Keep Them Involved In the Process

Keeping people involved in the process” as Edwin Mejia shared on the Futuro Digital Conference panel at the Latino Film Festival in New York City, it seems like a simple statement, but it stuck out. Keeping them involved in the process is a reminder that we are not alone in our decision-making. From a macro level to the most micro levels of interaction, we can safely bring people into our world and take the necessary steps forward for progress and change. A purpose driven team can emulate the good qualities that leadership presents because they visibly see their leaders setting examples.

In the case of Compstat and policing we see a complete disconnect between law enforcement and the community because the community is not involved in the process. Internal mechanisms of Compstat management like listening to officers who work day in and day out in the community is not openly respected. Rank and file officers who have opposed number based policing. In some instances, their voice is unheard, and they become targets themselves. In a 2013 study by PERF (Police Executive Research Forum) and BJA (Bureau of Justice Assistance), Appendix B of the document provides the results of a survey about the departmental use of Compstat. One thing immediately recognizable is that only executive management took part in this survey study. By the report, many departments deemed Compstat, a revolutionary crime-fighting model, but those responsible for executing the policies and arrests associated with Compstat’s data had other views.  In MiddleMen, we discuss this dangerous disconnect between higher-ups and patrol officers, those working day in and day out with the community. Quotas, numbers, crime indexes, and statistics are subject to interpretation by the individual logging the data and has repeatedly lead to misclassification of crime and racial targeting.

Only now are we starting to see some change under Commissioner O’Neil with the Build the Block initiatives by the NYPD. Still, we have a long way to go. Compstat is not all bad, but it is an excellent example of how something meant for evolution is sometimes misused. Many lives become destroyed, and civil rights violated because it is not the end, but a means to an end that has not evolved to be as progressive as it could be. The community’s voice has gone unheard while of corporate and business interest benefits Compstat’s use.

Another mention of this statement is also for our activist. Keeping the public involved in their work is essential. Development occurs when people understand where they fit is conveyed. Asking them to do something blindly, whether that is to blacklist, participate in social media activism, or gather at a rally is unfair. Grassroots organizations thrive when communication is healthy and when members or volunteers steered with clear direction.

Overall “Keeping people involved in the process” can be a harmonizing and progressive action used to meet any goal or objective when sharing your vision with others. Regardless of who you are appealing too, security and empowerment are direct team benefits when it comes to decision making that benefits the final concept.