The City of Florence has introduced a new community police plan designed to get residents acquainted with their local law enforcement officers. Officially titled “Polizia di Comunità,” the program went into effect on October 4 and provides 88 security points, 47 of which are active at publication of this article, across Florence’s five administrative districts. Approximately 100 officers will be distributed accordingly.
Security points are not active 24/7 but will provide a neighborhood meeting place for residents and police officers to share concerns during set days and times. Frequencies (weekly, twice-monthly or monthly) of the service vary by district and have been determined in collaboration with each neighborhood council's president. An interactive Google map accessible from the City of Florence website shows the locations and operational frequency of all 88 points, although more specific hours and days will not be available until November.
Active, dynamic presence in each neighborhood is also a priority: while some officers will be stationed at the designated security point, others will patrol neighborhoods on foot. The objective is twofold: deterring uncivil behavior and creating constant contact between city police and the community. For the latter goal, the police force will aim to ensure that officers are regularly sent to the same neighborhoods in order to create real familiarity.
Municipal police captain Alessandro Casale highlighted how 46 officers volunteered for the service when he asked who was willing to take part. "In many cases, young agents were particularly motivated for this type of activity and will be further trained," Casale said in a statement. The 46 officers who stepped up will be joined by a rotating group of 54 colleagues.
Mayor Dario Nardella added, "This service, which touches all local neighborhoods, including the outskirts, does not cost one more euro to the Florentine community and is the result of a major reorganization and recent recruitment of new agents. We hope that citizens will respond positively to the new service by establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with neighborhood officers, in the interest of maintaining security throughout the city. "