Newly appointed police chief Pamela Smith speaks at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C., on July 17, 2023. (Amanda Andrade-Rhoades for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Smith, to her credit, reveals that her plans revolve around ensuring that the public sees her as often as possible: “The community wants the police to be the police and do so in a constitutional, safe, and respectful manner. Make no mistake about it: I will be laser-focused to ensure we do everything we can in this space. What I want folks to know about Pamela Smith is that I will be a visible chief. I will conduct safety walks in all of our districts, PSAs. I will meet folks probably at inopportune times. Folks will see me showing up in places and spaces, not because other chiefs have not but because I live here, and it’s important to me that the members feel safe in the District.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – FEBRUARY 28: Pamela Smith, Chief of the U.S. Park Police, speaks during a press conference on February 28, 2022 in Washington, District of Columbia. (Photo by Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Among Smith’s top priorities is curbing the violent crime rate among juveniles, and she wants to reach out to parents to help accomplish this goal. She is also focusing on increasing the use of “hot-spot” policing, which is going into areas where there is a lot of crime and policing those areas. The database of police practices Crime Solutions rates this practice as promising for reducing violent crime and effective at reducing overall crime, which makes Smith’s focus on this practice useful, particularly as the department grapples with staffing shortages. Smith is the first Black chief of police that D.C. has had, and she takes over at a critical time for the department. Smith must still be officially confirmed by the District of Colombia’s City Council, which could get messy. Still, Smith is seen as a strong candidate with an established track record of improving the perception of the departments she has worked for.
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Source: Black Enterprise