Category Archives: Dynamic of Coactivity

Building trust-based relationships is a complicated process and it’s easy to get lost in it if you don’t appreciate the underlying dynamics.

Filmed from my balcony at the Continental Hotel in Oradea, Romania, overlooking the Repide River, I use the Relationship Diamond as a model for understanding the process of building community relationships.

Relationship Diamond

The Relationship Diamond

There are essentially four steps in building a working community relationship and you must progress through them in order, just like running the bases in a baseball game. First base is to become an Acquaintance. This is a bit common sensical but it is a necessary first step.

To get to second base, the citizen must become a Stakeholder. That is, they must see themselves as having a vested interest in the crime-fighting process. As Sir Robert Peel said, “The police are the public and the public are the police.” But the citizens don’t often think of themselves in that way. They tend to see crime as exclusively a police problem, not a community problem.

Third base is Partnership. This is a working relationship where the police and the community team up to coactively solve problems that are manifesting themselves as crime, fear of crime, and neighborhood decay. After reaching the partnership level, the group is now ready to head to home by accomplishing some of their coactive policing goals; two of which are establishing safe and peaceful neighborhoods; and stable and successful families.

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No, Beth Shaen is not a female colleague who has defined policing. Beth Shaen is an ancient city in Israel where King Saul’s body was hung on the wall after his death at nearby Mount Gilboa. The account of this incident can be found in I Samuel 31. The city was later controlled and developed by the Romans when they extended their rule into the land of Israel. 

Years ago, I was challenged by a colleague if I had ever looked up the definition of policing. I told him of course not. I know what it means. It means law enforcement. In my view, policing and law enforcement were synonymous. He told me I should go look it up because I might be surprised. So I did. And I found this definition in the American Heritage Dictionary.

Regulation and control of the affairs of a community, especially with respect to maintenance of order, law, health, morals, safety, and other matters affecting the public welfare. 

This is an expanded definition of what we might traditionally think of as the police mandate. But policing is SO much more than just enforcing the law. The Coactive approach to policing understands that just locking people up, merely enforcing the law, doesn’t solve the problem of crime. It might solve A crime, or it might solve a series of crimes. But it will not solve the PROBLEM of crime because it is not affecting the core issues that allow crime to flourish: Fear, Apathy, and Tolerance.

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I battled a sandstorm and some ornery camels to film this video about Sir Robert Peel while camping in the desert of Wadi Rum. After you watch the video, scroll down for some out-takes…

Sir Robert Peel was a Prime Minister of England and served as the Home Secretary during the 1820s. In England, the Home Secretary is somewhat like our Attorney General in the US. And while he was Home Secretary, Sir Robert Peel founded the London Metropolitan Police, perhaps the first professionally trained, non-military police force in history. He founded them on nine basic principles, often called Peel’s Principles or Peelian principles. To this day we still call policemen in England “Bobbies” in honor of Sir Bobby Peel. His principles are still amazingly relevant to our practice of policing today. One of them says this:

Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

He didn’t use the term, but Peel is describing Coactive Policing.

If you want to see some out-takes including my attempt to film this segment in the middle of a sandstorm and me getting thrown off of my camel as soon as we finished filming, watch below…

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A jeep tour in Wadi Rum was a great opportunity to illustrate the principle of Coactive Policing.

Coactivity can be compared to driving a four-wheel drive vehicle. Think of your community as the vehicle. If all the components (wheels) are pulling together in the same direction, your community can overcome obstacles and go a long way toward accomplishing its goals.

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It’s been a long time since I added a post to the blog. I’ve been preoccupied with my extended leave at home (almost 3  months), new job responsibilities (settled in as a Police Advisor working at the US Embassy in Kabul), and working on my Master’s degree (finished my degree from Columbia Southern University the other night).

This micro-lecture was filmed at Beth Shaen, an ancient city where King Saul’s body, the king of Israel, was hung on the wall after his death at Mount Gilboa. Here I talk about the definition of policing as the “regulating and control of the affairs of a community especially as it relates to law, order, health, safety, and morals.”

