By Molly Daly
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The uproar over grand jury decisions not to charge police officers in the deaths of two unarmed black men has prompted authorities to explore ways to rebuild trust in law enforcement in minority communities. Two local police chiefs were invited to talk about it on two Sunday political chat shows.
Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey, who is co-chairing President Obama’s task force on 20th century policing, appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press. He said it’s troubling that people don’t believe there’s fairness in the way law enforcement operates.
“We’ve got to change that dynamic, and we’ve got to take a look at our training,” Ramsey said, “and more importantly the education that we provide to officers, so they better understand the role of police in a democratic society.”
The crime rate is falling in Camden, where Scott Thomson is the chief the county police. Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation, he was asked what’s changed.
“Officers walking the beat, getting out of their squad cars, riding their bicycles,” he said. “Nothing builds trust like human contact. There is no replacement for it.”
Thomson said it’s key that police don’t just interact with the community during moments of crisis.
“We need to have interaction with the public every day,” he said, “and not just when times are bad.”
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