Community Policing Problems (Full Segment) | Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas | HBO
This, week let's, take a look at community, policing. Community. Policing also known as neighborhood, policing is when police try to get to know the people living in the communities, they patrol a lot, of times it gets brought up when a police department is looking to rebuild its image following a tragic scandal, like in Ferguson, Missouri when, after one of their police officers shot and killed Michael Brown in 2014. The community, demanded, change Ferguson. Police Department is putting its new neighborhood, policing, program to, work the program is designed to get officers, out to specific neighborhoods, and work, with community, members to help build stronger relationships and. Businesses. The chief says is the beginning of a positive move towards, healing after, months of unrest left a scar on the community, community, oriented policing, which. Is a form of policing, that puts. Police officers, in the community, as problem, solvers, and not, as an occupying force it, means we have to create a sense. Of ownership. On, both sides it should create the idea that. The. Police belong to the community and, that. The. Community is, there. To look out for their police officers who are protecting, them for, a second it seemed like he was gonna say and the. Community, belong, to the police which, he didn't and he covered it smoothly but, when a police department uses the community as a prop to make itself look good it, can sort of feel that way like. This attempt at community policing, in Wichita, wichita. Police officer, he is now a seam. Right there a viral, sensation of, video of him already has more than 3 million, views officer. Aaron Moses knows how to bust a move I hit the whip and the Naenae I got, some lessons on that so I want to approach me last night told me I'm officer officer Brown with the get-down just. Because a cop has a badge doesn't mean they get to invite themselves as someone's cookout and show, off that they know how to do the whip and the Naenae also. What the fuck was he there to investigate, him missing potato salad, and look, that was an impromptu effort, a community engagement but some departments, like this one in Mount Vernon New York they put a lot more resources. Into letting the community know that cops are human too. While. All those police were out dancing you gotta wonder what was going on at the bank this seems like a perfect, time for the penguin, to be robbing the Mount Vernon Museum, of it's priceless, Faberge. Eggs. And. Just. So you know police officers don't just try to dance their way into the community's heart this, is video of Harlingen. Police officer. Weston, Wilhite at the Boys and Girls skate Club now, one day the officer saw some kids skateboarding, and said hey can I borrow your skateboard what, the hell kind of examples this guy set no helmet, no kneepads, and a fully loaded gun that also doesn't have a helmet, remember. Kids put, a helmet on that gun. For. Some departments, their way to engage the community is just by doing regular, police work but with a twist officer, Bryant Warner pulled over, several drivers last week for, violating, vehicle, code one, 739. In. Case you were wondering that's known as driving. On a hot day without ice cream. I. Scream. You. Scream we all scream, pulling. Someone over without, justification, is, a violation, of the Fourth Amendment. All. That it feels like PR I mean, if I live in a city that has deep-seated trust issues with its police force that's not going away because, officer Brown to get down is gonna show up and dance the pain away let's. Be clear a dancing, cop has never solved anything and I'm including bachelor, parties, if. I see someone in a police uniform, I would just rather. Move. The fuck on or like walk around or do. Whatever I have to do to not interact, with them looks. Like they don't solve anything a bachelorette, parties either but. There are actually departments. That have put substantial, time and resources, towards, trying to build trust with their communities, in Elgin, Illinois a suburb of Greater Chicago the.
