Communities and Social Change
We are all qualified to be ambassadors of positive change in the society. Upholding of human rights should be a fundamental principle in the society. Every person in the community must participate in ensuring there are peace and security. The law must also be applicable to all since nobody is too supreme to account for his/her actions. Political leaders should be at the forefront in enlightening the community members on the legal government requirements. Several avenues for discussing pressing issues in the society should be created and made free and open to the public. Such avenues enable the leaders to understand the public demands and easily come up with ways of implementation.
Mayor Baraka is a political leader in the city of Newark who believes in listening to the public’s opinion before making a final decision on security matters. He decides to invite the public to attend a discussion forum and ask questions after listening to his ideas and those of other leaders. The members of the panel are professional representatives from various government departments. The city police director and a judicial officer are in attendance. A criminal justice expert is also part of the panel. The New Jersey Performing Arts Center Victoria Theater is the venue of choice. It is a fine art building with an atmosphere that is favorable and pleasant to all. The internal space is big enough to accommodate a huge population. Majority of community members should, for this reason, feel free and comfortable to attend the meeting. The time allocation for the meeting considered the busy schedule of community members. The official time is for this reason in the evening when most people are back from work and free.. The main agenda of the meeting is to discuss on public safety and violence.
The meeting goes on in a smooth and systematic manner since there is a moderator who ensures every community expert gets enough and equal time in making comments. The moderator is a university Vice-Chancellor, who understands policies on public relations. She moderates the discussion while interconnecting the comments from all panellists to demonstrate where they link. She touches on sensitive security issues of concern within Newark. Her deep knowledge of community affairs and public relations provides an opportunity to make people work together. All citizens that are in attendance should listen carefully and wait for the moderator of the discussion to allow them to make contributions. Citizens will ask questions and give opinions on the measures that need to be in place. After moderating the discussion, she makes the public and all leaders come up with a common line of thought in finding a solution.
The mayor explains his plan to promote the existence of a mutual relationship between security forces (The police) and the public in enhancing security. Public participation will enhance obtaining security information by the intelligence officers. Applicable Security measures must prevent the occurrence of any form of crime. He prefers assigning duties to the security officers in all parts of the city. Entry points to the city like the airport and seaport will be under twenty-four hour surveillance. No incidences of attacks by terror groups or disease outbreaks should be in existence. There are various professional teams from the security and public health departments who are at the sites. The mayor has given an open invitation to various security stakeholders to join his agenda. Invitations have extended to neighboring cities, the state, and federal agencies. They should all work closely through sharing past experiences and best strategic approaches in handling security challenges. The mayor believes that every person who is visiting or traveling through the city must feel secure at all times. He proposes creating employment opportunities to make people earn a decent living and shun from criminal activities. The young generations should have a nice education and training policy to equip them with necessary skills that will boost the economy. All law offenders must undergo a rehabilitation program and later enrol in community development projects.
The police director is a state official with a mandate of ensuring security exists throughout the city. He represents the government and explains the relevant steps his Department has taken in maintaining security. He commands all the police departments and oversees their daily mandate. Every security matter is reported to him immediately. He then takes action by giving specific orders and directions. The police inspect all areas where potential criminal gangs and activities are likely to occur. There are a Drug and Gang Task Force Unit, which investigates and then makes arrests of drug traffickers. The vice of drugs and substance abuse leads to a rampant spread of criminal activities amongst the youth. Drug traffickers are arrested and charged before the courts of law. All the addicts go to rehabilitation centers where they are trained to the best ways of living a drug-free life. When they leave the rehab, they become health ambassadors and assist in fighting the drug vice. The crime rate has greatly dropped due to the active role played by the police in stopping the use of illegal drugs.
The judicial representative educates the people in the way the law has been handling criminal cases. She describes the various forms of crimes that happen in Newark city. The crimes range from homicide, sexual assault, child abuse to domestic violence. As a prosecutor, she conducts thorough investigations on criminal activities with an aim of gaining vital evidence to charge a perpetrator of a crime. Her mandate as a court official is to ensure all citizens are law abiding and anyone who contravenes the law accounts for their actions by serving a jail term or participates in voluntary community service.
The criminal justice expert puts a check and balance on the judicial system. He ensures that the process of rehabilitating criminals is in a professional way that does not compromise their rights as human beings. Criminals are members of the society with the right to good health, food and education. When taken good care of, they easily leave their dark past behind and start participating in community development projects. He works closely with the civil society groups that fight for the rights of all citizens including the criminals. These societies provide rehabilitation advice and support to the government. They also take complaints to the courts of law whenever a criminal’s right is at stake. The criminal justice expert, civil society, and government formulate what they believe are the best programs that need to be applicable to all rehabilitation centers. In general, they all ensure that members of the public enjoy government protection from perpetrators of criminal activities. At the same time, criminals must be subjected to systems that provide fair justice to all.
Community members must, for this reason, be ready and willing to work closely with their leaders and security agencies in enhancing security. Citizens who stay together understand the kind of activities their neighbors do on a daily basis. For this reason, they must be watchful to spot any person who contravenes the law and is likely to be a security threat. Relevant security information must be given to the police for investigations to take place. Residents of Newark city practice their democratic right by asking the mayor questions about his plans to curb insecurity. This practice of making leaders accountable is so important since it helps in analyzing their performance. These discussion forums also create a mutual understanding between people and their leaders. There is a direct communication between the two, and for this reason they get to understand each other more.
The media is a great community partner in enhancing security. Its mandate is to record every discussion in the meeting and then disseminate the information. Information can reach the entire population through live broadcasting on television or via the radios. Information can also be printed and sent out to the public in newspapers and magazines. A greater advantage is the fact that recorded information can be stored and used later for reference. The target population receives the information and makes an analysis of all the suggestions that are available. They can use the same channels to either oppose or propose alternative ways of curbing insecurity. Such a platform is very efficient and affordable by most people. Information in media sources can also be on display at any time a person wants to have access.
In conclusion, fighting crime should be a mandate of all people in the society. To promote sustainable peace effectively, the leaders, police and members of the public must work together. A criminal can be a friend or neighbour and must not be hidden from the authorities. Without any fear or favor, public safety can easily be enhanced by arresting criminals and sending drug addicts to rehabilitation centers. Allowing the youth to use drugs is an avenue of breeding criminal characters. Police must move freely and patrol the streets, entry and exit points to the towns. Our towns should use professionals to formulate the best security policies that people will easily implement.