CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS — As the nation grapples with police brutality, criminal justice experts at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi present a year-long study that identifies ways to improve police procedures.
This study is to help police agencies build more productive relationships with the communities they serve.
“But obviously, police interactions have been problematic much longer than our current situation. So we saw waves obviously in the 60s but then after the Rodney King beating in the 90s and then again repeated problems that were less public, ” said Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Dr. Wendi Pollock.
Aransas Pass Police Chief Eric Blanchard allowed the University to use their body camera footage to analyze the department’s problem-oriented policing techniques.
“So this is really unedited and real video that they had access to, over 600 videos they had access to. No video was off-limits to them; they were able to see anything they wanted,” said Blanchard.
“And we had to get all that cleared before so we could give an honest assessment. Some videos we can’t watch then we can’t really say we know what the police are doing,” said Pollock.
The University’s main focus on this year-long study was to look at police encounters between the Aransas Pass Police Department and the public.
“It is vital. What it does is two things; number one, it could save lives in the public; it could save police lives. If those interactions go better, both people are safer. Second, it also could increase transparency and that means the public world with the police, and police cannot do their job without public support,” said Pollock.
“If we don’t have their support, we can’t do our job effectively. It has to be a community partnership. What better way to have that to build up and bolster that community partnership than to have something like this, a neutral third-party study that has unfettered access to all records,” said Blanchard.
Chief Blanchard tells Kris 6 News that his police officers are human, and they will make mistakes, but hopefully, they can bring those mistakes to light, respond to them, approve upon them, and not repeat them.