Boston Police Department

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Mission Statement:
We dedicate ourselves to work in partnership with the community to fight crime, reduce fear and improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. Our Mission is Neighborhood Policing.
Before the 1990’s the Boston Police used the traditional model of policing, allowing the public a limited role in maintaining public order within the city. In the 1960’s the lack of confidence in the Boston Police Department was a national crisis. The department was getting it from all angles, minority communities were complaining that the police were using discriminatory enforcement and were also failing to adequately police poorer neighborhoods. The middle class communities were concerned with the department’s ability to reduce the number of predatory crimes in that area. Once they realized this was not working the Boston police department started to employ some of the many modern professionalization reforms of the 1970’s and 1980’s, this was their first step in trying to bring the public into the loop when it came to maintaining order within the city.

In 1968 the bell telephone company introduced the 9-1-1 system, allowing citizens to use a single number to contact law enforcement and emergency services throughout the country. This also made it possible to start monitoring police performance in the area of response time.

In 1983 the department implemented a foot patrol policy that many say was the groundwork for the later community policing model. When foot patrol was first implemented they used 300 officers and the beats were drawn up centrally around headquarters with no input from the communities being policed. The officers walking the beat had training on what to do and no explanation of their purpose. The foot patrol policy did not bring about the change the department was looking for instead it produced a number of assignments that generated resentment from officers, supervisors, and citizens. Despite all efforts to apply different styles of...
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