To determine whether residents feel safe in their community, it is appropriate to employ qualitative method of collecting and evaluating data. In this regard, a survey is a valuable research instrument allowing for the thorough examination of different problematic situations, conditions, or topics of interest by querying a specific group of people (Price et al., 2017). The survey would contain two following questions:
- Do you feel safe when you walk or drive along your community streets alone, especially in the evening? Why?
- Do you feel comfortable leaving your possessions, including houses, cars, or bicycles, and children without careful oversight or attention?
The first block belongs to both quantitative or qualitative questions since, in addition to multiple-choice answers, it also requires an open-ended reply explaining personal feelings and concerns. This helps more in-depth understand the situation connected with community safety. The second question would give insight into residents’ feelings and expectations about possible crimes in their area.
Constitutional policing is a fundamental concept that ensures legal and ethical practices directed at defending residents’ civil rights. It firmly encourages law enforcement leaders and officers to adhere to the US Constitution and related laws and regulations to treat civilians impartially and fairly. However, constitutional policing also goes beyond the boundaries of court decisions since police departments should continually care for promoting everybody’s civil liberties. The police’s observance of the Constitution and laws builds and underpins robust public trust and the relationships between the population or communities and police officers. When law enforcement agencies follow the Constitution and behave respectfully and appropriately to situations, the public is more likely to regard police acts and decisions a legitimate and even reasonable. Such a behavior eventually affects all police activities, from interacting with mentally ill suspects to use-of-force practice.
In particular, constitutional policing can be successfully applied to averting and reducing the cases of unjustified, excessive, or discriminatory police use of force. Constitutional policing practices urge law enforcement officers to avoid aggressive actions and use force when utterly needed to preserve the civil rights of suspects. Precipitate and avoidable use of violence can totally undermine the public trust towards police, especially among communities of color and young people. The recent force excesses proved that they could provoke acute public reactions and conflicts and subsequent massive demonstrations. In this regard, law enforcement departments start revising their policies and practices by implementing respective de-escalation methods in training. De-escalation training comprises strategies allowing for providing necessary space and time to decrease the probability of the required application of force (United States Commission on Civil Rights, 2018). This tactic can also prevent violent reactions from perpetrators and reduce the incidents of discriminatory police behavior.
One of the de-escalation strategies includes transforming the police role from a warrior to a guardian of the public calm. This instruction aims at mitigating police responses to tense situations and inflammable encounters that turn many communities into battlefields. In this regard, policers should typically use appropriate language that shows respect to suspects’ rights. De-escalation education also pursues producing a favorable cultural change in the police’s environment through renewing use-of-force procedures. Furthermore, training should consider active collaboration with communities and individuals in designing policies and engage them in preventing crime. Finally, de-escalation suggests practicing patience and tolerance in relation to offenders or racial and other minorities. Patience also implies time-consuming techniques, such as engaging in conversation, isolating dangerous suspects, and calling for police backup.
Price, P. C., Jhangiani, R. S., Chiang., I. A., Leighton, D. C., & Cuttler, C. (2017). Research methods in psychology. The Saylor Foundation.
United States Commission on Civil Rights. (2018). Police use of force: An examination of modern policing practices. Web.