Respect and dignity
A year ago, in the wake of the George Floyd murder, the Florida Police Chiefs Association launched a committee to explore ways police could improve their relationship with the communities they serve.
On Friday, the FPCA Subcommittee on Accountability and Societal Change released a report with suggestions that, while numerous, boil down to police and the public making a conscious effort to treat each other with respect and dignity.
According to the report, police can strengthen their relationship with the public by adopting “procedural justice” — a term encompassing listening, acting fairly, and explaining their actions to the people they serve. Non-law enforcement can bridge the divide by recognizing that police are humans and that mistakes aren’t always malicious.
“These are difficult issues, and sometimes difficult conversations, but the Subcommittee’s work is an example that progress and success is possible — especially at the local level,” FPCA president and Daytona Beach Shores Public Safety Department Director Stephan Dembinsky. “The FPCA recommends that local law enforcement agencies and their communities use this document to engage or expand this conversation.”