How Police Departments Can Mend the Rift With the Public by Frank Serpico

Subject: Policing
Themes: Whistleblowers Public Officials Civil Rights 21st Century
Age groups: High School
Resource type: Articles

Frank Serpico wrote this article, "How Police Departments Can Mend the Rift With the Public", with suggestions for rebuilding the relationship between police departments and communities, It was published in the January 26, 2015 edition of The Nation magazine.

In it, Serpico writes:

Police departments should have a policy of hiring from the communities they serve so that the racial and ethnic makeup of departments reflects those communities. Understanding and trust within the community start with its individual members. In order to engender that trust, officers should reach out to the public. This acts as a preventive measure, not only helping officers to fight crime with tips from residents who know them by name, but also precluding misunderstandings due to unfamiliarity with the people who live on their beat. The old police adage still holds true: "Good police work should be 10 percent perspiration and 90 percent information." If the police have the respect of the public, then the public will be there for them. It certainly was for me, on more than one occasion.