Cheyenne Police Chief Brian Kozak says many police departments across the country have a confrontational "warrior attitude" that is a holdover from the 1980s.

Kozak says the idea that "we are out here to crush crime" largely grew out of gang violence, numerous homicides and other violent criminal activity that police officers were faced with at the time.

He says that created a "warrior atmosphere" in many law enforcement agencies, which tends to hamper police relationships with the community in many cases.

But he says in the last decade more police departments have assumed a "guardian role." He says that involves taking the approach that "we're here to protect the community, work with the community in partnership and teamwork."

Kozak says some police departments have been slow to change their approach to the community. He also says communities such as Chicago and Baltimore are still trying to work though deep-seated racial tensions that may not be such a problem in other areas.

The chief says in Cheyenne he has worked hard to improve community relations through such things as the Neighborhood NIght Out and the Citizen Advisory Committee.

The chief says of the local effort at improving community relations "I think it's working."

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