Pharr’s new police chief wants to create a culture of compassion in his department.
The city on Friday announced that Chief Andy Harvey has implemented a new policing strategy, which roots in compassionate values and a social contract that will act as a guiding principle for each and every decision made by law enforcement from the administration down to patrol.
“A few months into his tenure leading the City of Pharr’s police department, Chief Andy Harvey’s priority has been to strategically lead the department’s force by example, modeling a unifying and respectful leadership style to unite the department into implementing systemic and sustainable positive change,” a news release states. “With law enforcement across the country recently taking the spotlight in the public realm, leading discussions regarding social justice, criminal justice, and policing, Harvey’s approach aims to shift the paradigm of the relationship between law enforcement and the community by creating a culture of compassion among the city’s police force.”
The city says the new policy was shaped after months of strategic planning, discussion and some fine-tuning before its new mission, vision, core values and social contract was introduced to the Pharr community.
The department says in the release that it is adopting the C.A.R.E. philosophy, which is an acronym for compassion, accountable, resilient and excellence.
Through compassion, Pharr police will seek to create partnerships with the community while serving with respect and dignity. By accountability, police say they will develop community equity and mutual respect while promoting innovation, self-development and wellness.
“We shall enhance and protect the quality of life for all who live, work, or visit the City of Pharr,” the news release states.
By being resilient, police say they will develop strategies with stakeholders to address challenges and demands of the community while addressing the overall wellbeing of officers.
“We aim for excellence in everything that we do. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of ethical conduct by setting the example and having the moral courage to defend the constitution and uphold the law,” the release states.
The new mission statement says: “The Pharr Police Department values the constitutional rights of all people, and will create collaborative relationships built on trust, which will reduce crime, fear, and enhance quality of life.”
The social contract was developed and anticipated in an effort to respond to and prevent potential negative public perception of law enforcement and represents the commitment that the department, command staff, officers, investigators and support staff have pledged to the community, according to the release.
“The members of the City of Pharr Police Department agree to be professional, honorable, and supportive in their influences with each other and to our citizens by encouraging a positive caring environment through valuing the constitutional rights of all people, and creating collaborative relationships built on trust, therefore, reducing crime, fear, and enhancing the quality of life,” the news release states.
According to the social contract, the city says members of the police department agree to the C.A.R.E. philosophy and will hold themselves accountable while giving 100% to the department’s mission.
“In the event of conflict we agree to address issues promptly, discreetly, and one-on-one. We will listen openly, be factual, give feedback, as we seek resolution. We agree to accept responsibility for our actions, be understanding of the other person’s concern, and show compassion for each other; and to work together with mutual respect, and if necessary, seek mediation through the chain of command,” the release states.