Police community relations

Updated September 15, 2020
Officers in front of station

The Roseville Police Department supports a transparent, community-based and multi-disciplinary approach to policing.

There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about shifting funding from police departments to other community needs, like mental health, violence prevention and other social services. But polls, and certainly the feedback the City of Roseville has received from our community, show that most people don’t want fewer police. A recent nationwide Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans (72-88%) of all racial backgrounds want the same or more police presence in their neighborhoods. Another recent Gallup poll about policing found that a majority of Americans of all ages and ethnic backgrounds say changes are needed, and they strongly agree on three things: they want stronger police-community relations, accountability in police departments, and a bigger role for community-based organizations in violence prevention and meeting social service needs.

We couldn’t agree more! These concepts aren’t new to us. We’ve supported a transparent, community-based and multi-disciplinary approach to policing for a long time.

A multi-disciplinary approach to community safety

We’ll be the first to tell you that police officers can’t solve all problems alone. We need partners! That’s why Roseville PD launched our first-in-the-region Social Services Unit several years ago. The Social Services Unit (SSU) partners police officers with Placer County probation officers, social workers, mental health crisis workers and homeless resource specialists. The SSU focuses much of its time on issues involving homeless people. They partner with community service providers like The Gathering Inn and The Salvation Army to solve problems and help homeless people get the resources they need. The SSU’s Mobile Crisis Team, staffed by Placer County Adult System of Care clinicians, accompanies officers to calls involving adults who are having mental health crises. The SSU also has a Family Mobile Team staffed by Placer County Children’s System of Care clinicians. The Family Mobile Team responds with police officers to calls involving juveniles in crisis. After officers stabilize the situation, FMT members stay behind to help families develop a constructive plan to move forward.

We also work with organizations outside the department to meet community needs. Stand Up Placer, Placer County’s designated nonprofit agency for domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking services, is one of our most important partners. Our officers refer all victims of these sensitive crimes to them for compassionate follow-up services.

Accountability

Accountability in policing starts with clearly communicated policies coupled with ongoing and innovated training. The Roseville Police Department trains our officers and other staff on racial bias and procedural justice. What does all that mean?  It means reinforcing that we treat everyone we meet with dignity and respect. Procedural justice, in a nutshell, means being fair, transparent and impartial. Our officers are trained in violence de-escalation, which means calming down volatile situations and avoiding, whenever possible, the use of force. When force becomes necessary, our officers are well-trained and equipped to use a full range of less lethal use of force options.

The department thoroughly reviews every use of force. We also conduct thorough internal investigations of every complaint received. It’s important to note that at least half of  our internal investigations don’t come from the public but are generated from within the department—in other words, because of routine supervision, internal process audits and peer reporting. We strive to address problems early-on, before they affect our community.

Police-Community Relations

Roseville Police has long fostered positive relationships with the community we serve. In the early 1990s the police department helped launch the Roseville Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (RCONA), giving every neighborhood in Roseville a forum to discuss concerns with the police department and other local government representatives. Beat officers attend neighborhood meetings to discuss crime trends and other concerns. Through longtime programs like youth service officers in schools, the Roseville Police Activities League and events like Shop with a Cop, we create opportunities for officers to develop positive relationships with our youth. We also work closely with our businesses to address issues that affect them. Our partnership with the Downtown Merchants and Placer County to have a homeless outreach worker in the downtown area is one recent example.

We understand why the public has a great deal of concern right now about policing. The public is demanding greater accountability from their police departments, and a more just, collaborative and community-focused delivery of service. These aren’t new concepts for us, but a long-standing part of how we do business. We’ve worked hard to gain our community’s trust, and we don’t take it for granted.

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