Once, in the perhaps not so distant past, the police were seen as a rock-solid institution, a community pillar of our society. The police institution was thought to bring stability, order, and a shared sense of right and wrong. Trust and legitimacy were bestowed on the police without second thought.
However, over the past decades, this stable organization was criticized for being stagnant, conservative, ill-equipped for changing societies and evolving demands. This is said to have contributed to a gradual decline in police legitimacy and loss of its trusted status in our communities.
Rapid organizational, technological and societal developments, coupled with strings of scandal, media campaigns, calls for increased efficiency and effectiveness as well as appeals for more openness and accountability on the subject of human rights, lead to continuously repeating cycles of reform across our country.
It is essential to have a police organization that is seen as trustworthy. When the police are trusted, they can do their work more efficiently and effectively and citizens will feel more secure.
Trust between the community and the police does not happen without solid leadership at the top and throughout every level and component of a law enforcement organization. Hence, the police organizations that most effectively promote public trust do so through continuous and ongoing effort.
Human beings are social creatures, and, as such, relationships are of crucial importance to them. Since relationships are built on trust, it’s imperative that police officers understand the importance of building and maintaining public trust—the cornerstone of successful policing.
Thus, how under these dynamic conditions, do the police maintain (or improve) their trust and legitimacy in the eyes of the public?
The Arx Community software platform empowers law enforcement agencies to see, analyze and act on the critical information impacting the communities their department lead and serve.
Through the Arx Community Platform, law enforcement agencies are provided a 360-degree view of every officer and every community encounter every day.
Arx Community delivers on the promise of helping police departments create safer communities by uncovering relevant, accurate, and timely information needed to help law enforcement leaders manage their personnel and improve community trust.
Recently, Arx partnered with Oakland County Michigan to create community transparency and build trust that the communities they serve are looking for.
Oakland County is setting the bar for creating transparency and building community trust by assisting local police departments with creating community transparency dashboards that will feature public information involving traffic stops, citations, arrests, and use of force data on a more accessible platform.
The project is a partnership between the Oakland County Executive’s Office, the Courts and Law Enforcement Management Information Systems (CLEMIS), and Arx Community.
David Molloy, Novi police chief and longtime CLEMIS Advisory Board chairman, said development of the transparency dashboards is all about building public trust, which will involve extracting existing data and placing onto a platform more accessible to the general public.
“It’s about open and transparent government,” he said. “In respect to the times we are in with public trust with our communities, all law enforcement agencies should be taking a look at this. I was honored to be selected to get involved in this process early on and work with our partners at CLEMIS, the Oakland County Executive’s Office, and Arx Community. I’m looking forward to seeing the final product and taking a look at what we can learn from this data and how we can use it to build public trust.”
Through the creation of these transparency dashboards, departments will be able to provide the public with updated statistical information, on a monthly basis, including citations, arrests, crash reports, use of force and stop and frisk data, and other CLEMIS statistical data.
Molloy added that the data will be broken down demographically by age range, race, and ethnicity.
“This is all information we share very commonly with our community and anyone who will listen,” he said. “Letting our community know (of this information) is important for building public trust. I think it’s a good program and we’re looking forward to seeing it come to fruition. We’ve been working for several months on this, even pre-pandemic. This will go a long way towards enhancing public trust.”
Once, in the perhaps not so distant past, the police were a rock-solid institution, a community pillar of our society. The police institution was thought to bring stability, order, and a shared sense of right and wrong. Trust and legitimacy were bestowed on the police without second thought. With the advent of Arx Community Transparency Dashboards, we believe that the rock-solid institution of policing, will take big steps, to again be a source of trust and a standing community pillar of our society.