Monday, June 4, 2007

APD Weed and Seed and Community Policing

Alexandria Police Chief Daren Coutee is on record trying to revive the community policing idea in the city of Alexandria.

From Wikipedia we learn this about community policing..."Community policing is a political philosophy in which the police and police department are seen as members of the community, with police officers being part of where they live and work. Cities and counties that subscribe to this philosophy tend to do much more community work than traditional police departments. This often includes having more police officers who "walk the beat" as opposed to driving around in police cars. The basic idea is to create bonds of trust and reliance between police and the public."

Zone 4 commonly known as the Sonja Quarters has been the home of a program Coutee calls "Weed and Seed". Mid January KALB-TV Reporter Joel Massey spoke with Pastor Floyd Kirts about the Weed and Seed program in his community. He said the crime situation was getting better and he told Joel it had improved was because of the increase in police presence.

Coutee said in January "we weed out the bad, re-institute order in the community and then the seed portion is done by the residents to refurbish, rebuild and re-institute pride … It does work. If the people in the area want to become involved."

Kirts gave his take as well by saying it took more than just the police "Pastors, preachers, grandparents, mothers, it's everybody. The old cliche says it takes a village to raise a child. So I'm hoping that everybody in this area will come together and say let's do it together."

Six months later the Chief is still taking steps to add police to his staff and is points toward community policing as a way to combat crime.

But will it work?

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