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Crim2121PoliceOrganizationandBehavior

ProfessorSimlot
November162015
StocktonUniversity
CommunityPolicing
MikeDuffyandTomScrivani

CommunitypolicingisacrucialfactorforpolicedepartmentsallovertheUnitedStates,
helpingtheofficersofthesedepartmentsestablishandmaintainasafecommunityandpositive
relationshipwiththecitizensintheircommunities.Communitypolicingwasoriginallyinspiredby
thePresidentsCommissiononLawEnforcementandtheAdministrationofJustice.Thetwo
organizationsmadetherecommendationthatpoliceofficersbecomemoreresponsivetothe
challengesoftherapidlychangingsocietyatthetime.
TheCivilRightsMovementwasanextremelychallengingperiodoftimeforpolice
officers,becauseofthehostileinteractionstheyfrequentlyhadwithprotestingcitizens.This
waswhenthestrategyofteampolicingwasthoughtup,andcontinuedtobeusedduringthe
early70s,inordertohandlepoliceworkwhilesurroundedbythehostilecitizens.Team
policingfocusedonreconstructingthepoliceoperationsaccordingtogeographicalboundaries.
Theseboundariesthattheoperationswereformedtoarenowwhatareknownascommunity
beats.Theteampolicingalsogaveofficersmoreauthoritywhenmakingdecisionsinorderto
bemoreresponsivetolocalproblems.Althoughitoriginallyseemedlikeanefficientstrategyto
use,teampolicingwasabandonedduetotheoppositionfrompolicemanagers.
AftertheCivilRightsMovementcamethe1970s,inwhichdepartmentsexperimented
withnewcommunitypolicingideas.OneoftheseideasthatwastestedoutwastheKansas
CityPatrolExperiment.Thisexperimentdemonstratedanincreaseinroutinepreventivepatrols
andbetterresponsetimestoincidentsthatoccurredthroughoutthecity,butthesetwofactors
hadalimitedimpactonreducingcriminalactivity.Althoughcrimewasonlyslightlyreduced,the

satisfactionthatthecommunityhadwiththepolicewasincreasedgreatlyalongwithanew
feelingofsafetybecauseoftheincreaseinpatrols.Itwasattheendofthisperiodoftimewhen
theideaofacloserpartnershipbetweenthepoliceandtheircommunitywouldbeabletohelp
reducecrimeanddisorder.
Anothernewstrategyofpolicingthatwasused,andwasabandonedbyprevious
generationsofpolicedepartments,wastheuseoffootpatrols.In1978footpatrolswerere
implementedstartinginFlint,Michiganasacitywideprogram.Averysimilarprogramwasalso
launchedinNewark,NewJersey,soonaftertheprograminFlintwasstarted,thoughtherewere
somedifferencesbetweenthetwo.TheprogramthatwaslaunchedinFlintwasbroaderthan
theprograminNewark.Thisprogramalsopushedpoliceofficerstobecomeactivelyinvolved
withproblemsolvingwithinthecommunity.UnliketheprograminFlint,theNewarkFootPatrol
Experimentwasmorefocusedontheeffectthatanincreaseinpoliceofficersvisibletothe
communitywouldhaveontheratesofcrime.Insteadofbeingproactivewithhelpingoutthe
citizenswithinthecityofNewark,thisprogramdidnotreallyhaveanyactivityofpoliceofficers
thatwouldbebeneficialtothosewithinthecommunity.
TheNewarkFootPatrolExperimentalsobaseditsprogramstructureoffofthe
experimentdonebytheKansasCitydepartment.Thetwoexperimentsareverysimilarwhen
thetechniquesusedbythepolicearelookedatsidebyside.TheKansasCityPatrol
Experimenthaditspoliceofficersincreasetherateandamountofpatrollingdonethroughout
thecityinordertotrytomaintainasafecommunityanddecreasetheamountofcrimes
committedwithinthecommunity,whichdidnotinvolvemuchactivitybetweenthepoliceofficers
andthecitizenswithinthecommunity.TheNewarkFootPatrolExperimentdidthesameexact
thing,buttheonlydifferencewasthatthepoliceofficersusedfootpatrolsinsteadofpatrolling
usingapatrolvehicle.

