The City of Camden has been a city in trouble for decades. Its issues are numerous, among them an aging infrastructure, failing schools, and broken relationships between police and the community. Faced with these economic and political challenges, an agreement was reached to disband the Camden Police Department and replace it with a new county-run police department. As it began its hiring process, Melior engaged with Camden’s residents, civic leaders, and area law enforcement to learn what was working relative to policing in the city and what wasn’t.
Our goal was to understand how these key stakeholders could envision the members of a new police force interacting with members of the community. In-depth individual and group interviews with key stakeholders explored perceptions of the community in relation to the police, important policing issues that could impact hiring and force management decisions, measures for success, and expectations for the future.
Our work contributed to the new community policing model which was implemented when the County replaced the city’s police force with a new county-run force. At the time, this was a controversial decision, but recently lauded by President Obama. The results of our work were incorporated in a hiring plan for new Metro police officers, emphasizing themes of cultural awareness and sensitivity, community engagement, and compassion. See our blog post which references the County’s outcomes:
- 06 Jan 2016
- Government/Civic Entities