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Police Innovation and Community Engagement Center Created

03/24/2021
Police Innovation and Community Engagement Center Created

Building on a national movement to recognize the benefits of data-driven, research-based outcomes related to the practice of policing in our communities, the city, the police department and Cedar Crest College are entering into a new collaborative partnership. 

The partnership will include the creation of the Center for Police Innovation and Community Engagement in Allentown, according to Mayor Ray O’Connell. “The City of Allentown, the Allentown Police Department and Cedar Crest College have strong histories of community partnerships, community outreach and an interest in better serving the communities we represent,” says O’Connell. “Each has agreed to enter a partnership and create the Center for Police Innovation and Community Engagement.”

City and college officials held a signing ceremony at the college's Alumnae Hall this morning cementing the relationship.

The Center aims to evaluate and support police practices in four areas: police strategy and practice; community outreach; police organization; and the transferability of nationally recognized police interventions. Through the sharing of data and the development of progressive measurement strategies, the college and city are attempting to implement practices that enhance the quality of life for city residents. 

The partnership will allow police administrators access to the evaluative tools and scholars capable of assisting the advancement of best practices to improve local policing. “Assessment, evaluation, and the effective development of police practices cannot occur in a vacuum and we must seek to expand our resources by partnering with agencies that possess the skills to assist in better understanding the roles policing and community engagement have in our community,” says APD Chief Glenn Granitz, Jr. 

Through this cooperative partnership the city, its police department, and Cedar Crest College recognize the value in building stronger communities through collaboration, cooperation and support. All three elements are represented in this new collaboration and each will be used as the cornerstone of the projects undertaken. 

“Using our aligned missions and motivated by the current trends in service to the community and higher education, an opportunity exists to address a national imperative that stresses the importance of collaboration, cooperation, and support,” says Elizabeth M. Meade, PhD, President of Cedar Crest College.

As part of this partnership, the city and police department will work with the researchers at Cedar Crest College to create a priority list of projects and initiatives from which the assessment work will be selected. 

The College is committing student internship resources (graduate and undergraduate) to the Department to assist in developing more detailed crime analysis services. Cedar Crest will also offer its campus facilities for several annual police training events, as part of the new collaborative partnership.

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