Kudos are due Knightdale Chief of Police Lawrence Capps who has encouraged the establishment of a citizen’s advisory board to work with police to improve public safety in that community.
If the panel works as it should, this will be an excellent two-way street for police to develop a network of support for their crime prevention efforts as they work with citizen leaders to raise awareness of hints that crimes may be occurring or to teach residents to be more vigilant as they go about their daily routines.
This panel can also serve as a good way to get valuable feedback on what police are doing well and not doing well. Too often, complaints about police actions are brought by people who have had a confrontation with police and have a bone to pick.
Whether they are right or wrong in their claims that police acted improperly, it’s often hard to overcome the appearance that someone is simply complaining because they are in trouble.
This citizen’s advisory panel provides a calm venue for constructive criticism to be offered to the police department’s leadership when it’s merited. We hope Capps and his leadership team will analyze that feedback as carefully as they promote the messages they want their panel members to take out to residents.
As time passes, we hope it will not only make the community safer, but the police department better. It’s an idea other towns ought to consider emulating.