New Era of Policing: Thinking Outside the Box
Within the law enforcement community, it is widely known that all of the actions, or lack thereof, of agencies worldwide are being scrutinized 24 hours a day, seven days a week by the communities in which they serve. As a result of this scrutiny, it is imperative that law enforcement agencies everywhere change their way of policing in order to maintain or gain the respect of the public and break down barriers that are created daily using old policing methods. As Grogan (2012) explained, “the past culture of secrecy exhibited by most law enforcement agencies combined with less than ethical behavior exhibited by a small minority contribute greatly to the distrust of the police in many communities” (para. 2). Law enforcement agencies must start thinking outside of the box and becoming transparent with their communities, while also maintaining accountability within their departments. Long gone are the “good ole boy” days, and to truly have the support and respect from citizens, only ethical behavior should be acceptable. Utilizing the largest media platforms, such as social media, can allow agencies to routinely interact with the public on a much larger scale, giving the appearance of transparency. Administrators must utilize creative thinking and modify their policing methods to what is most appropriate for the community of individuals they serve. This can be accomplished utilizing technology, including social media, as a way of both providing accountability and transparency. Agencies should be more flexible, maintain better accountability, and encourage officers to have ownership in the changes within their departments.