Police Departments had a unique program in place for more than 25, years it's, considered a model example of community policing and I wanted to see what such a long-established, program. Looks like and it. Turns out that it starts with a morning radio show. We. Got so much to talk about so I want to remind, the listeners they're listening to WR MN 1410. Here in Elgin with studio. 14 in, the right, here on, 14. Douglas Avenue and this is Friday with the fuzz I'm Jeff Swoboda on the police chief I'm joined with Marc EB and we are talking about all things Elgin, specifically, how how, the community, really can assist the police department, it really just assisted communities a halt so that we can help make this community stronger, and better so. The Rope program stands for resin officer Police of Elgin it's, a police officer, who lives. In the neighborhood the, city gives them a house or an apartment and, whatever's. Going on in that neighborhood that officer they're. Charged with helping. The community, improve. You work with residents you solve problems, you make people feel like they're a part with, what you're trying to accomplish and then it's not you trying to solve their problems, it's us, working together I was a resin ostrich I was the police chief which, house did you live in I was on the west side it, was an apartment so. I lived some of those guys had these big old beautiful Victorian. Houses. I an apartment, okay yeah so I'm not bitter about it by any means we. Started something up called the neighborhood officer program it's something kind of what's old is new again we had it a number of years ago but, we just neighborhood, officer yeah so we have the Rezanov over Elgin yes, so it's called nope you got it yes yeah. So that's why we don't call it that we just call it neighborhood officer yeah yeah you guys need to work on your acronym, we do cuz rope as well it feels a little weird no like rope no I'm.
Just Gonna throw this out there, housing. For. Elgin, law. Officers. Hello. You. Came up with that that quick yeah, 25. Years and we're still like no no I'm just throwing it out there. I'm. Up sir Heather Farrell I'm, from Elgin so this is kind of my way of giving back to the streets that I grew up on I've been in the Rope program for my. Fifth year now a five-year term being, a rope officer I know all of my neighbors I know when, my. Neighbor takes, out their trash I know when the other neighbor leaves for work because I can recognize the muffler on his car my neighbors have definitely seen me in my pajamas, I've, seen them in theirs you've, seen them in the bad times and in the good so a lot of that position, is getting, to know people at. A personal, level but. Honestly I've arrested my, neighbors you know I've written him tickets how was that experience I. Think the last incident that happened well that, person just walks on the other side of the street now it's. Either the middle, finger or it's a wave it, seems like there is something valuable and just to, be able to talk about those things and to, be able to understand. Them watch out there's dog food oh thank, you yeah. Yeah. That's it just saved you in the line of duty. Literally. Duty. Didn't. Mean for it to be a pun but it became what sure was yeah. Most. People love to have cops as neighbors I don't. Know what do the neighbors say. Have. A pig on your porch you. Know that I do know that that pig was a gift it's, just kind of a joke that pigs. And cops, go together so they gave it to me as a gift and I've kept it ever since I. Okay. You, know I see a healthy looking guy and I size them up you know ask them what they think about you know boxing, and what now when you say you size them up is that like do you throw a fist of, taken. They, can take it not. Hard but you know I always pop, sides you, know that's my way of getting their attention.
So. I've experienced. The good, and the bad the Rope officer that used to be in my neighborhood no she'd knocked on my door and, invited me to neighborhood. Events, asked me to come run the barbecue grill and you. Know made. Everybody feel inclusive. But. You got to have the right type of officer with the right type of temperament. And it's not constantly, looking for the next next. Arrest, so for. Example, at, the time I experienced, officer, you know chasing, some youth bumped into me and treated me as if I had committed a crime you got to think you've already have a preconceived notion about, a, black man when. You see him you're, gonna engage them differently, if you perceive me as a threat every little thing I do is, life-threatening. To you. I. Guess. Since we're at this piano this is now where I play, the all in the family theme, song. Anywhere. You have a, concentration, of black folks and the police they're, gonna be some flare-ups right, and the Belgians no exception, to that is there a difference, that you see between, rope. Officers, and, other officers. In Elgin like the gang unit or, so, the rope officers, they're, in the neighborhoods, to build relationships. And, then you've got the others that are out there like. I don't, care what you think I'm here to be in your face and disrupt what you're trying to do in this town so there's there's always that tension I think that the Rope program. Is, in, a good place Elgin zzz's is you, know, good. As. Community. Policing programs probably are. But. There is always, the element of the, police are in your neighborhood they still are the police and we always have to be wary of that what, a safety mean or. What a safety look like without, the police like, without the police literally, having to live in your neighborhood, Elgin. Zero program may be considered, a good model of what community policing can, look like but, even if you have a PR friendly, policing initiative, you still have policing, at the end of the day there are only four rope officers, in a department, of 182 that's. Only 2% of the Elgin police force so. It begs the question what's the rest of the department doing, but. These here is who, we call technical investigations. And so, we're able to have cameras, all