Between 40 and 50 people attended the first of seven public meetings Wednesday evening to provide input on the direction of the City of Columbia community policing plan.
“Community-oriented policing models around the country vary quite a lot,” said Sgt. Robert Fox, who was appointed project manager of the initiative in February. “So, how are we going to do it in your neighborhood, in your community, in your city?”
The meeting, which began with a presentation from Fox and concluded with small-group discussions, was an attempt to start answering that question.
The definition of community-oriented policing changes with the community, but Fox provided the following version from the Department of Justice: “a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies that support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder and fear of crime.”
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