Policing: Police and Stakeholder Groups

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Community policing is a method of enforcing the law and philosophy based on the perception that collaboration and support of the society and police can help reduce crime, the fear of crime and to alleviate the social problems that lead to crime and. The members of the community help to identify suspects, to restrain offenders, report crimes to police and to address the social problems that lead to increase in the crime rates in the first place. Community policing advocates for organizational strategies that incorporate community-police partnerships and problem-solving methods, which seek to deal with the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as social disorder fear of crime and crime itself. There are three gears of community policing; collaboration with the community, resolving the problem affecting the community and transformation of the police organization (Trojanowicz & Bucqueroux, 1994). Other attributes of community policing are partnership, personalized approach, permanent, proactive, patrols and problem solving.

Community partnerships refer to the collaboration between the police and the members of the community they serve. These include individuals, private businesses, organizations, community groups, media, and other government agencies. It involves bringing together the law enforcers and various stakeholder groups together so that they develop solutions to the problems and build trust in the police. These partnerships give the stakeholder groups an opportunity to input their ideas and views into the police process; this is done as part of community support and participation.

Organizational Transformation involves the restructuring of the structure, information systems, personnel, and management practices to take in the community partnerships and problem solving. It seeks to reinvent the police departments, transform their leadership organizational culture, relationship with other stakeholder groups and agencies, service delivery, and improve the public perception of the police. The transformation seeks to move away from the traditional view of police to a better force. An example is the shift from the traditional view that the police are the principal government agency that enforces the law to the community policing view that police are community members and all the stakeholder groups are the police; the police officers are just employed to dedicate their full time to the duties of every community member (Palmiotto, 2000).

Problem solving involves the engagement of the law enforcers and stakeholder groups in analyzing and identifying the problems and then developing appropriate effective responses. Trojanowicz et al. (1998) explains the SARA (Scanning, Analysis, Response, and Assessment) model of problem solving which is applied in community policing projects. Scanning: identifying the problems based on priorities. Analysis: entails finding out the known facts about the problem. Response: entails coming up with solutions, which will permanently reduce incidences and extent of problems. Assessment: determining whether the problems have changed, and establishing the outcome of the responses.

Police subculture refers to a situation where the police officers, instead of adhering to the set professional code of conduct, they come up with their own individual code of ethics. They put loyalty to their fellow colleagues first at the expense of protecting and serving the community. Palmiotto (2000) describes it as "the blue curtain" and some of its characteristics are cynicism, isolation from others, tribal/racist and ethnic. This clannish mindset results from three factors. First, police officers are the only real crime fighters and are easily identified because of uniforms, badges and guns. Secondly, they have a similar way of life; only police can understand police. They face the same challenges, risks, dangers, and rewards which the public do not have an idea. Lastly, that they...
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