Community Oriented Policing

Topics: Police, Crime, Law enforcement Pages: 10 (3637 words) Published: June 3, 2011
Community Oriented Policing
In spite of the fact that the United States still exceeds many other industrialized nations in overall crime and violent crime, it has been effective in decreasing its crime rate, particularly during the 1990s. While some coalitions have attributed this positive development to changes in socio-demographic trends and rigid enforcement approaches, one coalition highlights the success of the community-oriented policing and problem-oriented policing in eradicating the root causes of crime (Stephens, 2003). While I don’t believe that community oriented policing in the sole cause of decreased crime rates I do believe that it has its positive and negative sides. Community oriented policing is based on the complete cooperation between the community and the police from the top managers in the department to the lowest officer in the department as well as all members of the community. Through the establishment of this partnership, the police and the community exchange information with another and work together in formulating and implementing solutions to resolve recurrent problems (Aberdeen, n. d.). A related approach to community oriented policing, problem oriented policing involves the use of S.A.R.A. (scanning, analysis, response, assessment) to resolve problems in a methodical process. The objective of problem oriented policing is to utilize a systematic process to identify recurrent problems and analyze their underlying causes in order to formulate cost-effective solutions ("Problem Solving - SARA," 2003). This is one approach that I do believe is an effective style of policing as it allows the officers to use scientific method approach to address current crime trends and deter them as needed. For the remainder of the paper, the approaches of community oriented policing, problem oriented policing and S.A.R.A. and their interrelationships will be described and discussed in greater detail. The assessment of the effectiveness of these approaches in reducing crime will also be provided. As described, community oriented policing is based on the establishment of a partnership between the police and the community. With this approach, both the police and the community are expected to adopt new perspectives about their roles with regard to law enforcement. Community oriented policing gives the community a chance to demonstrate what is important to them and provide feedback to law enforcement to allow them to effect enforce that laws that the citizen feel are most important. In community oriented policing, members of the community are challenged to take responsibility for addressing the problems within the community and improving the quality of life. In community policing, police officers are asked to move beyond their conventional enforcement of the law to work with the community in identifying new solutions in order to resolve problems within the community. Ideally, the cooperation between the police, members of the community and other governmental institutions is designed to bring together a wide range of resources that will allow them to eliminate problems. In many ways, community oriented policing can be considered to represent a radical shift away from the traditional law enforcement approach. To highlight the differences between these approaches, Stephens (1994) employed the "war" and "peace" models (p. 27). According to Stephens (1994), the traditional approach of law enforcement is characterized by the police's treatment of a community as though "it were enemy territory" (p. 27). Police officers only enter the community in order to search for criminals and make arrests. Positive interactions with law-abiding members of the community are so minimal that the community regards the police as a hostile outside force that encroaches on its territory (Stephens, 1994). It is fair to say that any increasing population of people are losing trust in the police and community policing seems to be an appropriate...
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