Community Based Policing Essay

Submitted By elvic33
Words: 1453
Pages: 6

Victor H. Magaña
Professor Horiuchi
20 February 2011
Community Policing For a long time there has been a love-hate relationship involving the public and the police. When called upon to assist, the police can be something heaven sent, but when the police are writing tickets, or taking a friend to jail, the view changes from a knight in shining armor to a presence that is unnecessary and often hated. An effort to improve the public view of law enforcement is being attempted by many departments in the United States. Using different styles of policing techniques, mainly community based policing, has proved to be the best way to improve the image of law enforcement. Community based policing can best be defined as, "a philosophy that stresses working proactively in partnership with citizens to prevent crime and to solve crime-related problems" (Hess 2009). Community based policing is the design that the role of the police is not that of catching bad guys, but more that of helping the public. In order for community based policing to have an effect, the presence of crime is not needed, actually it is frequently more successful without the involvement of crime, "Modern police departments are frequently called upon to help citizens resolve a vast array of personal problems--many of which involve no law-breaking activity" (Newburn 2005). The role of the police officer in community based policing, is to have an active part in the community Community policing consists of two complimentary components; community partnership and problem solving. The police must expand positive associations with citizens to improve crime control and deterrence, also to better employ the resources available to address the most critical concerns. Community implies a legal subdivision or jurisdiction which is commonly too large or diverse to be disposed to a single community; wide program or method of policing (Oliver 2006). To be successful, community-policing programs operate on a neighborhood scale, finding solutions to neighborhood problems. Flourishing programs are aware that something, which works well in one neighborhood, may be totally unsuitable to another, requiring that problems be recognized and new solutions be developed, one neighborhood at a time. Community policing is based on several different principles that help police officers and the community to work together. The first major feature is to avoid crime and disorder; also police must implement laws fairly. Another main point requires police to only use force as a last resort, and the best gauge of police competence is the lack of crime and disorder. This is shown by statistics or the number of arrests made in a certain area. Community policing is not just proactive but reactive, and also is involve in problem solving. It allows officers to get familiar with a specific geographical area and the members of that community. Statistics and surveys help police departments to customize their neighborhood by knowing what equipment and resources they need for a specific area. Community policing is not a temporary solution or soft on crime and therefore it requires involvement among all law enforcement not just a few. Police officers are not social workers and there is no particular technique to resolve all issues. Community policing does not suggest that we stop fighting crime, but that officers utilize a new and inventive approach that will make us pro-active and precautionary in nature rather than solely reactive (Newburn 2005). Enforcement is very much a part of the model. Officers are encouraged to give warnings whenever possible however, they are still required to make traffic stops and arrests. There is still an emphasis on drunk driving, juvenile crimes, and drugs. The community should not have the misguided perception that all policing has stopped just because the officers are being friendly. The first step in community based policing is to assess and