive Order was clear: The Task Force shall, consistent with applicable law, identify best practices and otherwise make recommendations on how policing practices can promote effective crime reduction while building public trust. The task force generated 59 recommendations with 92 action items organized around the following six pillars:
In 2015, the Ferndale Police Department—with their mission of Partnering with our diverse community to provide public safety with integrity, professionalism, and honor—made the decision to adopt the pillars of community policing. This move began the Department's journey away from "warrior" policing and towards a more community-minded "guardian" model in which officers work to caretake and safeguard citizens.
Five years later, the Department now serves as model for fair and impartial policing. They have worked hard to adopt ahead-of-the-curve Use of Force policies, provide incident simulations and regular trainings in impartial policing and implicit bias, develop new resources (such as the creation of the Community Engagement Officer position in 2016), and achieve a rigorous and prestigious accreditation ahead of 95% of the rest of the departments in the State of Michigan.
While the Ferndale Police Department has made incredible gains towards becoming a fully modern and community-centered law enforcement agency, they're not finished—because this work is never finished. The Department will continue to learn and adapt to the community, state, and world around us, allowing progress to be their guide. The ultimate goal: a safe and effective department that provides safety and care equally for all. If you have questions or suggestions, the Department welcomes your communication.
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