Law enforcement has allowed for improvement in educating the community. Most departments stress Community Policing; however, is Community Policing incorporating anti-terrorism tactics? After all, the term COPs derives its acronym from Community partnership-Organizational transformation and Problem solving. Its strength stems from partnerships and problem solving techniques. These techniques are a proactive measure to diffusing crime in a systematic problem solving strategy. Community Policing is not about just attending community events and making sure that every business owner can call that one person when they have loiterers or loud music complaints. Community Policing encompasses education.
Ensuring that the community understands their role as a first responder is critical in today's post September 11th world. Just as the D.A.R.E. Program was the education piece for the War on Drugs, so should a Citizens First Responder course be obligatory for the community. Community Policing should educate the community on recognizing pre-incident indicators that may lead to an Active Shooter. This education should focus on target hardening, the survivalist mindset and actions to take when law enforcement arrive. This education segment should be ingrained in every citizens thought process, similar to that of Stop-Drop-and Roll if one is ever on fire.
As these threats to America increase, our vigilance must not sway. The days of traditional policing against the traditional criminal element have diminished. The community must empower themselves and not solely rely on the police as their first responders. America is in a unique war; one that demands its civilian citizens transform from what Lt. Col. David Grossman eloquently refers to as the sheep, to the sheep dog and defend against the wolf. America's communities, with the support of their law enforcement, must create an educational atmosphere in which the average citizen will become educated and transform from the sheep to the sheep dog. DENIAL is not the answer to defending America's population; education, preparation and training are the elements of triumph in this post September 11 era.