Allentown, APD and Cedar Crest partner to create the Center for Police Innovation and Community Engagement

Written by on March 25, 2021

 Allentown, APD and Cedar Crest partner to create the Center for Police Innovation and Community Engagement

By Tyler Pratt

March 25, 2021

APD Chief Glenn Granitz, Allentown Mayor Ray O’Connell, Cedar Crest College President Elizabeth Meade, Professor Scott Hoke, and Cedar Crest staff created The Center for Police Innovation and Community Engagement. Photo taken at the press conference in Alumnae Hall on the Cedar Crest campus on March 24. Photo | Tyler Pratt / WLVR

The Allentown Police Department says it’s now collecting more data on how it serves the city, and it is working with college researchers to evaluate ways it can improve community relationships.

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The City of Allentown, the Allentown Police Department, and Cedar Crest College have partnered to create the Center for Police Innovation and Community Engagement

Scott Hoke, assistant professor of Criminal Justice at Cedar Crest, runs the new 3-year program. He and some students now have access to city and county law enforcement data, specifically how police respond to behavioral health and other crisis calls.

“We’re developing a number of instruments  to try and help the city measure how  policing is done, try to identify the strengths that it has and if there are any weaknesses that we do identify as a way to improve upon them,” Hoke says. 

APD Chief Glenn Granitz says the college will look at policing issues “big and small.”

“Some of it’s going to be crime-related. A lot of it’s going to be community-related and a lot of it’s going to be interpreting what’s going on around the county: what’s been effective, what does the research and data show,” Granitz says.

Few specifics were available at the March 24 press conference, but Hoke says he plans to survey officers and the community to better understand their relationships. Then he will make recommendations down the line. 

The $120,000-program is funded by the city. There is no deadline for making the findings public. 

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