Public Safety Message: Engaging with Our Community

RPD Engaging with the CommunityBy Chief Don Hutson

In 1829, Sir Robert Peel established the London Metropolitan Police Force. He became known as the “Father of Modern Policing,” and his commissioners established a list of policing principles that, amazingly, are as relevant today as ever in our history. I have always been impressed with how perfect these principles capture what I believe is the concept of community-oriented policing, and I referred to these principles frequently when we were in the process of establishing the Riverton Police Department in 2019.

It is my belief these tenets can only be applied if the officers who make up the department share the same philosophies. I believe the officers of the Riverton Police Department demonstrate these principles and truly embrace the idea found in Principle 7; “Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police.”

In short, we can only be effective as a police department when we are recognized as being one with the community and when we display our common values. Riverton is a great community, and I am thankful every day that we have been embraced by you and I am proud to be an integral part of what makes Riverton such a wonderful city.

That said, the following list is a summary of the founding principles espoused by Sir Robert Peel and the template utilized to form your Riverton Police Department:

PRINCIPLE 1: “The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.”

PRINCIPLE 2: “The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.”

PRINCIPLE 3: “Police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.”

PRINCIPLE 4: “The degree of cooperation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.”

PRINCIPLE 5: “Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to the public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.”

PRINCIPLE 6: “Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.”

PRINCIPLE 7: “Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”

PRINCIPLE 8: “Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.”

PRINCIPLE 9: “The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.”

I look forward to continuing to engage with our community to ensure the Riverton Police Department accurately reflects the core principles and values of Riverton City.

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