In Galveston and in many communities, families measure their quality of life by available jobs, strong schools, and personal security. GPD's community relations programs address the latter. National research shows that when residents have an increased comfort level with police officers, they feel safer in their homes and in their communities. They are more likely to communicate and collaborate with officers over mutual concerns, and they feel empowered to solve neighborhood issues. Knowing a police officer is a factor in whether or not a person follows simple crime reduction recommendations such as locking the car and house and providing sufficient outside lighting.
Increasing the comfort level of citizens with officers - who represent authority figures - is a step toward engaging citizens and police in a more cooperative effort to deal with neighborhood issues. The ultimate goal is to reduce the actual incidence of crime and to increase a feeling of neighborhood security and well being.