Community oriented policing is a policing strategy based on the notion that community interaction and support can help control crime and reduce fear, with community members helping to identify suspects, detain vandals and bring problems to the attention of police. It is a philosophy that combines traditional aspects of law enforcement with prevention measures, problem-solving, community engagement, and community partnerships (Ref. 1). Background of Community Oriented Policing
Community Oriented Policing was born in the late 1960’s. Between the 1930’s and the 1960’s law enforcement used a professional policing model that was based on hierarchical structures, efficient response times, standardization, and the use of motorized patrol cars. This method proved to be effective until the large number of civil disturbance took place in the late 1960’s; those opposed to the professional policing model claimed that the police and the communities they served were very estranged from one other and thus the birth of community oriented policing took place (Ref. 1). Before they actually decided on community oriented policing they implemented what was called team policing. Where basically they assigned a certain area to a few officers and their job was to get to know the neighborhood, the people and the problems that lay within it. This didn’t work well because it placed more emphasis on long-term problem solving than to rapid response crime incidents. It basically was placing patrol officers in places that were more designated for detectives. Community policing grew out of the failure of team policing, with a goal of bringing the community and the police closer together to address and identify crime issues. Police in community policing programs want to do more than just respond to calls and arrest criminals they want to find what causes crime and solve problems in their assigned neighborhoods. Core Concepts of Community Policing
The foundation of any successful community policing strategy must be a strong and mutually beneficial bond between police and community members. Community policing is not to say that the police are no longer in charge or that their job of preserving law and order is in any way lessened. However, using the resources that exist within communities will relieve police of some of their burdens. Everyone who works and lives in the community and has a stake in its improvement will share responsibility for finding workable solutions to problems that take away from the safety and security of the community (Gaffigan, 1994).
The two core concepts of community policing are community partnership and problem solving. To develop community partnerships, police need to develop positive relationships with the community; they must get the community involved in the search for better crime control and prevention, and must band their resources with those of the community to address the most urgent concerns of community members. Problem solving is the process, through which the specific concerns of communities are identified and through which the most appropriate remedies to decrease these problems are found (Gaffigan, 1994). Concept One: Community Partnership
Establishing and maintaining a mutual trust is the goal of this concept. Police realize that they need the cooperation of the community to fight crime and have thus encouraged the members of the community to come forward with any relevant information. They do this by speaking to neighborhood groups, taking part in events, education programs at schools, and working with social service agencies. The police must become an integral part of the community. They need to adopt a perspective that exceeds the standard law enforcement emphasis, to recognize the value of activities that contribute to the orderliness and well being of a neighborhood. Some of these activities are listed below: •Helping accident or crime victims