Community Based Policing:
Improvement For The Police And The Community.
There has always been a love hate relationship between the public and the police. When called upon to help, they can be something sent from God, but when they are writing tickets, or taking a friend to jail, the view changes from a savior to a presence that is unwanted and often hated. An effort to improve the public view of law enforcement is being attempted by many departments. Using different styles of policing techniques, mainly community based policing, has proved to be the best way to improve the image of law enforcement.
Community based policing can best be defined as, "a collaborative effort between the police and the community that identifies problems of crime and disorder and involves all elements of the community in the search for solutions to these problems" (Sykes). Community based policing is the idea that the role of the police is not that of catching "bad guys," but more that of serving the public. In order for community based policing to have an effect, the presence of crime isn't needed, in fact it's often more effective without the involvement of crime, "Modern police departments are frequently called upon to help citizens resolve a vast array of personal problems--many of which involve no law-breaking activity" (Schmalleger). The role of the police officer in community based policing, is to have an active part in the community. This can be something as simple as stopping in at a school just to talk to the kids, or even playing basketball with them. It can also be stopping in at local Wolters 2
business and having a cup of coffee with the employees. The idea behind this is to show the public that the police are not someone to fear, but more someone who can help.
There are two main benefits of community based policing. The first is the improved image of law enforcement. By having a more active part in the community, law enforcement changes itself from...
Cited: Sykes, Gresham M. The soliety of captives. NJ:Princeton University Press, 1958.
Schmalleger, Frank Criminal Justice. NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc., 2001.
Sparrow, Malcolm K. Implementing Community Policing. DC: U.S. Department of Justice, 1988.
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