Improves image and relationships
Politopoulos admitted the downside to police work is that usually the interactions people have with the police are negative — when officers are enforcing the law.
“With social media and all the different outreaches we have we can counteract that negativity and enhance our image by highlighting the good things we do,” he said, noting social media allows them to send the message — especially to youth — that “being a police officer is not just about writing tickets and taking people to jail.”
Some of the community outreach programs the department has include Coffee with a Cop, Yonkers Police Cadet Program, Need to Read program and many more. A lot of the community outreach programs are geared toward youth and that’s on purpose, according to Politopoulos, who cited a study that shows one can have the greatest impact on kids between the ages of 9 to 14.
“We want their first interaction with the police to be a positive one, not negative. We want them to see us as the guardians of the community,” he said, adding he knows the department’s efforts have made a difference because of the feedback it’s received on community surveys conducted over the past two years.
This measure “does play a role in crime reduction,” he said.
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