By: Brittany Plemmons
CJ299: Associates Capstone in Criminal Justice
Prof: Christian Chenoweth
Community- Oriented Policing (COP) is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies, which support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques, to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime. (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Community-Oriented+Policing). Community based policing is comprised of three key components; * Community Partnerships- Collaborative partnerships between law enforcement and the public they serve, to develop solutions while increasing the bond and trust in police. * Organizational Transformation- Organizational management, structure, personnel, and information systems to support community partnerships, to also create proactive problem solving techniques. * Problem Solving- Engaging the proactive and systematic examination of identified problems to develop and evaluate effective responses. The goal of Community-Oriented Policing is to bring the police and public it serves closer together, to identify and address crime issues. Instead of officers only responding to emergency calls and making arrests police officers in community based programs get involved in finding out what causes crime and disorder within that particular community. To do this, officers must develop and maintain a network of personal contacts both inside and outside their agency. This contact is usually inquired by foot, bike, or horse. The most important part of COP is keeping your relationships with the public on good terms. Communities need to feel like they are safe and that they can fully trust law enforcement once that’s broken the community might not want to help thus increasing crime. Another very important part of COP is crime prevention. The public is encouraged to partner with police in these efforts through neighborhood watch programs. This allows the public to watch over a certain area since officers can’t always be there.
Community-Oriented Policing has many, strengths and only few weaknesses. COP adopted a more responsive approach to the public desire of a different manner of policing; therefore there was a citizen to police interaction which has helped in problem solving. This has been enhanced by the reintroduction of the foot patrols similar to the political era. Community policing can be looked at as a philosophy that has much emphasis on the citizens to police working relationships in solving crime related problems, crime prevention and fear reduction . These types of programs also create awareness in communities in three ways. One, a criminal will know the area has a cooperation agreement with the residents and the police to be aware of any suspicious activities. Two, residents can count on each other to look out for their well-being and safety against criminal activity or suspicious persons. Third, public relations between residents and police are developed through these types of programs, which also provides education to the residents about police and court procedures.
However, one major weakness of this era is the failure to act timely on potential agents of crime despite having adequate information and activities of such agents; this is because, despite the vast resources that have been invested in the force there is that weakness. There are challenges in high crime areas, lack participation because residents are suspicious of each other. In areas of transients, those residents plan to live in the area for a short time and are not interested in long term involvement. Another weakness COP presents is inadequate training on COP principles and strategies, which affects how officers approach their work. Greene (2000) notes that COP training is usually an add-on to traditional...