Althoughthesetwocitieslauncheddifferentstructuredprograms,theybothhadvery
positiveandencouragingresults.JustliketheresultsoftheKansasCityPatrolExperiment,the
footpatrolprogramthatwaslaunchedinFlinthadanenormousreductionoffearofcrimefeltby
thecitizenswithinthecity,butalsohadacouplemorepositiveoutcomesthatwerenotpresent
intheresultsoftheKansasCityPatrolExperiment.Alongwiththereductionoffearofcrime,
thepoliceofficersthatwereinvolvedwiththeprogramreportedhavingincreasedmorale,and
theimpactthattheprogramhadoncrimewasmuchgreaterthanthelimitedimpactmadeby
theKansasCityPatrolExperiment.
TheNewarkFootPatrolExperimentalsohadapositiveinfluenceonthecommunityand
howthecitizenswithinthecityviewedthepolice.Thecitizenswithinthecitywereeasilyableto
realizethatthepolicedepartmentwasmakingastrongefforttohavefootpatrolsfrequently
throughoutthecommunity,whichmadethemlookattheofficerspatrollingwithmorerespect
andhadmorepositiveattitudeswheninteractingwiththepoliceofficers.Thecitizensalso
reportedbelievingthatintheneighborhoodsinwhichthefootpatrolswereimplementedlowered
theamountofcrimethatoccurredtheregreatlywhencomparingtootherareasofthecitywhere
notasmanyfootpatrolstookplace.Althoughtherewerethesepositiveresultsproducedbythe
footpatrolprogram,theexperimentactuallydidnotreducetheamountofcrimethattookplace
inthecityofNewark.However,thisdidnotdeterthepoliceofficersinthecitytoceasetheirfoot
patrolsortheirfrequency.Thiswasbecauseofthehuge,positiveimpacttheexperimenthad
ontherelationshipbetweenthecommunityandthepoliceofficerswhopatrolledwithinit.The
causeofthisstrengtheningoftherelationshipbetweenthecommunityandthepoliceismostly
becauseofthenewfeelingofsecurityduetothevisualofmorepoliceofficersbeingactively
awareinthecity,alongwithpatrollingconsistently.

ThispositiveandstrongrelationshipthatwasestablishedinNewark,NewJersey
becauseofthefootpatrolexperimentisoneofthemostimportantgoalsofcommunitypolicing.
Ifacommunityasawholerespectsandviewsthepoliceofficerswithinthecommunity
positively,itmakesthejobmucheasierandenjoyableforboththepoliceofficersandcitizens
withinthecommunity.Policeofficerscanbegintobuildastrongrelationshipwithmembersof
thecommunitywhilesomeofthesemembersarestillatayoungage.
Thepolicecanhaveapositiveimpactontheyouthofacommunitybyshowingthemthat
theyaretheretohelp.Averyusefulandpopularstrategythatisusedtoshowthisisthe
D.A.R.E.program.Policeofficersvisitelementaryschoolthroughoutthecountryinorderto
educatetheyoungmembersofthecommunityaboutthepurposeofthelocalpolicedepartment,
andthedangersofsubstanceabuse.Teachingtheyouthaboutthesedangersisvery
important,butitcanalsohaveapositiveimpactonthecommunityasthesechildrengrowolder.
Thereisanobviouscorrelationbetweenchildrenwhoaresuckedintotheunhealthylifestyles
thatinvolvetheabuseofdrugs,andthosewhoendupcommittingcriminalactswithina
community.Ifchildrenareeducatedaboutthedangersandconsequencesofusingdrugswhile
theyarestillyoung,theinfluencethepoliceofficerswhospeaktothemonbehalfofthe
D.A.R.E.programwillmostlikelydeterthemfromabusingsubstanceswhentheybecomeolder.
Anotherimportantreasontoestablishthepositiverelationshipbetweenthepolice
andthecommunityatayoungageistoreducetheintimidationfactor.Fearthatacitizenhasof
reportingacrimethatvictimizedthemisnotrare.Victimswillusuallybelievethatthecrime
committedagainstthemisaprivatematterandfeelembarrassedaboutreportingittoanofficer
eventhoughtheofficersjobistohelp.Avictimalsomightbeinfearofreceivingthreatsfrom
whoevercommittedthecrimeagainstthemiftheyfoundoutthecrimewasreportedtothe
policedepartment.Anotherreasonvictimsmaynotimmediatelygotoanofficerisbecausethey

