by Sergeant John King
As a Department we are asking individuals to participate in a change to a Community Policing Philosophy. Change is uncomfortable and resistance to that change is a natural reaction. Communicating the benefits of the proposed change to Community Policing is an important step in reducing this resistance and in gaining commitment from the individual organization, the community and the Department.
Benefits to the Officer:
1. Community Policing provides the officer with self-satisfaction from solving problems.
Instead of continually running from call to call and putting a temporary quick fix on the problem, the officer can get job satisfaction from analyzing the problem and soling it. 2. Community Policing provides an opportunity to be creative and innovative.
By empowering the officer, the department allows that officer to seek solutions. This encourages the officer to use innovative and creative solutions instead of restricting him or her to using just traditional policing strategies. 3. It gives the officer a chance to make a "real difference."
Most police officers chose this profession, at least in part, to help people. By employing problem-solving techniques the officer can experience the self- satisfaction which comes from helping others.
4. It gives the officer the opportunity to become familiar with more people.
People get to know the officer as a person and not just as a nameless and faceless police officer whom they occasionally see drive or walk by. This will result in better communications, better relations with the public and in the delivery of quality service.
5. It gives the officer the opportunity to be valued for his worth and not just for his rank.
In a traditional police organization, an individual's worth is often judged by his rank. Not all individuals have the opportunity for advancement and some individuals may not want to become supervisors. Under community policing, the organization recognizes that the most important individuals in the organization are the ones who provide the service to the customer. Everyone else in the organization exists to support that person..
6. It results in a positive change in how the community views both the individual officer and the department.
Once we have established a good reputation with our community, we must always work to keep their respect. By working in partnership with the community we can improve upon both our reputation and how the community views us as an organization and as individuals.
7. It provides for a better place to work.
By working to improve the quality of life in the community, we also improve our work environment. Community policing stresses the necessity for establishing a working environment which supports the efforts of the individual employee, provides him/her with the equipment and training necessary to do her job, and rewards her for her efforts.
Benefits To The Community:
1. It provides the community with a voice in how it will be policed
Traditionally, police have selected the manner and style of policing to be used in any community. Frequently this style of policing may differ from neighborhood to neighborhood. The community has no input in selecting the style of policing which will be used. Under community policing, the community works in partnership with the Police to decide the style of policing which will be used within the community.
2. It provides the community with a voice in setting law enforcement priorities
To become a more efficient police department, we must evaluate how we prioritize our calls for service. The community should participate in this evaluation. What we as a police organization think should be a low priority call may be a higher priority to the members of the community. We must work together to formulate our enforcement priorities and be adaptable enough to change those priorities as the needs of the community change. 3. It...