Socially Responsible Policing Through Public-Private Partnership

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Amidst the questions raised by events in Ferguson, Missouri and across the nation about police response to major crimes, public safety officers in Los Angeles are demonstrating what can be accomplished through sensitivity, compassion, and proactive outreach, says Andrews International, LLC

Amidst the questions raised by events in Ferguson, Missouri and across the nation about police response to major crimes, public safety officers in Los Angeles are demonstrating what can be accomplished through sensitivity, compassion, and proactive outreach. Since 2007, as part of a public-private partnership focused on community safety and quality of life solutions, security company Andrews International (AI), an affiliate of U.S. Security Associates, has operated a Community Assisted Problem Solving (CAPS) program in some of L.A.’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Through the program, CAPS officers provide private policing and problem resolution that effectively bridges the gap between law enforcement and the community.

While budgetary constraints leave local police little choice but to focus primarily on reactive enforcement, CAPS officers have the resources and support to actually serve as agents of change in the community. In partnership with law enforcement and assisted by community interest groups, social services agencies, and local businesses, CAPS officers focus on bridge building and problem solving. In practice, this can take many different forms.

On Thanksgiving Day, CAPS bicycle officers purchased meals to distribute to homeless people who were spending the holiday on the streets of Los Angeles. The officers delivered meals to 14 people, including a homeless man and his daughter, and a homeless mother and son. The same week, a homeless man with a history of volatility and violence toward authorities mentioned to a CAPS officer that he was saving money to buy a bicycle. The officer brought the man an extra bicycle he had at home and offered to help with parts and repairs to make the bike as good as new. A few days earlier, CAPS officers spoke with a young homeless man who was shivering in the cold on a street corner. One of the officers went into a nearby store and bought a jacket for the man with his own money.

Steve Seyler, executive security director of the Los Angeles area CAPS program, says generosity on the part of CAPS officers is the rule rather than the exception. CAPS officers are encouraged to take advantage of connections the CAPS team has fostered with a long list of local homeless outreach providers, rather than use their own money and resources. Many times, however, the officers see a need and are moved to help immediately, according to Seyler. “I commend these officers for their true goodwill and compassion.”

Bill Farrar, vice president of media, entertainment, and special armed services, is the senior security company executive responsible for L.A.-area CAPS operations. He describes CAPS as a balance between maintaining public safety and connecting those in need with those who can help. “CAPS officers are building bridges through hundreds of positive contacts every week. The more solutions we facilitate to improve quality of life, the less crime, and the less need for police enforcement,” Farrar says, pointing to a recent RAND report recognizing the successful reduction of crime in areas policed by CAPS officers. “We are proactively working every angle to make this community what we all want it to be. Safe. Secure. Friendly.”

About Andrews International, LLC
Andrews International, LLC headquartered in Los Angeles, California, is a full service provider of security and risk mitigation services with operations throughout the United States and internationally. The company offers uniformed security, consulting and investigative services, personal protection, special event security, training, alarm monitoring and response, and disaster emergency response services. For more information, please visit the Andrews International website at http://www.andrewsinternational.com or contact us at info@andrewsinternational.com.
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Brian Dooling
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U.S. Security Associates
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