A Consortium for a New Policing Paradigm

How should police deal with aggressive panhandlers? Should jaywalking laws be strictly enforced? How can police agencies better monitor themselves for racial profiling or biased policing when it occurs?  These are the types of questions that police executives, criminal justice academics and community members delved into during a two day multi-discipline gathering, or Consortium, held at the Columbia Tower.

American policing is at a crossroads and in need of a fundamental re-examination of its objectives and approaches, and the Consortium can provide a powerful vehicle to carry US law enforcement through the transformation necessary to ensure its vitality and strength in the 21st century.

This Consortium was an opportunity to address the thorniest of policing issues and problems for modern American law enforcement agencies in a highly visible, collaborative and transparent manner. This meeting of academics, police and community members ensures policing strategies and innovations not only attract scientific scrutiny and rigorous assessment, but also achieve community acceptance and support.

“Seattle community leaders joined policing experts from across the country to identify how our police force can best serve the public. We hope that the work done here will not only provide clear direction to the Seattle Police Department but will benefit police agencies across the country,” says Mayor Mike McGinn.

“The development and study of best practices in policing by practitioners and scientists is nothing new. In a world of increased competition for fewer research dollars, this Consortium model focuses on multi-city collaboration and shared data to reach the same goal,” says Seattle Police Chief John Diaz.

In all, over 40 community leaders, academic scholars and police practitioners were on hand to deliberate over use of force, bias free policing and police accountability.

The Consortium’s discussions identified these issues and others for further review and study, and ultimately identified police and community trust as the premier issue.

Consortium participants will now begin reviewing issues surrounding community and police partnerships to validate or change current police practices. The Consortium will then craft a white paper outlining the best law enforcement practices for the future.