At a Glance
Through continuous development and fostering of relationships, this police force has partnered with the community in identifying issues that are important to the residents and has received national recognition for its efforts.
The Police Department in the City of Parker was working to build trusting relationships with their community members. They were taking to the streets and setting up face-to-face events to build that rapport in schools, outdoor activities with community youth, and local food bank initiatives. When they wanted feedback on local traffic issues, they created a form for residents to submit their opinions on issues in their area. Receiving only 10-12 responses per month, they needed a more effective way to reach more people and gain more meaningful feedback.
City of Parker Police Department used/is using EngagementHQ to address this/these challenge(s).
With 39 programs focused on community involvement, Parker Police are engaged in active partnership building. “Our community policing strategy is defined as an initiative where police develop partnerships with the community that build relationships and contribute to public safety”, says Josh Hans, Parker Police Department Public Information Office. Often the issues being addressed are outside the normal purview of police work. “When you have officers wearing ‘drunk goggles’ at high schools during prom season, the community sees that the police are there not just to enforce laws, but to be proactive in contributing to the safety of the community.”
From ‘Cops and Bobbers’, which provides free fishing poles and a stocked pond for 175 kids to spend a day learning to fish with over 20 officers, to ‘Cram the Cruiser’, which supports a local food bank and sheds light on community needs, the broad array of programs sets the stage for numerous touchpoints where the police and residents form relationships of caring and community spirit. Focusing on inclusion and accessibility, the department also conducts training for staff to better prepare them for supporting the needs of the deaf and blind.
In keeping with the spirit of listening to the community, the City of Parker noticed a high interest in online participation from the community in the 2017 Parker Citizen Survey. This led to the establishment of the online engagement forum, Let’s Talk Parker, and to the forum for the Parker Police, asking citizens to participate in helping to identify traffic issues. Using Bang the Table’s online platform tool ‘Places’, residents were asked to put virtual pins on a map, indicating traffic areas of concern.
Going forward, the Parker Police Department is committed to continuous improvement of its already well-rounded community engagement initiative. From the initial face-to-face involvement, development of community outreach programs determined by public input, and effective use of social media, the Parker Police Department has created multiple avenues to reach and inform the community. With the addition of the online engagement platform, the ability to reach a broader audience and provide a forum for problem-solving together, the full circle of engagement is in place. The Parker Police Department is poised to continue to master the relationship between law enforcement and residents of the community… and to reap the results of their efforts.
Parker Police continue to implement their commitment to transparency and support for their community by updating their Places tool each month with a fresh interactive map for the community to provide their input. They continue to report back to community members by noting locations where and when traffic enforcement has been conducted.
- Over 1,500% increase in responses around traffic concerns when switching from form submissions to implementing the Places tool on EngagementHQ for community feedback.
- Ability to prioritize target areas of concern for the residents.
- Creation of Education & Enforcement Days- information used to activate police presence in targeted areas to better assess and determine resolutions in priority areas identified by residents.
- Areas where residents were concerned about excessive speeding, digital speed signs were placed to bring attention to the posted speed limits as a reminder to slow down.
- Officers and dispatchers are well trained to assist those with disabilities within the community.
The overwhelming response on the mapping tool created so many pins that they began using a color-coded pin system to differentiate issue types from each other, i.e. one color for speeding, another for dangerous intersections, etc. helping police and residents easily read & respond to what the map was telling them.
Who Should Consider?
Any government organization that wants to effectively execute citizen engagement efforts for better project planning, to build trust within their community, and to communicate progress to stakeholders.