MASON CITY, Iowa- The field of law enforcement is changing and law enforcement need to work the community to change that public perception, that is the message from two former Chicago officials at a seminar held at NIACC on Monday.
Garry McCarthy, the former Chicago Police Department Superintendent, and Robert Tracey, former Chief of Crime Control spoke to over a dozen local law enforcement and community members about ways to handle the change. They say focusing on social media is key to getting information out quickly as well as making sure you are in the public eye.
“The problem is that police are kind of having a lot put on them all at the same time,” says McCarthy. “If people keep misdiagnosing these problems and talking about the big issues police have to fix, we are then causing the problems that we’re having right now.”
Dr. Charlene Gooch of Clear Lake engaged in multiple questions of the 2 officials asking about the training law enforcement are receiving when it comes to handling those suffering from mentally illness.
“I would have liked them to go a little more in depth on the answer, but they answered it pretty well,” she says.
For her, it was about having the accessibility to the law enforcement, something she says is important in order to change the communities perspective.
“No matter where police are in the community people are going to be suspicious of them, they won’t believe, they won’t want to cooperate,” she says.”The things that we learn about police and helping them to get to know the community and helping them to identify where the challenges in our community are I think they can all be tailored if you will to a smaller community.”