By now, we’ve all heard about the trouble between the police and the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri, linked to the shooting death of an unarmed teenager. The incident sparked debate among police departments across the nation, and triggered many of them to take a harder look at their dealings with the community. Long Beach, CA, located in Los Angeles’ South Bay has, for years, struggled with gangs, violence and poverty. A few years ago, in an attempt to improve the safety of the city and reduce crime, the Long Beach Police began practicing a method known as “community policing” – and it’s proven overwhelmingly effective.

“Community policing” is where law enforcement officers actively engage the public through community meetings and other avenues in order to communicate with the public about what they’re working on, increase familiarity between citizens and officers, and reduce overall tension.”Community policing” is designed to bring law enforcement and the community together, and help solve deep-seeded problems in the community and reduce crime overall.

The practice seems to be paying off since, last year, the City of Long Beach saw the lowest rate of violent crime in 40 years. Not only that, but so far, this year is shaping up to be even lower; showing community policing in Long Beach proves successful.

The Long Beach police department’s success just goes to show that the safety of a city is not just the job of police, but the community at large. When they work together to solve problems, everyone benefits.