over the city and we. Can pull them up on our phones as well this, is on top of our tower building, oh so, we've got views that go on top of our tower building from here. This. Might be on top of the parking deck technology's. Gotten so much cheaper and just it's so much better you can zoom in and catch license plates and things for a long time we have cameras. All of our schools. Cameras. Throughout, the city hall on these buildings we have private cameras as well maybe, jay-j peppers it's, a convenience or else's those alcohol it's over 24 hours we, used to fight sometimes. We. Look at and say you know how can we better implement, technologies. Out there I think we were one of the first in Illinois to have body cam but. I think the the resident officer program works, because we. Try to look ahead and see what what's, gonna be a problem what. Are things that can potentially be, an issue that we should be looking at before, it is an issue everything. You're saying about the road program it. Sounds. Like. You. Know you're, pushing this idea of community police and you're pushing this idea of being, a part of the community is. This. Just, a nicer. Form of surveillance I, don't. Think it is. Are. They are they surveilling, the police or just police surveilling, them I mean I guess that can go in essence, both ways right but the police have more. Of, you, know an authority, then then, the community does I wouldn't, say it's another form of surveillance I think it's a form to put a a face. In, a human, touch to what police officers are it's. You. Know it's like seeing a teacher at, the store a kid sees a teacher sits on teachers, come to the store well, I think when you see a police officer living in that home and sitting, outside on their porch with their family, the, sign on the house has your phone number there's. A squad car parked in front of your house people. Know which ones are your car your personal, cars I think this offers the opportunity, for.
An Officer, to become embedded, in that community. I understand, the theoretical, argument that it's that. It's the state and that. Use of surveillance but to have a cop as a neighbor isn't necessarily a surveillance I guess I would just keep going back to what is safety and why. Does it only include, the. Presence of the police at all times so. Much so that you move into my neighborhood on purpose, to. Quote-unquote keep my neighborhood, safe. See. Folks who are so. Cynical about law, enforcement that they wouldn't want cops and who, lived, there patrolling I get, the, source of their cynicism but the reality, is, we have over, 300 million people who, live in the United States. You. We, have to find. That that synergy, between cops, and community, we, have to find it we have to create it we, need it it's essential, do. You think the rope model, is a, good model for. All. Police, departments. I'd. Have to say no okay. Yeah. Because right cool. I. Don't. Think there are bad neighborhoods. I think, there are areas that, for a variety of reasons, have criminal activity going in it so I think in in those neighborhoods if you, can find someone who is creative. A police, officer who can go in there engage, people and communicate, and create a dialogue and then, rally people around making. The neighborhood better whether, it's called the Rope program, whether it's called hello, whether. It's called something else we, will then see. Crime reduced. You. As a police officer have, your experiences. I as, a civilian. Have my experiences. But, if we're in this neighborhood, and community together we. Are that. Friction, that exists, that tension that exists, we are, breaking. That down but. I'm still very aware of who you are and. What, your role is here in this community you're still very aware of who you are what your role is in this community but hopefully, when, you see Tracy's, sons your first thought is not to shoot, first ask questions later, your first thought is wait a minute I know, her even in the heat of the moment I'm gonna think twice about this. And. That's, the hope of something like community policing that. Police see the community for who they are and that, even, when a situation calls, for police that situation, will be handled in a way that ensures a safer, and more respectful, outcome. But. For all the goodwill that Elgin wrote program has seemed to foster the city is an immune to the tragedies, that befall other cities I went. To Elgin in December, and part of the reason was because it was a city that hadn't. Had an officer-involved, shooting in nearly 20 years then. In march elgin. Resident descent clemont's was shot and killed by elgin police officer, christian jensen autopsy. Results revealed that a woman killed by an elgin police officer, was shot multiple times and, tonight that is, raising more questions about what led to the death of dissent iya Clemmons police, say after Clemons refused, to stop for an officer during a Sunday night traffic stop they spotted her on the side of the Jane Addams inside, a damaged, car elgyn officers made contact with the female. In. Observe, she was armed with a knife. Officers. And immediately disengaged, the vehicle and proceeded, to negotiate, with her for over an hour so. If. She does exit out the vehicle. She doesn't know brandishing. Another knife ring it at us we'll go with to the forty okay and if. It ends up being closer, if she's coming towards us or trying to pry leak of the Taser then at. Some point officers, noticed that a fire had been started the guys were vehicles turned on fire officers. Then approached the burning vehicle. And, attempt to rescue the female and at that time an exchange occurred and that exchange is what's under investigation right now. You. Can see the cops assessing, the situation. They. Know, she has a steak. Knife and they talk about using non-lethal options, they, talk about rubber, bullets they talk about using. A Taser but, in the heat of the moment for. All that discussion when confronted, with a woman who was only 4 foot 11 and weighed 86, pounds, lieutenant. Jensen's, response was to shoot and kill her.
