The Office of Community Affairs (OCA), comprised of the Community Policing Unit, Community Service Team, Social Services Coordinator, Community Collaborator and Pastors on Patrol, works to build trust within our community. The division focuses on initiatives that align with the goals of Imagine Kalamazoo 2025, including supporting youth development, creating a safer community, and demonstrating good governance. Each unit within the division plays a role in providing services to our community that support these initiatives, with the overall goal of creating a safer environment for those living in, working in, or visiting the City of Kalamazoo.
The three divisional priorities of the Office of Community Affairs are Collaboration, Education, and Outreach.
- Collaboration - Focus on internal and external collaboration to proactively and reactively problem solve.
- Education - Focus on service delivery and problem-solving through public education.
- Outreach - Focus on creating, promoting, and sustaining engagement opportunities with the community to build trust and increase transparency/legitimacy.
The role of Community Collaborator helps to foster strong community relationships which includes bridging the gap between our local community stakeholders and KDPS.
Building relationships with the community begins with listening. We engage in community conversations with the City’s core Neighborhood Associations by attending meetings and incorporating the Neighborhood Director’s input when coordinating KDPS community events. We have other partners such as schools, universities, and community organizations.
This allowed us to continue to strengthen relationship between KDPS, Neighborhood Association Directors and the residents they serve.
As Community Collaborator, the importance of understanding our community’s dynamics, having the ability to connect with residents on a greater level and provide resources when needed is key for successful engagement.