Buddy Schum of Carbon County is a passionate law enforcement aficionado, and unwavering fascination for the intricacies of the criminal justice system. In the following article, Buddy Schum discusses what it means to be a civic leader, how police officers can become one, and how this perspective influences how they uphold their civic responsibilities.
Police officers have a complex and multifaceted job that gives them authority over other citizens. A proper approach to their work is essential for public safety and opinion. How do police officers become civic leaders and what civic responsibilities must they uphold?
Buddy Schum of Carbon County explains that police officers become civic leaders by committing to personal development, embracing lifelong learning, and actively pursuing new training opportunities. With this approach, they can fulfill their civic responsibilities with grace and discipline. These duties include law enforcement and crisis intervention, public safety and emergency services, crime prevention, and community outreach.
Police as Civic Leaders
Historically, Buddy Schum of Carbon County says that police officers have been trained as both warriors and guardians, but these policing models do not adequately define the role a police officer should have in the community. Instead, police officers need to be seen (and see themselves) as civic leaders.
Rather than behaving as authoritarian figures that control the public or committing too strongly to their role as public protectors, police officers should be conducting themselves with honesty, integrity, and compassion. Buddy Schum of Carbon County explains that they should always consider the morality of their decisions and work to understand other people’s perspectives without bias.
What it Takes
To become a civic leader, a police officer must possess traits such as compassion, confidence, and a community-minded approach to their job. This process relies on three components of growth: personal development, lifelong learning, and a desire to engage in new training opportunities.
As officers pursue these avenues of growth, they will begin to act accordingly and view their policing duties as civic responsibilities and not just a task to complete, explains Buddy Schum of Carbon County.
Civic Responsibilities of Police Officers
Police officers wear many hats, theoretically speaking, throughout their working hours. They are responsible for enforcing the local laws, emergency services, crime prevention, and much more. As police officers begin to understand the importance of their role as civic leaders and embrace the responsibilities that come with that perspective, they must adapt the way these needs.
Law Enforcement and Crisis Intervention
Buddy Schum of Carbon County says that when operating as civic leaders, the law enforcement and crisis intervention roles of a police officer take on different meanings. Police officers should recognize every individual’s importance to society and understand the unique perspectives that have put them in dangerous and volatile situations.
With this unique take, officers will be able to de-escalate the situation and avoid the use of force, particularly lethal force. An officer should never forget their responsibility to protect every citizen to the best of their ability.
Public Safety and Emergency Services
Two of the main functions of police officers are to protect the public by deterring crime with a visible presence on the streets and operate as first responders during emergencies such as natural disasters or medical crises. When fulfilling their role as civic leaders, police officers approach these tasks with commitment and further improve the relationship between the institution and the public.
Buddy Schum of Carbon County says that police officers that operate as civic leaders are much more effective when it comes to crime prevention. When officers immerse themselves in the community with integrity and maturity, they will be better informed of neighborhood concerns and will be able to develop and implement proactive strategies to address the causes of criminal behavior, lower crime rates, and create a safer community for everyone.
One role that doesn’t fit into traditional enforcer models of policing is community outreach and engagement. This is the perfect role for the civic leader, though. In order to improve the quality of life for the entire community, an officer must participate in it. Buddy Schum of Carbon County suggests that they must connect with the public, attend events, and communicate effectively to build trust and implement more responsive services.
When police officers embrace their role as civic leaders, their entire attitude toward policing will change. This holistic perspective generates positive public opinions, allows officers to be more effective, and creates a more cohesive community. It is truly the future of policing.