Here’s some additional video from Beth Shaen if you are interested…

The long awaited video of me getting thrown off of my camel!

Keep an eye on the camel on the left. We nicknamed him Clyde in honor of the song by Ray Stevens. He was cantankerous from the word go. The camel herder told us he was a Saudi Arabian camel and they have the worst attitudes. Watch what happens as I try to get off of my camel who is tied to Clyde…

Sorry for the long delay in posting. I have been home on extended leave and just too busy spending time with family and friends…!

Here’s another post from my trip to the Holy Land. This one was done on camel-back in the Wadi Rum desert of Jordan. Scroll down to the second video to see me try to do this segment in the middle of a sandstorm. Next I’ll be posting the one where you see me getting thrown off my camel…!

Sir Robert Peel founded the London Metropolitan Police on nine basic principles. Principle number 7 states that “the police are the public and the public are the police.’ Which is another way to define Coactive Policing. Take a look at how this principle applies to law enforcement today…

Here’s me trying to tape this blog in the middle of a windstorm in the Wadi Rum desert of Jordan. You can see that I didn’t have much success. But I never lost my hat…!

I used the opportunity of our jeep tour in Wadi Rum to illustrate the principle of Four Wheel Drive Policing.

Coactive Policing can be compared to a four wheel drive vehicle. When all the wheels are pulling together in the same direction, the vehicle can cover some difficult terrain. In the same way, a community that pulls together can overcome many community problems related to crime, fear of crime, and neighborhood decay and disorder.

One wheel represents law enforcement and local government. The other three represent the other components of the community – the business sector, the academic sector, the  faith-based sector, and the citizens themselves. That’s why I am so supportive of the Character Cities initiative because it brings all of these community sectors together to work toward common goals in a coactive manner.

Our Jeep Guide - Khalid

Our Jeep Guide – Khalid

Double Land Bridge

Mushroom Rock – Good thing I was there…

Our First Rock-Climbing Casualty

View from the Top

Cave Lizard

I’ve arrived safely back in Kabul after a wonderful vacation in Cancun! I’ll spend the next couple of days resetting my sleep clock. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this video that I recorded before I left…

One of the reasons that Reactive Policing is so ineffective compared to Coactive, or Community Policing, is that we spend so much time on calls that aren’t related to the police mission. Watch this video for a good example of why character-based law enforcement that builds trust based relationships is the key to fighting crime…

In my second video from Cancun, we look at the dictionary definition of policing. It might surprise you! And then explore why it is so important for the police to have such high standards of professional ethics, moral responsibility, and good character.

Sheriff Ray Nash

Sheriff Ray Nash

What Law Enforcement and Community Leaders Are Saying About Police Dynamics

“A few years ago, we brought the Police Dynamics program to the Cincinnati Police Division and were most impressed with the quality of the training and richness of the program.”
Mike Daly
Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

"I have attended training conducted by the Police Dynamics Institute in the past and know Ray Nash both personally and professionally. They have my whole-hearted endorsement…"
Sheriff Larry Williams
Orangeburg, SC

"I cannot tell you how excited I am to see this website. I was introduced to your video on the Dynamics of Authority through my father who is a police chaplain for the FBI and local law enforcement agencies here in Las Cruces. I have taught and applied the Dynamics model to my students when I was a teacher, and now to my department as a fire fighter."
Nathan Carr
Las Cruces Fire Dept.

“One of the greatest seminars I have ever attended in the 33 years I’ve been a Deputy.”
Walter Bolinger
Marion County Sheriff’s Office, IN

"I was so impressed by the (Police Dynamics) program that I purchased your video tape series. All Grand County Sheriff’s Employees subsequently viewed the tapes, and I have also mandated that all new Sheriff’s Employees watch it as well."
Glen Trainor
Grand County Sheriff’s Office

"It is with much enthusiasm that I encourage senior law enforcement executives to make attending the Police Dynamics seminar a key training priority for your agency."
DeWayne Beggs
Cleveland County, OK
former 2nd VP - National Sheriff's Association

