What does community policing mean to you?
The Kirkland Police Department participated in the creation of a Strategic Plan in 2016. Since then, we have worked to implement certain recommendations contained in the Strategic Plan, including an increased focus on community policing.
While the Department was implementing these recommendations, a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, happened in February of 2018. In response to this, members of the Kirkland community initiated a civic conversation on the topic of gun safety that continued for several months. That process of civic engagement led to the creation of Proposition 1, an enhanced police services and community safety ballot measure, which was part of the November 2018 general election. Kirkland voters passed Proposition 1, and the police department began preparing for the increased staff that were committed in the ballot measure.
With these new resources and priorities established in Proposition 1, City leadership decided this was a great time to engage our community to better understand the community’s expectations on community policing.
As a result, the City Manager directed City staff to consult with Kirkland businesses, neighborhood associations, and other stakeholders to accomplish three things:
- Establish neighborhood-specific public safety priorities and identify possible performance measures associated with those priorities;
- Explore effective ways for residents and businesses to better partner with the police to enhance proactive crime prevention strategies; and
- Encourage residents and businesses to work closely with the police department to maintain and strengthen trusting relationships that make our community safer.
Community policing is the law enforcement philosophy that emphasizes relationships between the police and community members. These relationships help our police officers engage with residents to prevent crime from happening, instead of only responding after incidents occur.
Currently, the Police Department assigns community policing to specialty positions, such as the Neighborhood Resource Officer, School Resource Officers, and programs like Kirkland Community Police Academy, National Night Out Against Crime, and Coffee with a Cop.
Join the conversation!
During the spring and summer of 2019, the City will be collecting feedback through a variety of civic engagement activities, including neighborhood association meetings, focus groups, and an online survey to help identify priorities on community policing.
Sign up for the City's weekly email newsletter, This Week in Kirkland, to stay up to date on this civic conversation.