On March 10th and 14th, the Burlington Police Department hosted dynamic community-based strategic planning workshops that involved Burlington residents in determining the direction for the Burlington Police Department over the next 3-5 years. An average of 25 community members participated in each session. Participants spent 4 hours engaging with one another and law enforcement officers as the Chief of Police, Jeffrey Smythe, guided them through small-group visioning and planning exercises.
“So far, we have had two sessions with excellent attendance; I’ve been so impressed with the diversity of input that we have received,” commented Chief Smythe. “These sessions are a remarkable opportunity for citizens to engage in strategic planning with the police department and to create a vision for a better department.”
Gene Boswell and his wife participated in a community-based strategic planning session held at the Burlington Housing Authority. He commented that the sessions were “bridging the gap between the community and the Burlington Police Department.”
After a very successful Community Forum on police-community relations held on January 8th, the Burlington Police Department decided to build on the community engagement by inviting them to help plan for the future of police services in Burlington. Through these community-based strategic planning sessions, the Department hopes to continue to learn more about the kinds and quality of police services that the community desires. Each session consists of 20-25 residents and 7-8 officers. The sessions involve a detailed exchange of information and ideas, brainstorming, and planning.
Tammy Cobb attended a community-based strategic planning session on March 10th at the Kernodle Senior Center. “The Burlington Police Department planning sessions offer residents and concerned citizens an insight to the tremendous efforts of our officers and administration,” said Ms. Cobb. “It provides an opportunity for us to be active contributors to future plans that will impact our community.”
There are still slots available for residents to participate in any one of four upcoming community-based strategic planning sessions. The remaining session will be held at various local venues; residents may select which date and location is most convenient for them. The Burlington Police Department strongly encourages attendance as resident input is vital to the strategic planning process and the future of the Burlington Police Department.
Community members should RSVP to the session of their choice as soon as possible by emailing Iris Caballero at firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting her at (336) 229-3546.
View photos from the first two sessions here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/burlingtonnc/sets/72157651544134092/