St. Louis police launch new unit focused on community engagement

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ST. LOUIS , MISSOURI (KPLR) – City officials and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department announced Wednesday the formation of the Community Engagement and Organizational Development Division (CEOD), an office focused on strengthening relationships between the department and the citizens they serve.

The CEOD was formed to meet the needs of policing in the 21st century and ensure equal and respectful treatment while providing the highest quality of service to citizens.

A police lieutenant, two sergeants, and three officers comprise the unit.

Through various community outreach programs and strategies, the CEOD’s overall mission is to build, strengthen and sustain trusting relationships and partnerships within the city’s 79 neighborhoods.

Along with implementing community outreach programs, the CEOD will focus on organizational development and internal training. Training programs focused on ethics, de-escalation tactics, and implicit biases will provide officers with the tools necessary to better serve and communicate with citizens.

“The public’s trust in their police department, transparency and mutual respect are all paramount to building strong community partnerships,” said St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson. “Through organizational development, the CEOD will ensure officers have the training to more effectively communicate with citizens. It’s proven: officers cannot do their job alone. By engaging citizens, we can all work together to prevent and solve crime, making our city a safe place to live, work and visit.”

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