Only US


The Camden Police Department has become a national model for community policing. I listened to an excellent podcast interview between Anne Milgram (New Jersey attorney general 2007-10) and Scott Thompson (Camden police chief 2008-19, appointed by Anne). Camden’s current crime rate is the lowest it has been in 50 years. I highly recommend this episode of the Stay Tuned with Preet podcast!

What I love most about Camden’s story is its humanness. It is not a fairy tale where we say, “Oh good, happily ever after,” and move on with our lives. The goal is not to arrive, but rather to connect, rise, and evolve. As we heal, the destination changes because our concept of what is possible gets higher and higher. The story of the evolution of Camden’s police department holds the keys to change in all areas of society.

At the heart of Camden’s success is trust and connection. Police Chief Scott Thompson was willing to trust and validate the community. He brought together the community and the police force so they could see each other as part of the same team. It’s not an US vs THEM situation, only US.

The principles of Camden’s police force:

  1. Community-driven
  2. Community-engaged
  3. Deescalation – police are GUARDIANS

To be a community, we have to listen to each other, and be willing to consider our actions from a place of openness.

We can hold on to our stories and why we are right, or we can open up and consider what a given situation is trying to teach us. Use Camden’s example.

TODAY: Experiment with changing your premise

1. Think of something that upsets you. It can be something big or small.

2. Define the problem.

Example: I am upset that people are saying hateful words. The problem is that people are unkind and disrespectful.

3. Replace all references to other people (specific or general) with the word “I”

Example above: I am upset that I am saying hateful words. The problem is that I am unkind and disrespectful.

If we are all one—and we are—what you see in others is a reflection of what you see in yourself.

You might have a knee-jerk reaction…”What?! I’m not like that. I don’t do that.”

Remember, you are assigning the “good” or “bad” label to behavior, no one else. There is no objective good or bad, just as there is no us and them. Let go of the judgement and see what you can learn from YOURSELF. It’s your energy, your higher self, that is trying to get your attention. Listen to yourself, you hold all the answers!

Be inspired. Go forth. Create your day.

Reading suggestions:

Radical Forgiveness

A step-by-step instruction in what begins as a healing process, and culminates in an entirely new way of living in the world.

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