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Law enforcement, political leaders say police, public need to come together

Officials gather to mark Community Policing Week


Law enforcement and political leaders gathering Tuesday in Nashua in recognition of Community Policing Week said that police and the public need to come closer together instead of being driven apart.

Police said they and the community need to work together to solve crimes and to keep each other safe.

"When officers take the time to connect with and build the trust of the individuals that they protect, it helps our communities be safer," said U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H. "It helps keep officers safer."

Police have been one of the groups on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Law enforcement was also the focus of backlash after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and several other high-profile cases involving police and people of color.

The racial unrest across the country that followed prompted Gov. Chris Sununu to establish a commission to examine all police practices.

"There's always things we can do differently and better, and I think many of these recommendations coming forward will help us do better in what we do, how we do our jobs and also connecting with our community," said Hanover Police Chief Charlie Dennis.

The goal of community policing is to eliminate fear and build trust through programs such as police athletic leagues, neighborhood watches and talking face to face.

"Who knows better where problems are, who are the people in our community that are causing issues, what level of patrol is working best and how the police can be most effective than the community itself?" said Lt. Mark Morrison, of the New Hampshire Police Association.

All 48 recommendations that came out of the law enforcement accountability commission were accepted by the governor.