Saturday, May 16, 2009

10th Anniversary: Burlington celebrates the useful tools of 'community policing'

From Burlington Free Press
Burlington is approaching its 10th anniversary of community policing — an approach that stresses police-community interaction. Theoretically, community policing is proactive, while the traditional police model, sirens blaring, was reactive....

Some officers are already reaching out. Officer Mike Hemond, for example, posted a message on the Front Porch Forum for the Five Sisters area, providing a link to the department’s Web site, updating residents on graffiti arrests, alerting them that he was going on vacation for a few weeks and making himself available to chat about whatever when he got back. “Heck,” he wrote, “e-mail me in advance, and I’ll bring coffee.”The department’s first Street Crime Unit will start work mid-month, [police chief Michael]Schirling said. Conceived as a floating squad with the ability to respond to spikes in burglaries or drug use or other crimes, it will have uniformed and plain clothes officers emphasizing, as the reassessment reports puts it, “face-to-face contacts with members of the community as well as persons engaged in suspicious, disorderly or criminal behavior.

The family of a Burlington teenager has filed a formal complaint against a city police sergeant alleging the officer fired a stun gun at the boy while he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground this week....

... Schirling said his department acquired Tasers about three years ago, has used them fairly frequently, and they have proved an effective law-enforcement tool. Initially a skeptic, Schirling said seeing the devices in action sold him on their usefulness.

"It is designed to minimize injuries to officers and to people the force is used on," the chief said.
COMMENT: Clearly, inflicting pain from this gadgetry of tyranny works -- for the authority figures.

And, as for community involvement, in the next 10 years we might expect Blockwarts to be recruited by the police for our local Neighborhood Watch programs.

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