I have a 50-minute video which could be used in-house by law enforcement departments to help train officers to perform simple, safe, quick roadside assists with the agenda of building rapport with communities they serve – much needed in today’s too-often toxic social climate. Please check out the video at this link: https://vimeo.com/200599109
The complete package I am offering includes: 1) the book (as a foundation, but its use could be deferred or declined – with some training degradation – if the department opts out); 2) a supplementary list of Tips and Equipment for Police Officers (Click here)- with estimated cost of each item), and 3) the video – which summarizes the book and the list. The list and video are free. Departments would acquire recommended assist equipment items independently from me. The book, if wanted, is available at bulk rates far below retail; see the attached pricing schedule: (Click here).
The video stipulates that officer roadside assists should occur only when operational priorities allow and that traditional law enforcement duties clearly have a higher priority. It also suggests that for officer safety, two be present – one to perform the assist and another in “overwatch”. Assisting officers may have the owner/driver of the disabled vehicle sign a liability waiver before any assist work begins.
We can agree that my proposal is “out-of-the-box”, but so would be the positive reaction from assist recipients as well as many others in the area who would witness the assists. Sometimes difficult problems justify out-of-the-box solutions!
I believe that such a policy, implemented by officers trained and equipped via my proposal, would help law enforcement departments gain respect and cooperation from served communities, making law enforcement easier and more productive in the long run. Wouldn’t this represent a “Win-Win” for all? What do you have to lose? If “Carrot and Stick” can be applied to law enforcement, simple roadside assisting can be part of the carrot, while proactive deterrent measures on the street can be part of the stick. Just imagine where this could lead in our polarized society.
Here’s a short video segment illustrating the positive impact of an in-service officer in Montgomery, Texas, helping a woman change her flat tire: https://www.policeone.com/quiet-warrior/articles/329834006-Video-Cop-helps-woman-fix-tire-changes-her-perspective-on-police/. The woman, RoseMary Atanga, said her first instinct was “Lord here is another white officer, help me.” But she soon realized that officer Steven Squier was an “angel who God sent.” This is exactly the kind of response your officers can expect when doing roadside assists – which would lead to increased trust and cooperation from supported communities. Similar heartfelt expressions of thanks for my 2,000+ assists are what made me believe that this has great potential for law enforcement too. Officers like Squier would be even safer and more efficient doing such assists if they use methods and tools described in my plan.
Also, here is a link to the latest newsletter for National Association of Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE), which includes an article, toward the end, suggesting agencies consider my plan: http://nawlee.org/NEWSLETTER/NAWLEE%20Newsletter%20April2017%20Final.pdf
The website for PoliceOne, #1 Law Enforcement resource for news, training and videos, has featured an article about why and how police can win hearts and minds by doing simple, safe, quick roadside assists: https://www.policeone.com/police-products/vehicles/articles/346620006-Why-police-roadside-assists-can-improve-community-relations/
Some law enforcement agencies may have difficulty affording the items I recommend for each police car (about $600) to do these assists. NOTE: Although I recommend these items, I am not involved in any way with providing them. Some agencies are requesting grants; here are two suggested places I have found to start that process: 1) PoliceOne recommends: https://www.policegrantshelp.com/; 2) Bureau of Justice Assistance suggested using the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program: https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5764. FY17 funds should be available in early July. The manager of the JAG program in Washington has told me that local agencies may apply for funding for tools to facilitate roadside assists.