Session 4 – Building Relationships, Respecting Authority

©2017 Ginger Hertenstein

Community Conversation 3
Community in Unity
A conversation among leaders and citizens for the flourishing of Duncanville

Our goal: to engage in conversation about becoming a community in unity. Our diversity should enrich us as we listen and learn from each other’s perspective. We are not trying to solve problems! We are practicing the art of civil conversation.

Week Four: Building Relationships, Respecting Authority: The Police and the Community.
Chief Robert Brown and Officers Doug Sisk and Louis Chapman led our conversation this week.

Officer Sisk talked about the programs in place to involve citizens in partnering with the police, including the Citizen Police Academy, Citizens on Patrol, and the Next door program, which is a technological connection where you are able to sign up and chat with your neighbors online. He also provided information about inventorying your property, and where to put security cameras in your house to make them effective. If you ask, the police will do a security survey on your property. If you see a suspicious vehicle or suspicious activity, please call the police.

Officer Chapman works the night shift and he talked about what it is like in the day (or evening!) of a police officer. He encouraged us to call, with the following assurances:

~ “If it is important to you, it is important to us.”
~ The Duncanville Police want you to feel safe and that we are there for you.
~ “We want you to know you can trust us.”
~ “This is the greatest job in the world.”
~ Some days a policeman might ask himself/herself, “Is it worth it?” But imagine what life would be without the Police Department. It is a worthy job.

Chief Brown talked about initiatives to build relationships with the police, referring to President Obama’s 2014 Task Force on 21st Century Policing. The purpose of the task force is to strengthen community policing and strengthen trust among law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. Through such programs communities and their police force can focus on building trust, give police oversight, use technology and social media beneficially, community policing and crime reduction, training and education, and concern for officer wellness and safety. He also showed three videos to help us understand where police have gone wrong, due to not enough accountability, and an example of how the Duncanville Police handled a potential deadly situation with three teenagers in the right way. The third video made us proud of our Duncanville Police.

Table Conversation

Following are some questions:

1.      What is the biggest challenge of being a police officer? The perception or preconceived ideas of what the police do or might do.

2.      What should we do if someone is sleeping or panhandling on a church’s or business’s property? Panhandling is not legal in Duncanville. If a person approaches you, don’t drop your guard as they come toward you. Also, if they ask for you to give them a ride somewhere, call the police. They will be glad to do it.

3.      What does community policing accomplish? Keeping safe, helping hands, and involving
the community in helping each other.

Since we did not have time for our table conversations, we were asked to think about the
following questions and come prepared with our thoughts this Thursday.

1.       Is it possible for a community to cast a vision for building respect and understanding for
authority? How might we go about it?

2.       In regard to movies and video games, is “it’s just a movie or it’s just a game” a good
justification for not being concerned about increasingly violent entertainment. Why or
why not?

THIS THURSDAY – Roy Watson leads us in Race & Rivalry, Overcoming Racial Barriers.
Come hear his modern day perspective on the story of the Good Samaritan. 7:00 p.m. Snacks by
Kasey Cheshier and Kitchen’s Deli!

Thank you for participating. Thanks to Kasey for the sound system, awesome tech support, and

See you this Thursday, October 19th, 7:00 – 8:15 pm

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