gotoafamilymemberfirsttotryanddeterminewhatwouldbethebestwaytodealwiththe
situation.Ifthereisastrongandpositiverelationshipbetweenthepoliceandthemembersof
thecommunitytheintimidation,fear,embarrassment,anddelayofreportingtheincidenttothe
policewouldbegreatlyreduced.
Thepoliceforce,byphilosophicallyspeakingoracademicallyspeaking,isan
omnipresententityinsociety.Simplyput,copsarealwaysgoingtobearoundus.Theywillbe
hereenforcinglawsandmaintainingpeaceandorderforalongtimetocome.Thepoliceofficer
isadifficultsubjecttomonitorwithpublic,politicaloracademicscrutinybecauseallthreehave
variousagendasandperceptionsforandonthesubject.However,thereisadegreeof
overlappinggoalsthatpeopleshareforsocietyanditbecomestheburdenofpolicetomeet
thosegoalsandsubsequentstandards.Inordertomeetthosestandardsthepoliceasan
organizationhadtoandwillcontinuetochange.Thusenterstheconceptofcommunitypolicing.

Communitypolicingasapoliceconceptcontainsthreekeycomponents.Thefirstis

communitypartnerships,secondisorganizationaltransformationandthirdisproblemsolving.
Therearetwodefinitionsofthismodernpolicing,philosophicalandoperational.Thepremieris
definedasapremiseofbothpoliceandcommunityworkingtogethertosolveproblemsthatare
facedinthatcommunitylikecrime,socialorphysicaldisorders.Thisdefinitionpresentsamore
generalistviewoncommunitypolicingandisusuallytheaspectthatpeopletendtowantfrom
theirlocaldepartments.ThelatterdefinitionisasfollowsCommunitypolicingfocusesoncrime
andsocialdisorderthroughthedeliveryofpoliceservicesthatincludesaspectsoftraditionallaw
enforcement,aswellasprevention,problemsolving,communityengagement,andpartnerships.
Thecommunitypolicingmodelbalancesreactiveresponsestocallsforservicewith
proactiveproblemsolvingcenteredonthecausesofcrimeanddisorder.Communitypolicing
requirespoliceandcitizenstojointogetheraspartnersinthecourseofbothidentifyingand

effectivelyaddressingtheseissues(OfficeofCommunityOrientedPolicing,2007).Withthese
twodifferentdefinitionsofthesameideacomessomemiscommunication,butalsoabroader
categoryinwhichtoenhancesociety.Thedefinitionsalsopresentaveryinterestingconcept
thatthisstyleofpolicingisverydynamicandfluidinrelationshiptothecomponentsofpolicing
aswellaspreviouspolicingstyles.

Withtheintroductionofalargeandbroadidealikecommunitypolicingcomes

widespreadconfusionthatoriginatesinpublicmisconceptionsofpoliceorganizationand
behavior.EventhoughtheCOPSprogramfromtheDepartmentofJusticewilllistanalmost
intoxicatingamountofinformationaboutwhatcommunitypolicingissupposedtobe,case
studiesandindividualresearchinitiativesaswellasdepartmentswillpointtoonlyonemajor
aspect,whichisproblemorientatedpolicingorPOP.ThisessentiallyplacesthebruntofCPon
theindividualdepartmentsandofficersabilitytoimmediatelyproduceproactivesolutionsto
communityproblems.TheproblemsolvingmodelknownasSARA(Scanning,Analysis,
Response,Assessment)providesrelativelyclearguidelinesonhowtodojustthat.Itsabout
organizationofprioritiesandproblems,thinkingofcreativeandinnovativesolutionsand
assessingthosesolutions.POPencouragesofficerstothinkoutsidethebox.

