Community Policing

Topics: Police, Crime, Law enforcement Pages: 4 (1360 words) Published: March 13, 2008
Community Policing

What is community policing? According to The Committee on Law and Justice, Community policing (problem-oriented policing, neighborhood-oriented policing or community-oriented policing) is a policing strategy and philosophy based on the notion that community interaction and support can help control crime, with community members helping to identify suspects, detain vandals and bring problems to the attention of police. One of the most effective means of involving the community in exploring creative ways to enhance public safety is to provide them a Community Policing Officer, who acts as a problem solver to other public and private agencies that can help.

The history of modern law enforcement began 166 years ago with the formation of London Metropolitan Police District in 1829. Robert Peel assigned his "bobbies" to specific geographic zone and held them responsible for preventing and suppressing crime within the boundaries of their zones. He believed that placing officers in the community would make them known to the public, and citizens with information about criminal activity would be more likely to tell a familiar officer rather than a stranger; and also become familiar with people and places and be better able to recognize suspicious people or criminal activity and also be highly visible on their posts, tending to discourage criminals from committing crimes in the direct area. "While Peel believed overall civilian control to essential, he also believed that only military discipline would ensure that constable actually walked their beats and enforced the law on London's mean streets, something their nonmilitary predecessors, and the watchman had failed to do." (Patterson) Most major U.S. cities had established public police departments by the Civil War, much like London officers; they wore distinctive blue uniforms and walked assigned beats. One of the earliest articulations of what would later develop into the community policing...
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