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Project PEACE

Trust. Relationships. Understanding. 

 

The Tacoma Police Department is committed to community policing. To help us better serve our neighbors, we asked the community how we could better serve them and asked for their help to prioritize our proposed action items to better meet the their needs and provide for safe neighborhoods for all residents.

 

The proposed action items were developed from data collected during the five Project PEACE Community Conversations that occurred in the fall and were initially presented on Feb. 8 by Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell at a culminating event. 

 

Tacoma Police Department Action Items 

Beginning now through the next biennium we will focus on six key pillars to create safer neighborhoods and more engaged community policing practices in our community.

 

PILLAR 1 - COMMUNITY POLICING AND CRIME REDUCTION

• Continue to broaden our current community policing efforts of co-producing public safety by reaching out to all segments of the community to identify problems, develop strategies and implement solutions together.
• Enhance the Mental Health Co-Responder Program by implementing a Crisis Intervention Team.
• Review and enhance the Citizens’ Academy Program.
• Develop an interactive presentation that can be used to educate and engage the community on the structure, goals and function of the police department.
• Seek to enhance and expand the Community Policing Division by adding Community Liaison Officers, 
• Proactive Units, Detectives, School Resource Officers and other resources to address quality of  life issues and crimes throughout neighborhoods, business districts, and other parts of the community.

 

PILLAR 2: BUILD TRUST AND LEGITIMACY

Become more accessible, open, approachable, and transparent with all segments of our community 

• Define, educate and reinforce procedural justice as a guiding principle for internal and external policies and practices to guide our interactions with the citizens we serve.
• Partner with the City’s Media and Communications Department to conduct an annual survey to track and analyze the level of trust that citizens have in our police department.
• Continue to aggressively recruit, hire, and retain a diverse workforce that reflects the community we serve.
• Collaborate with high risk and immigrant communities to identify and understand issues and concerns in an effort to determine ways of strengthening transparency, credibility, trust and relationships.
• Timely communication related to incidents or events that may have significant impacts on the community. (e.g. school lockdown, active shooter)
• Host community forums within the next twelve months, one in each sector, to inform and receive feedback related to department policies, training and areas that are of interest. (e.g. use of force, bias based policing etc.)
• Encourage officers to actively participate in non-enforcement contacts within their assigned sectors by engaging with community members in neighborhoods, business districts, schools, and community centers.
• By year end 2016, make all department policies available for public review and regularly post on the department’s website, reported crime, and other law enforcement data, to include complaint statistics, use of force and response time.
• Begin communications with the Office of Equity and Human Rights within 6 months to design future Project Peace community conversations.
Meaningful Youth Engagement                                                                        
• Expand partnerships with local youth groups, schools, and faith-based organizations to enhance positive, non-enforcement activities and mentorship with our youth in order to build meaningful relationships.
• Expand recruitment efforts to all segments of our community to serve on the department’s Explorer Post.
• Collaborate with Tacoma Public Schools to explore the use of School Resource Officers (SRO) to educate students on police in the community and engage in meaningful dialogue.
• Begin communications with the Office of Equity and Human Rights within 6 months to design future Project Peace community conversations with youth in our community.

 

PILLAR 3 – IMPROVED POLICY AND OVERSIGHT

Local Campaign Zero Implementation

Within the comments were several proposals related to citizen oversight of the police department, to include more citizen involvement in police misconduct investigations, outside review of deadly uses of force, and changes to collective bargaining agreements to allow greater citizen oversight.                                                                                      
• Pursue implementation of body worn cameras within the next 2-3 years.
• Continue to research the use of body cameras and track state legislation.
• Engage the Citizen Police Advisory Committee (CPAC) to provide input regarding any potential body worn camera program.
• Engage the community and police labor unions directly on the use of body cameras, specifically inquiring about their concerns regarding the use of the cameras and what, if any, situations they would not want body cameras used.
• Request necessary funding to support implementation and sustainability of the body worn camera program.

 

PILLAR 4 - ENHANCE TRAINING & EDUCATION 

• Collaborate with the Citizen Police Advisory Committee and other stakeholders to develop a Community Trauma Response Team.

• Provide an 8-hour Crisis Intervention Training by the end of 2017 to all officers to more effectively respond to individuals with mental health issues.
• By June 2016, reevaluate the current training program to expand and addresses the following areas:
o Undoing Institutional Racism
o Implicit Bias
o Cultural Competency
o De-escalation
o Mental Health Crisis Training
o Procedural Justice
o Expand and enhance Reality Based or Scenario Based Training

Citizen Oversight                                                                                  

Within the comments were several proposals related to citizen oversight of the police department, to include more citizen involvement in police misconduct investigations, outside review of deadly uses of force, and changes to collective bargaining agreements to allow greater citizen oversight.

 

PILLAR 5 - OFFICER WELLNESS AND SAFETY ACTION ITEMS

• Engage the officers through communication and surveys to share concerns and issues
• Research law enforcement best practices in the area of Officer Wellness and Safety
• Research ways to encourage healthy work/life balance

 

PILLAR 6 - SOCIAL MEDIA

• Enhance and expand the use of social media outreach to share timely and vital information to citizens as well as increase positive interactions and relationships with community members.
• Request funding to restore the Community Relations Specialist position.

 

Learn more about our process and findings 

The City partnered with the University of Puget Sound to compile the community responses and prepare a written analysis of the community’s feedback. The report is available for download.

 

If you were unable to attend the culminating event, watch our video and hear from community members about the impact of the Project PEACE conversations.


 

 

Project PEACE (Partnering for Equity And Community Engagement)

 

Project PEACE was launched in September 2015 after local community leaders community met with the City Manager, Tacoma Police Chief, Mayor and the Tacoma News Tribune about concerns that the incidents in Ferguson and Baltimore could happen in Tacoma.

 

The City Manager, Police Chief and Mayor made a commitment to proactively address historical and present day feelings in the community of distrust, anger and grief to build trust and improve community and police relations.