Police are trying to re-connect with residents in their communities and provide more personal service through community policing. The key to this kind of law enforcement is getting more involved, being more visible and earning the trust of residents through your actions.
In Herculaneum, Missouri police created a program called R-U-OKAY. Police asked elderly residents in the small town if they would like to get regular calls and visits from officers. Nineteen people signed up for the program. It may not fit the traditional definition of community policing, but it's very effective, especially in a close-knit town with little violent crime.
Joy Urban, an eighty year old widow, suggested we do a story about the program. She told me that "it means a lot to have someone who cares that much for you."
Police Chief Chris Pigg told me officers are there to protect and serve, adding that service is critical.
I agree. It may not be reasonable in cities with shrinking budgets and high crime, but it works in Herculaneum, and it could work in many other communities where the police department's responsibility to serve is considered just as important as its need to protect.