BIF and Dean Esserman

Dean Esserman

Chief of Police, City of Providence

An expert in community policing, Colonel Dean Esserman’s innovative approaches have revolutionized law enforcement since the late 1970’s. Esserman, a protégé of former New York City police chiefs William J. Bratton and Lee P. Brown, is using his community policing technique to transform Providence’s approach to law enforcement and redefine the role police play in the communities they serve.

  • after 9/11 Bin Laden said he would be back.
  • what I want to talk about is that we are doing it for him..we have 50 people a day being murdered.
  • the face of the victims are young.
  • as a father and patriot it is hard of me to conceive that we have become a country that buries its young
  • and that has become the face of violence in America
  • my son graduated college (remarkable if you knew him).  I bought him a bike for graduation, but it was stolen in his first few days…his first call was to me.  And if even the son of a police chief does not know to call 911 then what about the rest if the country
  • the relationship of ‘call 911 and we will come’ is the paradigm of American policing.  But why do people not do this?
  • crime is intimate and personal, and then you call who you know and you do not know them anymore, you do not know the police.  We wear name and number so you can tell who we are.
  • the deal, for American policing for a generation, but people do not
  • most crime is not reported in the US.  People do not bother to tell the police.
  • Never entered my mind to tell my son to call the police…
  • the police have become strangers… the deal we figured out is not working to well, even when you report it that us when it stops.  Most crime does not get solved.
  • there has to be a better way…a different way.  What’s beyond 911
  • to see the police as simple enforcers and report takers is to miss the point.  we are the agency of first and last resort.  It is remarkable what they need.  they call is for everything but they do not tell us about crime
  • the do not tell us a lot as they do no know us.  That realisation led to conversations, gave birth to community policing, about returning to the neighbourhoods.
  • America has accepted that – the anonyminity of police.
  • we are looking at becoming a different type of police force, that has moved into the community.  becomes part of it.
  • Look in town, you will see business cards in shops, with officer names and cell numbers.  we are becoming known
  • crime is down 5 years in a row/  we will bury less children this year.  We do not have more cops…
  • we have an honest mayor.  the chief is only as good as the mayor.  The mayor gave the police back to the people.  we have begun to develop relationships again.
  • go to a murder scene, you see the cell phone of the patrol men going off – the people are calling their cop to tell them what is happening
  • you have to know and love the person in the uniform and that is where we are going.
  • next time my son has his bike stolen, then I’ll be the second caller – he’ll have already called his local cop and the day that happens then american policing will be in a better place.

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