Like, Why even. Discuss, any of that, other shit, if the. Response, is gonna be the same that you're just gonna pull out a gun and shoot. Somebody, officers. Are taught that somebody, with a knife or, a baseball bat. Or a length. Of pipe who's. 21 feet from you and advancing. On you can. Kill, you with that weapon before. You pull your. Firearm. They're. Taught that and they're, taught, typically. To, shoot to end the threat when, I became, a cop it was shoot to kill some. Police officers will, say like it was coming at me it was so big it, was black it was large it came up like, it's a person, when. I talked to residents like, Marcus, banner and, Tracy Ellis they, seemed to feel like the Elgin Police Department. Was. Trying to be different but, now after one of their officers has killed a member of the community the, Elgin police have a choice they, could respond like a typical police department, and wall themselves, off or they, could continue to try to engage with the community a community, they've spent more than 25, years trying. To build trust with. Emotions. Ran high outside, of Elgin Police Department as residents, demanded answers about a deadly, police shooting, from over the weekend. You. Know you can say it so the car was on fire well, she, had a knife but. What the child do to de-escalate the situation beside. Shooter did outside, the Elgin Police Department, the Elgin police chief face-to-face. With his community. And. I think everybody, out here is wanting, to know tell, me how do y'all have, so. Many police they have so much training it could not take down one, woman. With, a knife. And. That is what this investigation, is, going to determine what, were the steps that we took and when the officer, ultimately, pulled the trigger that's for him to answer why he did that how could you justify, any, officer, pulling a trigger when, there is no gun present. You're coming at me with a knife I'm not wrestling with you I'm, not talking about this case at all because I am NOT doing the facts of this case but I will tell you the idea that some people have that I will never be able to change in your mind it sounds like or at least some of you that if you come at me with a knife I need to let you stab me in the chest because I wear a bulletproof vest, that's not how the real world real, world works you come in a police officer with a knife probably, getting shot. Help. Us become, better all, right. Community. Policing is meant to change the way police departments, relate to their community, but, when you hear Chiefs will vote is saying that, if you come at a cop with a knife you're gonna get shot it. Makes you wonder if change is really possible. Because. It's clear that at the end of the day there is a power imbalance, you put on a badge and you finally uniform, and, why is it different because I don't have on one what, about a partnership. What. About in a free and democratic society. Police. And community, for, gene and CENTAC not, PR version, partnership. Or, you don't make decisions unilaterally anymore. The community and the police come to come, together to make those decisions, if you do something and if, it's. You. Cause harm against another person, you should be held accountable it, does not matter if you are a police officer or not and. For so many communities, that partnership, feels like knowing that if, an officer kills one of their residents that Officer will be held accountable and, now, while officer, Jensen feels the shooting of the Cynthia Clemens was justified, the, determination, will ultimately, come from the Illinois State Police who.
Are Conducting an outside, investigation. And, if. Police, truly. Want to be members. Of the Elgin community, they, should want a result that feels fair to everyone in it otherwise. Community. Policing just feels like another choreographed. Dance. You.