Community Policing Importance of Community

Police departments often need to address issues of organizational culture. That speaks to how things are done in the department. The culture is often focused on the procession of crime and criminals and not on prevention. An introduction of community policing can cause a shift in emphasis so that the culture of the organization mutates in response.

These changes also relate to resources and their management. The shift to community policing requires that the police themselves be trained to interface differently with the community. They need to consider how they discharge their power as officers. Even performance evaluation is given fresh consideration as the new view of evaluation will include a component on the interaction with the community and the degree of success achieved through that interaction.

The change also spills into the fiscal management of the service. The monetary resources are to be channeled in a direction that supports the directives of community policing. More money is allocated to lectures and the sponsorship of community events. The police may initiate youth clubs and other ventures that bring officers into the company of the community in a way that makes them appear less threatening. This reshaping of the fiscal policy may also result in more efficient expenditure where they police are able to get more for their money.

The reorganization also impacts information collection. As the police get closer to the communities it becomes easier to collect critical evidence. The finding of witnesses and informants becomes easier and more effective. This entire set of changes mean that unlike the traditional policing practices that are highly reactive, community policing is proactive. The approach seeks to engage in crime prevention rather than simply detection and solving (Bayley & Shearing, 1996 p.587). This new orientation toward crime prevention will ultimately lower the crime rates, since the focus is on the factors that produce criminal behavior and not only on the behavior itself.

This is a very important aspect of community policing that makes it a more attractive option than the traditional approaches to police work.

The final pillar of community policing addresses the value of problem solving in police work. In this regard there is a clear connection between the proactive nature of community policing and the problem solving process (Moore, 1992, p.99) This problem solving process encourages officers to use what is termed the SARA model of problem solving (Community, 2010). The SARA model involves Scanning which is taken to mean identifying and prioritizing problems followed by analysis. Analysis says that the officer must research what is known about the problem. The next step is response, in response solutions which are enduring are identified and engaged. The final step is assessment, in this stage the success of the solutions are evaluated.

The deliberate focus of community policing on the community together with the engagement of community leaders and organizations presents a potent combination for the successful transformation of communities. The singular focus on crime is not sufficient to address the complex nature of modern living thus community policing has a strong futuristic appeal.

References

Bayley DH & Shearing, C.D. (1996).The future of policing. Law & Society Review

30 (3): 585-606.

Community oriented policing services. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/Default.asp?Item=36

Community policing defined. (n.d.) U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community

Oriented Policing Services. Retrieved from http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/files/RIC/Publications/e030917193-CP-Defined.pdf

Donohue, J.J. & Levitt, S.D. (2001).The impact of race on policing and arrests Journal

of Law and Economics 44(2): 367-394.

Moore, M.H. (1992). Problem-Solving and community policing. Crime and Justice 15:.

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