Effectiveness of Community Policing
To understand the effectiveness of community policing we first must understand the concept regarding community policing. Community policing is both a philosophy and an organizational strategy that allows the police and the community residences to work closely together in new ways to solve the problems, fear of crime, criminal disorder and at the same time increasing the community living conditions. Community policing implies an agreement, almost like a formal contract, between the police and the community it serves. The concept breeds hope of overcoming wide spread crime at the same time preventing the outbreak of lone individuals who take matters in their own hands, or vigilantism. Overall community policing provides a neutral, personalized police service to the beckon call of the community. Although the police had the ideas that they could impose law enforcement from the outside of the communities, community policing recognized that the police cannot impose order from the outside, instead the citizens of the respective communities had to be encouraged to take a stand and look at the local police as a resource, the citizens could rely on to assist in solving crime and building a safe living environment. Although community policing has been around for several years and has had several crime prevention programs that has succeed and failed, the real question is does community policing really work? Is it effective or just another bureaucratic plot to keep the public satisfied. This is what this paper is going to explore.
Ever since the United States found our independence from the British Colonies, law enforcement has been involving. From the days of the old where night watchmen would watch the streets, to the today concept of law enforcement, the ideology was that a private law enforcement agency could manage and eliminate crime. Through several years of research and a lot of trial by error a new concept was brought to light. The idea of using the citizens of the local communities to be the eyes and ears of the law enforcement. Who else to provide quick, reliable intelligence then the people who knew the streets, the criminals, there associates and where they liked to hung out. However, over the years a barrier between the police agencies and communities had formed and now that barrier needed to be removed. That is one of the reasons why, in 1994, Congress pass a Crime Bill that, among other things, funded 100,000 new police officer and allocated approximately $11 billion to law enforcement (Gaines & Kappeler, 2008, p. 453). The passing of this bill was one of the most substantial criminal justice funding efforts ever passed by Congress, it solidified support for community policing as the primary law enforcement modality for dealing and interaction with the community (Gaines & Kappeler, 2008, p. 454). In essence, this bill laid the foundation for community policing evolution of police-community to the idea of team policing strategies. Now that the ground work had been laid, where to go from here.
The basis of community policing was first articulated with Goldstein's article on "problem-solving policing" and Wilson and Kelling's discussion on community disorder (Gaines & Kappeler, 2008, p. 454). In essence Goldstein concept was that police agencies need to address the problems of crime and resolve those issues first and Wilson and Kelling concept was that the if criminal activity was left uncheck in a community, then the community itself would be swallowed up in the criminal activity. Overall, Goldstein, Wilson and Kelling concepts began the development of the community policing. Their ideas that the problems needed to be addressed directly and not as a group and that the community had to take pride in their areas was the baseline for community policing. There were several ideas that were developed to have an effective program. The main ideals were to broaden...
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