With population growth and industrialization, law enforcement evolved into organized police forces where foot officers walked a beat and protected the public peace. The beat officer was a calming and familiar presence who knew the families and the ruffians that lived in his area of responsibility and relied on his relationship with individuals in the community to solve crime.
Although modern policing is often defined by enhanced technology, rapid response and specialization, the most critical factor in addressing criminal activity and maintaining a high quality of life in the community still rests with citizen involvement. Community policing guru Robert Trojanowicz opines that success in law enforcement rests on the philosophy that “law-abiding citizens in the community deserve input into the police process in exchange for their participation and support.”
Consistent with this philosophy, the Town of Telluride formed the Telluride Marshal’s Department Citizen’s Advisory Board.
According to charter, the Citizen’s Advisory Board (CAB) acts as a liaison to the general populace, promoting the welfare of the community and advocating for public safety issues. The CAB acts in an advisory capacity to Town Council and the Marshal’s Department with their primary goal being to promote outreach to the public and the acquisition of public input regarding the priorities and operations of the Marshal’s Department. Communication and education between the community and its Marshal’s Department are central to building partnerships dedicated to the reduction of crime, fear of crime and enhancing the quality of life in Telluride.
Town Council hopes to establish a broad citizen representation with access and influence within particular segments of the community. A diverse representation with an understanding of the social and cultural influences that affect the police/citizen relationship can provide a broader and richer base of experience from which to approach problem solving efforts.
Recently, the Town advertised an open application period for citizens interested in becoming involved with the Citizen’s Advisory Board. The application period is being extended to allow interested citizens an opportunity to apply. As the Chief Marshal, I look forward to community participation and partnering with our citizens in exploring creative, new ways of addressing community concerns.