Insight from WFPD: Being visible to support your reality
Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe. What we believe is based upon our perceptions. What we perceive depends upon what we look for. What we look for depends upon what we think. What we think depends upon what we perceive. What we perceive determines what we believe. What we believe determines what we take to be true. What we take to be true is our reality. Quote from Gary Zukav.
We are sometimes asked why police officers wear uniforms and drive marked patrol cars. It is suggested that law enforcement could catch more people breaking the law by blending in and not being so visible. While it is probably true, our purpose is to deter unlawful behavior not just arrest people.
Our uniform establishes a command presence, a show of authority. The command presence is recognized on the response to resistance scale used by law enforcement to encourage compliance. The presence of a uniformed officer has a psychological affect on a person which can either provide a feeling of comfort or raise the level of concern of punishment for doing wrong.
Likewise, a marked police patrol vehicle parked along the roadway or moving through a neighborhood causes us to pause to check our behaviors. A glance at the speedometer to check our speed, an extra moment at the stop sign to make sure it was a full stop. The vehicles are marked to be seen from some distance so the area of influence may be expanded.
The department uses other techniques to influence behaviors. Listing court proceedings in the paper reflects recent enforcement activities. A long list of violations and names you may recognize leads you to believe it could happen to you. The department's announcements of pre and post enforcement events adds the awareness in the community and is reinforced through the public seeing traffic stops being performed in their area.
The role of law enforcement in the community is that of the protector and enforcer. By being visible a level of comfort by the public is gained. By being visible a level of deterrence of illegal behaviors is obtained. By being visible a level of apprehension of enforcement actions is retained. We want your reality to be the knowledge we will be there to protect and to serve.