Earlier in the year, Montgomery County Police Department was provided a grant from Code 3, which led to the purchase of a Community Engagement Trailer and many successful events that focused on reconnecting the police with the communities they serve. Lieutenant Bob Ravida of MCPD expressed his gratitude for the resources Code 3 has provided them, “The Code 3 Association has been an ally in providing key assets that have enhanced our capability to strengthen police-community relations, reach at-risk youth, mitigate community concerns and build public trust.”
LT Ravida also explained how the grant has “allowed the department’s community outreach efforts to rise to a new level of engagement.” MCPD have over 1,700 community meetings to this date, and hope to continue this effort to prove their commitment to community outreach. Below are some of the events MCPD have held with help from the Code 3 grant.
– GreenFest Event: MCPD brought their Community Engagement Trailer to the event, which allowed them to advertise their presence and bring all their resources to attract people to their location at the festival.
– Rock the Block: This high school event drew people from the surrounding community and, because of the resources provided by Code 3, the police department attracted many residents to their table. With the trailer, popcorn, cotton candy machine and games, MCPD was finally able to compete with other organizations that attend large community events.
– Islamic Society of Germantown Picnic: This event was an opportunity for the police department to meet with residents of Muslim father at their mosque. The trailer allowed the MCPD to bring a softer approach to this community, who typically does not interact with police in their countries of origin. The trailer also allowed officers to better interact with children, parents and older adults of the community in a positive way.
– Friday Night Lights: This project brought MCPD to local high school football games. The trailer allowed them to bring tables, a tent, chairs, games and also acted as a mobile signboard. MCPD was able to set up in an area to increase interaction with the hight school students as they attended the game.
– Scotland Drive Community Event: The police department was able to attend this event with their Community Engagement Trailer which provided a softer approach. This was especially key in this neighborhood where police calls for service are high and many residents have experienced strained relationships with the department. With a softer approach, officers were able to interact with residents on a more casual level, and talk about the problems and issues they are experiencing in their neighborhood. This information was then relayed to the district station in attempt to help resolve some of the problems. This is a prime example of community policing where residents work with the police to solve quality of life issues.
“Being able to interact with communities of need outside of enforcement activities is critical in building trust and legitimacy with those that we serve,” said LT Ravida and Code 3 could not be happier to hear of the successes that have stemmed from their donation to the MCPD.