Redondo Beach Chief of Police Keith Kaufmann encourages his police force to connect with the community in positive and innovative ways.
He actively seeks out the micro communities that make Redondo Beach so unique – such as surfers, musicians, and the skate community. We sat down with the Chief to hear more about why this community approach to policing is so valuable.
Partial transcript below:
“We don’t always want them to see us when there’s a problem. We try to build trust, and we do that when there’s not a problem. That’s why these community engagement events, I think, work really, really well.
What was really cool was I got to talk to this one band, and they ended up winning. They played at the BeachLife Festival. I mean huge, right? That was like the biggest thing Redondo Beach has ever seen. Here’s this kid band on the stage there. That was really cool. I got to go watch them play. Then, after the set was over, I went backstage there and talked to them. They were like, ‘Oh, my god. This is the greatest thing ever.’ … Now, they know, hey, whoa, that that police department’s like connected, so more people are going to come out. It’s really, really cool.
I’ve had the same thing happen with surfing. I’m at the surf competition, and I’m looking at the people that are there. I’m like, ‘Whoa.’ I know who some of these guys are because I surf every day, and they don’t know who I am but I’m thinking I can’t believe that that person is here.
The reason we do all of these … I mean, how does it relate back to law enforcement? It relates because these micro-communities, our community in general, they see us do that, and it builds trust. They’ll call us more. They’ll connect with us more. That’s what makes the community safer. A lot of times, people think, ‘Well, to make a community safe, you have to have a police force that is out there and they’re enforcing crime.’ Yes, you do, but what do we have? Today, we have 93 police officers, and we have a community of 67,000 people. We have to go out and police them. I mean we can only do that through this community. We do these events because it’s our vision.
We are the community leading the way in law enforcement.