To maintain effective police-community relations, the police must forge bonds of trust with the communities they serve. The willingness of residents to voluntarily contact police when they have been victims of or witnesses to a crime depends on these bonds of trust. When law enforcement practices undermine residentsí confidence in the police, those practices need to be changed. Itís a good sign that municipalities such as Newark, New Orleans and Chicago have established models for such reforms, and that California is considering policy changes as well.
Creating a bright line between police and federal immigration enforcement should be top priority so that local law enforcement authorities can begin rebuilding the trust of the communities they are sworn to serve and protect.
Nik Theodore is professor of urban planning and policy at the Great Cities Institute of the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.