DescriptionFor far too long the law enforcement community has been hindered and divided by a decline in relationship building between local, state, and federal agencies. All law enforcement agencies follow a mission statement or embrace a set of core values, including honor, commitment, integrity, and community service. These agencies should also aim to express those same values in relation to other law enforcement agencies. Officers have been too comfortable in their adoption of the “them and us” mind-set, reflecting the idea of no interdependent law enforcement personnel and practices.
Law enforcement agencies must work to end this mind-set and move in a new direction of partnership with each other, recognizing the benefits of mutual understanding and respect. Regardless of the size of an agency, among its goals for agency-community connection should also be service to fellow law enforcement officers. Using examples from Texas, this paper aims to dispel those “them and us” perceptions and introduce the interdependent policies and practices that would greatly benefit law enforcement agencies in the state and across the nation.