Japanese Police Officers Go Door to Door
I saw the uniform: shiny white helmet, neatly ironed blue jacket, chest mounted radio and my first thought was….oh shit, what happened? Is that the right first response when you see a police officer? Say it with me…NO.
At some point I’d begun to associate seeing an officer with something bad. A speeding ticket, a parking ticket, a mid-day shoot out in front of the bank….television has pushed my view of police officers into the area of thriller fiction.
So, no one is surprised when I say that seeing this smartly pressed officer made my heart race just a bit.
The good news is, this is Japan. Here in the land of the rising sun one of the many jobs of our local PD is to perform house visits. Either once or twice a year a friendly officer comes to your door just to check in on you. Isn’t that nice?
My experience was entirely pleasant. The officer, understandably, wasn’t able to speak with me too much because of my limited Japanese but we did get out a few “isn’t the weather hot” and “So, where in America are you from?”. They go over the standard questions, how many people are living in the house and what are their ages. Where are you working and just a general how’s it going. It never felt like prying.
This whole experience got me thinking… would this sort of meet and greet work in the United States? I’d love to see a better relationship between the local police and the community. Too often it seems that our attitudes are Us vs Them in a winner take all game of cat and mouse. I’ve met some truly fantastic officers and if they went door to door getting to know the people of the area I’d bet there would be a strong rise in support.
Please let me know what you think. I for one, am all for it!
The Japanese Police System includes the Koban boxes, small localized offices with a strong connection to the community they are placed in. To find out all the details regarding their function and duties please check out this well written doc.