21st Century Policing
The President's Task Force Report on 21st Century Policing created a road map for the future of policing and provides clear direction on how to build trust with the public, while safeguarding officer well-being and effective crime reduction. The information below provides more detail about departmental initiatives that highlight our commitment to 21st Century Policing.
Recent national events have put focus on how police departments use force, how officers are held accountable, how they are trained, and what steps can be taken to make policing better for everyone in the community. We hear you. We are dedicated – and bound by policy, law, and humanity – to treat every person equally and with respect.
Body Worn Cameras
Law enforcement agencies across the United States and throughout the world are using body-worn cameras (BWCs). Body-worn cameras have proven to be a valuable tool to improve evidentiary outcomes, and enhance the safety of, and improve interactions between, officers and the public. Since 2020, every University Park Police Officer has been assigned a body worn camera and per departmental policy is required to activate it on all traffic stops, and certain interactions with community members.
University Park Police has a robust program to train officers in mental health situations. All University Park Police Officers complete Mental Health First Aid for Police Officer certification within their first 6 months on the job. Police officers are often the first people to contact someone in a mental health crisis. University Park Police has focused significant resources on preparing officers for these encounters, partnering with clinicians, and tracking these incidents for follow-up. The goal is to prevent people who may be in crisis from hurting themselves or someone else, and to refer them to appropriate services.
The University Park Police Department has been accepted into the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) Project, Georgetown University Law Center’s national training and support initiative for U.S. law enforcement agencies committed to building a culture of peer intervention that prevents harm. By demonstrating agency commitment to transformational reform with support from local community groups and elected leaders, University Park Police join a select group of more than 90 other law enforcement agencies and statewide and regional training academies chosen to participate in the ABLE Project’s national rollout. University Park Police is the first law enforcement agency in Prince George’s County to have its Chief of Police complete the A.B.L.E. instructors’ course and the entire police department complete A.B.L.E. training.
The University Park Police is environmentally a conscious agency and less fossil fuel dependent. Since 2020, we have transitioned our fleet of vehicles from traditional gas-powered police cruisers to hybrid police vehicles to improve fuel efficiency and conserve more energy, thus emitting fewer carbon emissions.