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Citizens Encouraged to Evaluate Police

Police officer Chris Ford tries to be courteous in all of the interactions he has with citizens during his shifts on traffic patrol. All of Ford’s interactions are captured by the mandatory body cams on his person. But there is also an additional measure that helps motivate him to be pleasant and professional, even when members of the public are standoffish, irritated, or just flat-out rude.

Ford is required to hand out his business card to everyone he interacts with, and on the back is a QR-code that encourages citizens to rate their interactions with him. Using a star-based system called Guardian Score, officers are rated on criteria such as communication, listening skills, and fairness. According to founder Burke Brownfeld, the program is designed to correct the traditional power imbalance between law enforcement officers and the citizens to whom they are supposed to be accountable.

Ellsworth Weave, president of the local NAACP branch said, “It’s a way of letting the community know that the police are not here to attack you. They are there to help you and protect you.”

Chuck Wexler of the Police Executive Research Forum says programs like Guardian Score are a great way to measure the quality of officer engagement. “At a time when many people are questioning police accountability and how police deal with citizens, police departments are looking for ways to measure how they are doing. And this is one of them.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

Christlike leadership demands that reputations be backed up by truthful accounts of actions. If/when leaders make mistakes, they should own up to them and do their best to do better.

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