“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 have the ability to 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 for one, the community is not involved in the process. This also applies to the internal mechanisms of management listening to the voice of officers who work day in and day out in the community. Number based policing has been opposed by many rank and file officers, yet their voice is unheard. 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 departmental use of Compstat. One thing immediately recognizable is that only executive management took part in this survey study. By the report, Compstat in many departments was deemed as a revolutionary crime fighting model but those responsible for executing the polices 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 mis-classification 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 a good example at how something meant for evolution can be misused. Many lives have been 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 feelings have been mostly forgotten as corporate and business interest benefit from Compstat’s growing use.
Another mention of this statement can also be to our activist. Keeping the public involved in their work and also those that work with in the group. Opportunities for change occur when the public is educated as to why they are better off doing something, whether that is to boycott, share a social media post, or gather at a meeting. Grass roots organizations thrive when the public is keep in the loop and when group members or volunteers are steered with clear direction.
Overall “Keeping people involved in the process” can be a harmonizing and progressive action used to met 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 vision.