Lights ... Cameras ... Community Policing!
by Paul Bass | Oct 17, 2012 2:28 pm
Posted to: Legal Writes, Media
The fourth-floor conference room at police headquarters was the scene Tuesday of weekly meeting of top cops and community members—as well as the setting for a possible scene in a documentary about how a department puts community policing into practice.
It was the police department’s weekly Compstat meeting, when top neighborhood cops review the week’s crime statistics and law enforcement and community agencies discuss crime trends and prevention strategies. The lively weekly encounters have grown, attracting 70 or more people a week, as Chief Dean Esserman has rolled out a new community policing program this year.
Yale law students Eric Parrie, Tom Maher and Ivy Wang (from left in top photo) now plan to spend months watching that program unfold. They showed up at Tuesday morning’s meeting, cameras in tow, to begin filming a documentary for the Yale Visual Law Project. (Read about that and watch some of the docs here.)
They zoomed in on police district managers reporting on crime trends in their neighborhoods, chiefs recapping the arrests of gang members in the shooting a 16-month-old boy, street outreach workers weighing in.
“We’re going to be embedded with the department,” reported Parrie.
A sign posted by the entrance to the room informed participants that they would be filmed.
City police spokesman Officer David Hartman (at right in photo) informed people in the room about the documentary.
“They will have full access to every room and person in this department,” Hartman said. “We will be respectful to people who don’t want to be on camera.” But he “encourage[d] people to interact with them.”