Galveston (Public Safety)

The city police department works to meet the expectations and needs of an increasingly diverse community through the Protect with Respect initiative. The goals of the program are to foster relationships between law enforcement, communities, and businesses; improve officer interpersonal communication skills and diversity awareness; increase the visibility of officers in the neighborhoods they patrol; and provide informal opportunities for citizens and police to get to know one another. To achieve these goals, officers receive regular training and the department has implemented several community outreach efforts that include recording short officer video profiles in English and Spanish that have appeared on community television and the Internet, sponsoring community events called “Meet and Greet the Beat,” and expanding the existing citizen’s police academy. The multi-faceted approach has proved extremely successful—citizen complaints have decreased by more than half since the program started and crime has decreased significantly.

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