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Adjunct Professor Shaphan Roberts, "Rebuilding Trust in a Divided Community: An Integrated Approach" -- Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal

Straus Institute adjunct professor Shaphan Roberts's article, "Rebuilding Trust in a Divided Community: An Integrated Approach," is published in the Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal, 24 Pepp. Dispute Resol. L. J. 461 (2024). The article examines the pressing challenges urban centers face today, such as escalating crime rates, homelessness, and economic difficulties. Roberts underscores the necessity of a collaborative strategy that involves community members, businesses, and law enforcement to devise comprehensive solutions. Emphasizing community engagement and trust-building, the article highlights successful case studies from cities like Medellín, Detroit, Copenhagen, and Singapore, illustrating how teamwork and innovative strategies can transform urban environments. The article asserts that communities can foster safer, more vibrant, and inclusive urban spaces through collective effort.

Abstract of "Rebuilding Trust in a Divided Community: An Integrated Approach"

Metropolitan cities face a myriad of social challenges, including increased crime, homelessness, and declining business vitality. These issues are interrelated, demanding solutions that are multifaceted and systemic. Solutions backstopped by law enforcement are needed to foster an environment conducive to business growth, job creation, and reducing homelessness. However, a widespread lack of trust in local law enforcement complicates addressing these challenges, highlighting the importance of community engagement and cooperation for effective policing and crime prevention.

A comprehensive approach is necessary to address these social challenges. Integrating the stakeholder and sectors models with insights from literature focusing on community policing, economic development, and social services can provide solutions unique to city challenges. These models advocate for collaboration across society’s sectors—public, private, and civil—to achieve common objectives. Such an approach leads to a coordinated response, creating an interactive effect that significantly reduces crime, homelessness, and economic downturns, while building community trust. Key to this strategy is enhancing partnerships between law enforcement and communities, facilitating a collaborative relationship that allows for a deeper understanding of crime’s root causes and generating economic revitalization efforts. By adopting a holistic strategy that leverages the stakeholder and sectors models’ strengths, metropolitan cities can tackle the systemic nature of their challenges, fostering a safer, more inclusive, and prosperous urban environment, enhancing community resilience, and rebuilding trust in law enforcement.

The complete article may be found at Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal

Born and raised in South Los Angeles, Shaphan Roberts has significantly impacted law enforcement, community relations, and racial equity. He previously served at the city attorney's office in Los Angeles, where he played a crucial role in advancing community-based initiatives and legal strategies to promote social justice. His extensive work in these areas has laid a strong foundation for his current efforts. He currently serves as the senior director of strategic development and global expansion at Pepperdine University, as well as a trainer and adjunct professor. Roberts has spearheaded key initiatives in police reform, community relations, and addressing homelessness. His pioneering work with the LAPD and various city governments has earned him notable accolades, including the Champion of Justice Award.