I recently was invited by a friend who is an NOPD officer to attend a mediation facilitated by members of the Office of Independent Police Monitor. My role was to be his support person and chime in as needed during the discussion.
Across the table was a highly agitated fellow whom my friend has cited and arrested numerous times over the years. Their relationship is replicated endless times around the county and world between police officers and problem people on their beats.
It was a fiery exchange of allegations and not-so-subtle threats which my friend weathered with trademark calm. It provided a ringside seat for how measures to foster understanding between officers and the public they encounter can also be abused by career criminals to berate and accuse an officer.
We emerged the same as we went in, two supporters of proactive policing and community partnerships facing a proponent of crime & excuse making. The experience once again made me appreciate policing in what I call a ” post-police : city where law enforcement is overseen by folks who confuse our streets with mythical Mayberry from the Andy Griffith Show.
As a friend and safety advocate, I could do no less than honor his request to be a support person.
Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, safety advocate in an unsafe city.