2017 Bright Idea
City of Roanoke, VA
January 1, 2017

The Roanoke Police Department began the transition toward community-oriented policing at the end of the last century. This transition evolved over time to a department-wide philosophy that is currently supported by a revamped organizational structure emphasizing procedural justice. This move to the new organizational structure decentralized standard police services, eliminated specialty units, and encouraged officers to actively engage in multiple roles from order maintenance to community engagement and self-initiated investigations. In 2014, this restructuring culminated in the department implementing a citizen-centric policing model built on the four tenets of procedural justice: citizen voice, fairness and neutrality, dignity, and respect. Combining this policing philosophy with a major organizational change emphasizing autonomy and more lateral decision-making, the department is moving forward with greater transparency and citizen engagement.