I hear this over and over, again. Of course when you spend time in the community. You know, build relationships, etc., things will change. But you can’t go into a community; build those relationships and then pull out because some politician wants to cut the budget. It takes real commitment from everyone.
I liked that my department practiced Community Based Policing back in the late 80s and early 90s. They even sent me to Yale University for a three-day seminar regarding the subject.
We received a fit in your back pocket notebook when we began the program. It contained every number imaginable. Everything from getting street lights fixed, homeless and domestic violence shelters to Department of Family and Children Services’ numbers. With everything in between. We would be able to take care of or initiate a lot with a cell phone and those notebooks. The people living in the community appreciated that fact and responded accordingly.
When you identify “quality of life” issues, e.g., broken windows, trash, broken/shot out street lights, violations of noise ordinances, etc., things will begin to improve. Also, when you build relationships with people living in the community, they start to respond. They are more apt to come to you with their concerns. It will take time and again, commitment.
Hopefully, Raytown and their police department stick with the program; assign enough officers, and politicians provide adequate funding.