"I am convinced of the benefits of the Police Dynamics program."
Jerry Martin
Delores County, CO
former Pres - County Sheriff's of Colorado

"Honestly, I’ve not been more impressed with a police training that I’ve attended in the last 20 years..."
Tom McClain
Chief of Police
Willard, MO

"I am a firm believer that Police Dynamics and Character First! equip the men and women that work for the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Office to do their job and do it better."
John Whetsel
Oklahoma County, OK

"If you believe that good character is an essential element in policing, you will want to send your key staff to Police Dynamics."
David Williams
Tarrant County, TX

"In the three years prior to our character initiative, we had 42 labor and employee grievances, and seven different lawsuits. In the three years since we put the character initiative in place, we have had two grievances and no lawsuits from employees. I think that, in and of itself, is significant."
Rodney Ray
City Manager
Owasso, OK

"This course was one of the best training sessions that I’ve been through. This concept will benefit me and the staff in my division."
Police Dynamics participant

[We have] more awareness of the preventative benefits of a character initiative as opposed to the typical reactive approach to situations. There is a sense of excitement by organization leaders as they begin to see a change in their culture. Bob Powell
Character Council
Fort Collins, CO

"[The Police Dynamics training] brings us closer together, more like a family … it reminds us of why we’re out there and what it’s about.”
Captain John Decker
Dorchester County Sheriff's Office, SC

"This class gave me the vocabulary that I have been looking for to praise and motivate my employees."
Police Dynamics participant

"We’ve built a much better relationship with each other. We’ve seen a decrease in complaints. We’ve become a family instead of a place to work."
Sheriff Howie Godwin
Highlands County, FL

“This shows us a new approach to recognize employees’ character traits - and to acknowledge them for those good traits versus, 'You did an excellent job…' It’s some fresh ideas in an area that we probably all need to change."
Major P.D. Taylor
Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office

"The Police Dynamics training that Ray Nash brought teaches the things that are at the core of being a good police officer – being trustworthy, being of good character…"
Sgt. Julie Shearer
Cincinnati Police Div.

“In the Police Dynamics training seminar, the officers are able to set a standard in their own lives of the kind of character they want to see in their community."
Chaplain Carl Nelson
Colorado Springs Police Department

"Character is the solution to the real problem in our community of crime. Character supplies the answer."
Hon. F.A. Schad
Former Judge
Burleson, TX

“I want you to know that my international and national career was very much influenced by your lessons and knowing you was of paramount importance for my job and career. Many Romanian police officers are grateful to you and to Character training."
Teofil Parasca
Assistant Superintendent
Arad County Police

"I would like to work more toward management by principles instead of rules – with an emphasis on character and guiding principles."
Chief Lynn Williams
Chickasha, OK

“We need to return to our basic character traits that made this country great. Ray Nash has the program to do it."
Police Dynamics participant

"This shows us a new approach to recognize those employees’ character traits and to recognize and acknowledge them for those good traits versus, “You did an excellent job…” It’s some fresh ideas in an area that we probably all need to change."
Major P.D. Taylor
Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office

"In the three years prior to our character initiative, we had 42 labor and employee grievances, and seven different lawsuits. In the three years since we put the character initiative in place, we have had two grievances and no lawsuits from employees. I think that, in and of itself, is significant."
Rodney Ray
City Manager
Owasso, OK

"Absolutely fantastic! It reminded me of why I wanted to be a peace officer."
Police Dynamics participant

"the finest value-added training anywhere."
Sheriff David Williams
Tarrant County, TX

"We continue to benefit from your teaching and hire with a strong emphasis on character."
Chief Tom McClain
Willard, MO

"Once again, I feel absolutely indebted to you for the program you have developed and your desire to change the world through the building of better law enforcement officers."
Glen P. Trainor
Grand County, CO

"Sheriff Ray Nash is an internationally recognized speaker that you and your staff will learn powerful principles from, while enjoying the lesson."
DeWayne Beggs
Cleveland County, OK

"Very comprehensive, a great resource manual for the future. The seminar was dynamic in every way. What a great resource for people throughout their day-to-day routines.”
Doug Carter
Indiana State Police