A new whitepaper from University of Phoenix found that collaboration between leadership may be key to improving public trust in the police department. The paper, “Breaking Down Barriers: The Importance of Collaboration Between a City Manager and Chief of Police in Today’s Society,” proposes that building a partnership between the city manager and police chief can reduce some barriers to trust and result in positive steps taken to better incorporate the police into civic life, increase transparency and promote wellness in the community. By working together, the whitepaper noted that these two leaders can shift the focus onto “community safety and organizational goals.”
The recent whitepaper was produced by the College of Doctoral Studies Center for Leadership Studies and Organizational Leadership at University of Phoenix. Co-authors Donald Munday, Ed.D., and Marie Peoples, Ph.D., brought professional experience to their research discussion. In addition to teaching in the College of Doctoral Studies, Munday has been a police officer in Wichita for over 20 years. Peoples both teaches in the College of Doctoral Studies and serves as City Manager for Webster Groves, MO. “The importance of positive collaboration between the city manager and the chief of police is incredibly important to the safety of the community and well-being of police department personnel,” Munday said.
Table of Contents
City Managers and Social Issues
As the whitepaper explained, the City Manager serves a key role in local government, managing taxpayer dollars, overseeing the city budget and understanding the role of social issues including mental health, homelessness, substance abuse and other issues that often intersect with local policing.
Where these social issues arise, the whitepaper noted, there also arises a need for social services. Without proper services, there is added pressure for police to serve in intervention roles which they may not be equipped or trained to do. “Successfully taking on traditional social safety-net services requires more human and budget capacity at a time when many cities are trying to balance community desires to reduce police funding,” the authors wrote.
The Role of Community Policing
For many cities, the authors noted, the police department receives the largest share of the city budget, and ideally the Chief of Police is working with the City Manager to express the needs of their department based on crime, public demand and other issues. It’s important, the whitepaper detailed, that these two civic roles work together as a team and remain focused on building and maintaining public trust: “This can be achieved by staying as transparent as possible, championing community involvement, and maintaining a consistent policy of communication.” Public safety obviously needs to be of paramount importance, the authors noted, but so, too should a philosophy built around Community Policing.
The authors lay out Six Pillars of Building Trust and Legitimacy that were proposed in the final report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and how these can serve as guideposts to building a fruitful collaboration between the City Manager and Chief of Police. The pillars include building trust and legitimacy, policy and oversight, technology and social media, community policing and crime reduction, training and education and officer wellness and safety.
Advancing Thought Leadership at the College of Doctoral Studies
Munday talked in depth on this topic as part of an educational video series called Leadership Perspectives featuring interviews with leaders that address contemporary and cutting edge issues led by Dr. Erik Bean and Dr. Rodney Luster. That series is just one way that the College of Doctoral Studies at University of Phoenix is bringing its leadership research to a broader audience. The College of Doctoral Studies is focused on developing thought leaders who can provide innovative ideas and solutions to businesses and organizations. Students and faculty in the program conduct research into organizations and business strategies that can be applied in the workplace in real time.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is committed to advancing the educational goals of adult and nontraditional learners and to helping students navigate the career options and degree programs that best suit their interests. The University’s degree programs are aligned with numerous in-demand career paths including in computer software, nursing and business, and they provide flexible start dates, online classes, and numerous scholarship opportunities to make it possible for anyone to get the degree they need to get ahead. In addition, the University of Phoenix’s Career Services for Life® commitment to active students and graduates provides the resources needed to be competitive in the workforce for no additional charge. These services include resume and interview support, career guidance, education and networking opportunities.