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Shelton Haynes Recognizes the Importance of Communications Between Officers and Residents

Public Saftey Is A Top Priority

George Floyd. Salaythis Melvin. Rayshard Brooks. These are names that will live on in infamy because of the way that these men died in police hands. Still, Shelton Haynes knows that his public safety officers on Roosevelt Island understand the importance of keeping the lines of communication open between officers and residents of the island. Nestled in the East River between Queens and Manhattan, the island has a long history as a strong community with a small-town feel. With plenty of plans for growth on the island, Haynes knows that it's important to handle this growth without losing that vital feeling of community, a value that is shared with his team at the Public Safety Department.

Shelton Haynes Takes A New Approach

Taking a softer approach to community policing as compared to traditional police operations, Shelton Haynes recognizes the importance of having officers out in the streets, interacting with residents, and providing positive contact and assistance when needed. Noting a recent study by Princeton University that found that positive contact with peace officers created significant improvement in the attitudes residents took towards the public safety officers, including interactions such as door-to-door non-enforcement visits from community police, Haynes mentions, "Going forward, I want us to be the model."

Residents of the two-mile-long island are much more likely to run into officers at community events than in an extreme situation, and they know that they can bring up their concerns without being treated badly due to the interaction. This free communication allows the public safety officers to get to know the community around them, making it easier for them to do their jobs and keep the streets of Roosevelt Island safe. 

Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Invests in the Future

Part of this process requires extreme commitment from the officers, which has earned respect and trust of the New York Police Department, with the NYPD Academy providing similar training to the peace officers on Roosevelt Island as it does to the rest of the police force in the city. In the future, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, of which Shelton Haynes is CEO, will be investing more resources into officer training so that the island is able to retain its outstanding sense of community, even while undergoing outstanding growth. The vital work that the Public Safety Department does helps the community succeed by taking the time to communicate with the community at large. "We're going to have a lot more dialogue with the community," Haynes states.

To keep the community secure, the peace officers need to regularly converse with island residents because having public safety officers as a regular part of the community improves trust. Shelton Haynes knows that this trust will be important as Roosevelt Island's population and popularity continue to grow. Without this level of trust between the public and the police on Roosevelt Island, the neighborhood community culture that has grown there would be virtually impossible to sustain in the future.

Shelton Haynes Recognizes the Importance of Communications Between Officers and Residents



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