Implementation of community based programs designed by the police are important because the police have an obligation to ensure that citizens are protected and do not take matters into their own hands. These community based programs provide the citizens educational programs to learn how to protect themselves, but also remain law abiding members of the community. These programs also provide the community with a sense of safety and the knowledge needed to stay involved in crime prevention.
There are many challenges associated with implementing these programs within the community. The first issue is commitment for the community. If a neighborhood sets up a Neighborhood Watch program, all members of the neighborhood need to be actively involved for the program to be effective. Another issue is that trust. This issue might arise within the citizen volunteer program. The police must be able to trust the community members who volunteer to assist them in crime solving.
The three crime prevention programs I chose that I feel are most effective are: Crime Stoppers, Mass Media Campaigns, and Neighborhood Watch Programs. They all share one of the same disadvantages; community involvement. These programs rely on the honestly and participation of the community to be effective, and if the community either has issues or trust concerns with their police department they are less likely to actively assist the police. The advantage of Crime Stoppers is that it can be anonymous; which is something that many people prefer. In addition, it has the ability to reach everyone within the community, which is something that Mass Media Campaigns also does. The Neighborhood Watch Program is one that can account for a reduction in crime rates.