Like over 13,000 others, I viewed the mayor and police commissioner speak on their plans for crime prevention on Facebook. At least now I don’t have to wonder if the newspapers are making things up or taking quotes out of context. I saw and heard for myself exactly what’s written on Delcotimes.com.

There were more than a few things said that made me scratch my head, but the fact that city government is coming out to speak to us about crime prevention is a great start and needs to be encouraged, participated in, continued, and refined.

However, the order in which the city is communicating seems totally backwards to me…(and I know it’s just me).

If I were planning a week of communications, it would start with

1) meeting with the community, taking the information gathered there to

2) share with the police, city, county and other officials, then

3) having a press conference to announce a plan.

The city decided to

1) have a press conference to announce a plan,

2) talk to the law enforcement community, then

3) talk to the community residents.

We can already see why that’s a backwards approach.

Yesterday’s press conference reveled plans and information that law enforcement and the residents had no input on (I guess). Instead of gathering information from residents first, all you’re going to hear is reaction to yesterday’s press conference when the city meets with residents on Thursday night. That’s the meeting that needs to be Facebook Live…or Worldstar.

With only a couple hours between meetings, will any take aways from the Thursday morning roundtable discussion of local and regional leaders in policing be shared in the community meeting on Thursday night?

It seems more logical that the community should be offering suggestions and recommendations which are passed up to the local and regional leaders in policing to help form a set of steps or policy that would be announced at a press conference as the final step, with the hope that we ‘rinse and repeat’ that process several times…at least once a quarter.

When residents see they’re the last to be consulted, especially after the public has been notified of the plans, and after the police folks decide on their behalf, it does little to endear a community to its leaders.

Residents don’t expect to have the final say, but they certainly don’t want to be the last to have a say.