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  • The Dish From Ish, October 2018
    Updated On: Oct 10, 2018
    NIZAM "ISH" ISHMAEL, PBA Treasurer

    Many of the agencies have adopted this so-called community engagement event as a common practice in policing.  When I first heard of it I laughed for a few minutes then I quickly realized that this was not a joke.  I am a firm believer that community policing is needed and believe the Neighborhood Resource Units serve their function.  It is essential that we continue to foster relationships with the community.  What I don’t understand is why you would subject a new officer, who has never done a day of police work, to engage the community and hand out cookies. They don’t know what police work consists of and are too junior to explain to the public what we do in law enforcement. I know the upper brass have argued that this is only to meet and greet the newest officers; however, I feel strongly that this is disastrous for our profession.

    I would, however, like to see them continue the Coffee with A Cop campaign. Invite senior officers working the areas, along with the Neighborhood Resource Officers, and have them explain to the public what issues exist in their community. They can utilize this platform to also explain about police work and why we need their continued support. The public should be able to engage seasoned officers that have done police work. They have both the knowledge and experience necessary to showcase what we do.

    We also have the issue of the agencies labeling lateral officers at these Cookie with Rookies events as rookies. If you have a few years under your belt then you have lost your title as a rookie. Maybe there can be a Lollipops with Laterals event when they are ready to hit the streets. See how stupid that sounds? So STOP the Cookies with Rookies events. If anything, the community should be engaged by our leaders. Instead of Cookies with Rookies, how about Cookies with Command Staff?

    Having rookie officers pass out cookies is not the answer to community engagement. It’s not beneficial to our profession nor to the proud officers that represent all of our law enforcement agencies. Let’s help bring some respect back to our profession and stop with these events that don’t.     

    Contact me at ish@dcpba.org or at (305) 593-0044.    

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