It is the goal of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office to Build and maintain community trust. We are continually looking for ways to improve our efforts in working toward this goal. In 2014, President Barack Obama established the Task Force on 21st Century Policing. The task force – made up of law enforcement officers and executives, community members, civic leaders, advocates, researchers and academics – was charged with identifying best practices and offering recommendations on how police can promote effective crime reduction while building public trust.
The mission of the task force was also to examine ways of fostering strong, collaborative relationships between local law enforcement and the communities they protect. In 2015, the Task Force came out with six pillars that comprise the foundation of 21st Century Policing. Below are several of the actions the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is taking to police our community in the 21st Century.
Pillar 1: Building Trust and Legitimacy
- Implementing Fair and Impartial Policing training
- Training facilitators on Police Legitimacy and Procedural Justice who will later introduce the training to all deputies
- Starting the first bilingual (Spanish) citizens’ academy
Pillar 2: Policy and Oversight
- Implementing Lexipol policy and procedures manual
- Reviewing and updating policies to ensure they reflect current legal and operational policing practices
- Planning public online access to the manual by this fall
- Working with the Health Equity Coalition on updating practices to hire and promote deputies who represent our community as a whole
Pillar 3: Technology and Social Media
- Inviting local news media for a Tour of the facility
- Publishing weekly social media updates to keep the community informed
- Implementing a body worn camera program
Pillar 4: Community Policing and Crime Reduction
- Incorporating a Professional Policing Strategy: a monthly review of crimes, problems, and traffic using comparative data/trends to target problem areas
- Implementing an investigative case management system to track detectives’ cases
- Improving response to calls of domestic violence, including the use of a Lethality Assessment Protocol
- Joining the You Have Options Program to enhance service to sexual assault victims
Pillar 5: Training and Education
- Working with Oregon Health Science University students on the Latino Project to assess our deputies’ understanding of the Latino and Hispanic community
- Training on implicit bias, racial profiling, and policing the LGBTQ community
Pillar 6: Officer Wellness and Safety
- Implementing the Ethics That Help Officers Succeed (ETHOS) Program to prepare deputies to make better decisions when faced with ethical dilemmas.
- Sending deputies through Crisis Intervention Training
These changes come at a very small cost to the taxpayers of Jackson County. The greatest expense is incurred to attend training, while other costs are for staff time and preparing materials. To reduce the costs, we have sent several people to “train the trainer” courses. These employees are then able to train the rest of our organization. We have also partnered with other law enforcement professionals, organizations, and universities in order to obtain training at no or little cost. This investment will make the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office a more professional organization and better community partner.