Off the Shelf
Community Policing: The Path to Healthier Relationships – a Police Chaplain’s Perspective
March 14, 2021 By Steve Tanner
By Dr. Francis Mpindu; 2020, 144 pages
ISBN-10 : 0228833620
Officers are currently facing stressors associated with the pandemic combined with an international call to reform (and, in some cases, to defund) the police. We live in a modern democratic society where every single individual deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, and human rights must be provided equally to all. This has resulted in increased attention to interactions between the police and the public, often fueled by negative media coverage. It has never been more important to build positive relationships and develop more nuanced understanding.
Dr. Francis (Munangi) Mpindu brings all of these issues together and discusses them through the various lenses of his vast experience, including his unique view as an experienced police chaplain and alternative dispute and conflict resolution practitioner. He presents the notion that we are one with the communities we serve and that, it is only through open, honest and transparent relationships with the public that police can perform their duties well. But, he writes, this must be far more than lip service. Many have tried and failed, often as a result of a lack of commitment to community mobilization and engagement. It is only through an authentic desire to truly engage and serve that the police will succeed and be able to truly protect those whom we are sworn to protect.
Dr. Mpindu does far more than explain the complex relationships between the police and the public. He spends so much of the book focusing on the service of frontline police officers. They too are impacted by everyday life, but also face immense added pressures placed on them as a result of their duties, the horrific things that they see and, at times, must do. For that, I personally thank Dr. Mpindu and other police chaplains for the critical role they play in “serving those who protect.”
-CHIEF STEVE TANNER, HALTON REGIONAL POLICE CHIEF S.J. (STEVE) TANNER, BA, MPA, OOM, CMMIII HALTON REGIONAL POLICE SERVICE, OAKVILLE, ONTARIO. CANADA
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