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How high profile police cases affect local police and community relationships

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Police and Community Relationships

CARBONDALE, Ill. (WSIL) -- With the high-profile case of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, News 3 decided to look at how the trial could impact how law enforcement interacts with the public.

We spoke with Professor Tammy Rinehart Kochel of the SIU-Carbondale Criminology and Criminal Justice Department. Kochel told us, she's completed years of applied research from partnerships with police departments like those in Saint Louis County.

On Friday night, she broke down the impacts a trial like this could have on "the police-and-community relationship" and how they can make them better.

Professor Kochel said there are four key tactics police can apply from implementing community policing practices to improving accountability for wrong-doing.

"As well as increasing accountability and so establishing complaint procedures that are easy for the public to use, and then following up on those complaints, investigating those complaints Providing appropriate or wrong behaviors by the officer or even departments as a whole," said Rinehart-Kochel.

Another interesting topic Kochel spoke about on News 3 is the impact of how smartphones are affecting policing, especially now that everyone has one.

"Not just on smartphones, but also on body cameras since we have many departments now that are using body cameras. It can have two effects I think. On the one hand, what we are hoping for, and in one effect that can happen is that officers can. Officers are mindful that they are being recorded so they are attentive to being respectful in their treatment, fair and professional in how they apply discretion and the law," said Kochel.

Kochel ended her thought by stating that being recorded can add additional pressures to the officers causing them to escalate to a quicker arrest instead of finding other solutions.

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Denise Turner

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