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.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.