Police cannot arrest their way out of criminal activities in communities, that is for sure. Arresting all the bad actors law enforcement can get their hands on places a huge burden on the taxpayers and doesn’t really address the root of the problem. It requires a systemic shift to create lasting changes to the citizens of the community and prevent them from actively participating or passively supporting criminal activity – and this is what the Counter Criminal Continuum (C3) model of policing aims to deliver.
The city of Springfield in Massachusetts implemented C3 in specific areas within their jurisdiction and Michael Cutone and John Barbieri will talk about this initiative. Michael has a distinguished 21-year law enforcement career with the Massachusetts State Police and is a veteran of US Army Special Forces and Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns. Meanwhile, John retired in March 2019 as a commissioner after 31 years of distinguished service across different roles to the City of Springfield Police Department in Massachusetts.
Specifics of the webinar include:
- An overview of the city of Springfield, its population, economic conditions, the community’s lack of trust in law enforcement, and the criminal activity without crime intelligence it’s been dealing with.
- The “Tipping Point” moment and the height of violence that made apparent the need to realign law enforcement’s approach to fix the root of the problem.
- The leadership’s decision-making that resulted in the creation of Springfield’s C3 team in the North End.
- The composition of the C3 teams and a brief overview of the five essential tasks of the C3 team.
- A run-through of the C3 weekly community meeting – the participants and their input, how the meeting grew, and the projects that resulted from these meetings.
- The outcomes in terms of Compstat data, improved economic conditions, and better quality of life and public safety which allowed the program to be expanded in three other areas within the city.
- The building blocks of C3 policing that focuses on messaging and outreach, community engagement and empowerment, and undercover and other law enforcement operations.
- Juxtaposing C3 policing with community policing emphasizing the difference in the approach, the state of the community where they are implemented in, and the source of intelligence.
- The importance of buy-in from the leaders, officers and the community, the selection and training of the officers, and the commitment of the department to pursue the principles of C3.
- Principles and elements of C3 implementation that highlight…
- The fact that it is not a large-scale citywide program but one that is focused on the areas that need it the most.
- How it does not require new resources but utilizes existing ones.
- The swift results in reducing crime and gaining community trust.
Topics discussed during the Q&A were about:
- The meaning of C3 and the five goals/tasks.
- How a community member can suggest a similar project to their local agency/lawmakers.
- The immediate results of the program.
- Informing the community about the meetings.
- Other locations where C3 policing is being utilized.
- Opportunities for individuals who used to be involved in criminal activities through the C3 program.
- The effectiveness of community intelligence.
- Involvement of mental health providers in C3 efforts.
- Requirements for the officers who’ll be a part of the C3 teams.
- “With policing in a negative light right now, this was an innovative way to stay involved and give the community the opportunity to see what we really do and help us on the front line.” — Tracy
- “This is one the most interesting webinars I have watched. Great job.” — Ronald
- “With engagement throughout the Webinar and throughout Springfield communities, the C3 presenters exemplify ways proactive, even preventive, efforts can match concern with collaboration and capacity, so homes are no longer battle zones.” — Philip
- “I really liked the idea of having the police work more directly with community partners and business leaders to provide additional opportunities for those in impoverished communities.” — Megan
- “PLEASE repeat this webinar!!! This project must be implemented in ALL high-crime areas!! Choosing the officers with the right temperament is the start to a successful program. Thank you!” — Roseann