“Policing is a public trust,” states Tim Cameron, Sheriff of St. Mary's County. “There must be an organizational commitment to not only respond to crime but to prevent it through strong police-community interactions and relationships. As Robert Peel, the first Commissioner of London’s Scotland Yard said, 'The police are the people, and the people are the police.'
Sheriff Cameron adds, “Public trust is based on a relationship that is reciprocal in nature, fostered by officers who demonstrate the highest ethical standards while being supported by an engaged community. In essence, the goal is to achieve partnerships that promote cooperation between the police and community as they work together towards a shared vision.”
Sheriff Cameron and the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office is working to strengthen the bonds between local officers and the community they serve, by hosting workshops on “Community Policing and Building Relationships of Trust.” The workshops will be led by Dr. Melanye Smith, a 20-year veteran and administrator of the Metropolitan Police Department (Ret.) and a contributing faculty member at Ashford and Walden Universities. Dr. Smith will bring together officers and citizens in an environment designed to encourage open engagement and enhanced understanding of each other’s positions and concerns. To that end, Sheriff Tim Cameron invites all community leaders, activists, and interested residents to participate in these workshops.
The workshops will focus on the interdependency of the police and their family members with the community and will examine their mutual interest in building relationships of trust. Workshop participants will explore leadership capabilities, emotional intelligence, and the experiences of mindfulness, hope, and compassion. Dr. Smith will explain the theory, research, and practice of communication, building trusting relationships, and the concept of emotional intelligence. These efforts are aimed at marking the beginning of a sustained positive change.
“This training is for law enforcement officers and officers’ family members, as well as for civilians and community members,” says Dr. Smith. “The workshops are geared towards moving each participant from their current position along an ideological continuum, by generating dialogue that enhances understanding and meaning and helps to create a shared vision.”
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is soliciting for participation in the second session scheduled for Saturday, October 22, 2016, at the Circuit Courthouse in Leonardtown from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Those interested in attending are asked to Contact Sgt. Richard Russell at 301-475-4200, ext. *8062, or by email at Richard.Russell@stmarysmd.com.