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Fayetteville PD wants to improve its image with community

Posted October 21, 2014

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— The U.S. Department of Justice is lending a helping hand to the Fayetteville Police Department, which wants to improve its relationship with the community to better fight crime.

Chief Harold Medlock and Ronald Davis, director of the justice department's Community-Oriented Policing Services, announced the new initiative Tuesday morning.

Medlock said the partnership isn't about any particular problem but a promise that he and his officers have made to protect and serve the community – with dignity and concern for citizens.

One of Medlock's first objectives since he became police chief last year has been to build a relationship with the community. When he took over in February 2013, the department was being scrutinized over allegations of racial profiling. Medlock also talked about combating gun violence.

One area where Medlock wants officers to better connect, he said, is with young people.

He said he was frustrated during the investigation into the shooting death of Joseph Braxton III – a 16-year-old boy shot and killed outside a birthday party last month – when no one would come forward to help police make arrests.

Authorities have since arrested five people in Braxton's death.

“We have not connected with them as a police department, as I feel like now we should have," Medlock said. "So, we're now starting to identify some strategies. I think this process with COPS is going to help us do that."

Fayetteville joins cities, such as Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Baltimore, where the federal government, at the request of law enforcement, is taking a critical look at local departments' policies and procedures, at what it's doing right and what needs improving.

"We have over 80 researchers, practitioners and volunteers that are working to identify kind of a best practices review, a policy review, a literature review," Davis said.

The review will take about will take about six months and will also include input from residents. It will take another 18 months in implement changes.

One area that will be evaluated, he added, is the use of force and deadly force. The question isn't whether an officer can use such force, but should he or she.

"Deadly force should be the last result," Davis said. "The officer should do it because he or she feels that there is nothing else they can do in their heart and soul to save their life or that of the community – not just because the conditions existed that legally justifies it."

In 2012, according to Medlock, there were seven cases in which an officer used force that didn't necessarily result in death. Last year, there were four cases, and so far this year, there have been none.


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  • seenbetterdaze Oct 21, 2014

    Fayetteville should be more worried that the soldiers sent to Africa to stop Ebola Pandemic will be coming home and bringing Ebola with them. Thanks to the PC in DC.

  • KermitDFrog Oct 21, 2014

    View quoted thread

    What they type up the report:
    "Window was rolled down. As I approached the vehicle and leaned in to speak to FILL_IN_THE_BLANK, I detected an odor like marijuana." All of a sudden they're K9 detection skills kicked in.

    That gives them all the probable cause unless you know how to stand up for your rights. You were brave. I'm too afraid I'd get stick-time or tased. The report would read "Driver resisted".

  • less_govt_is_better_govt Oct 21, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Exactly. Community policing is a far fetched concept in some areas its all about arrest numbers and misreported statistics.

    I have witnessed this type of behavior by wake county law enforcement under the current sheriff. Threats communicated because consent to search was denied.

    Body cameras an civilian review boards for all departments is what needs to happen. And no more internal affairs reports covering up officer misconduct and being hidden behind state law on the officer's employee file. Biggest cover-up in the state right there

  • itsnotmeiswear Oct 21, 2014

    In the course of 35 years of driving, I've probably been pulled over 20 times for things ranging from speeding to registration issues. Two of those times happened to be in Fayetteville. I'm not someone that would fit any profile, but both of those times, they asked to search my car. I politely denied their request. I told them it was my right to refuse, and I simply didn't know them or trust them. They didn't like my refusal at all and continued the aggressive questioning and walking around my car with a dog until I told them to please prepare my ticket and rolled up my window except for a crack. They used that crack in the window to pass me my ticket which then took me about thirty seconds of court time to have dismissed. Both times they used the identical strategy, but I did cut them off quicker the second time. I'm not a fan of their approach to police work.

  • Scott Wharton Oct 21, 2014
    user avatar

    Too bad the community doesn't want to improve their image with the PD.

  • L'amour Oct 21, 2014

    View quoted thread

    I would be interested in hearing why you think nothing can be done and what you mean by "given the community they support"....if you'd be so kind as to enlighten me.

  • L'amour Oct 21, 2014

    At least they recognize the importance of a strong relationship between the officers and the community they serve.

    Hopefully this will be positive.

  • Itsmyopinion67 Oct 21, 2014

    If they had a picnic they could hand out balloons to the community and help close the gap that exists between them.

  • Jim Hinnant Oct 21, 2014
    user avatar

    The need to let it go. There is absolutely nothing that can be done, given the community they support.

  • 68_dodge_polara Oct 21, 2014

    Good luck with that...