Someexamplesofthismodernapproacharelistedbythewidespreaduseofprograms

implementedbydepartmentsacrossthecountry.Oneexampleiscalledtheweedandseed
program.Itisdefinedasfollows:Thisstrategyinvolvesatwoprongedapproachtocrime
prevention:lawenforcementagenciesandprosecutorscooperateinweedingoutviolent
criminalsanddrugabusers,whilecommunitybasedorganizationsworktogethertoseed
muchneededhumanservices,includingprevention,intervention,treatment,andneighborhood
restorationprograms.Therearefourbasiccomponentstotheweedandseedprogram:law
enforcementcommunitypolicingprevention,intervention,andtreatmentandneighborhood

restoration.(U.SDepartmentofJustice,2007).Thisprogrambrilliantlytakesintoconsideration
minordrugoffensesandthepsychologicalproblemsassociatedwithdrugabusebyfocusingon
treatmentmeasuresanddistinctivelycategorizeandseparateviolentfromminoroffenders.
Otherapproachesincludeneighborhoodwatchprogramsortownmeetings.Footpatrolsand
ministrationsareexamplesofdepartmentorganizationtowardsPOP.Theministationisperhaps
anewideafortheU.S,butinJapanthesesubstationsarecommonlyfoundincommunitiesand
aresuccessful.Withmodernprogramslikethese,officersanddepartmentsdofacechallenges
inwhichthepublicmightnotbeaware.

Currentissuesrevolvingaroundcommunitypolicingaswellasspotlightsstemfrom

realisticpoliceactivityandcommonhumanbehavior.Oneverycommonquestioniswheredoes
itallstart?Shouldpoliceofficerstrainingintheacademiesbestrictlytrainedforthisstyleof
policing?OrisPOPadepartmentlevelproblem?Oftentimesthebiggestproblemthatthe
policehaveiswithlackoftraining.Notalldepartmentssharethesamegoals,orthinkthesame
wayandnotallacademieshavethesameleveloftraining.Educationissomethingalso
accompaniestraininginthisperspectiveofcommunitypolicing.Acopwithhighschoollevel
educationandsomeadultleveloccupationsperhapshasthecapabilitytodothejobintermsof
traditionalpolicing.ButPOPnotonlyemphasizesinnovationandcriticalthinking,itrequiresit
andthesearetheskillsthatareobtainedthroughhigherlevelsofeducationsuchasa
bachelorsdegree.AcommonexampleoftheissuesofPOPcanbefoundinColoradoSprings
PD.Heretheyhadcaseswhereproblemorientatedpolicinghadbeensuccessfullyimplemented
inthepast,butanindepthstudyshowedthatinmostcasestheofficersdidnotcontactthe
appropriateoutsideagenciesorentities,andinveryfewcasestheofficersreportedthe
problemsasbeingformallysolved.

Communitypolicing,evenwhenfacedwithafewproblems,isasuccessfulandmutually

beneficialphilosophyandstyleofpolicing.Itreallydoesstandoutasanexampleofmodern
thinkingandproblemsolving.Reasonforitssuccesscanbeattributedtothefactthatitisan
inclusive,problemsolvingandafluiddynamicrelationshipwiththepublicaswellaswithinthe
criminaljusticesystem.Thispolicingdoeshaveitskinks,butitiswellonitswaytobecominga
refinedversionofanalreadymainstreamstyle.Otherstylesoflawenforcementinthepasthave
failedandwhatCPdoesistakesthosefailuresandlearnsfromthem.Inaworldwherethewar
onterrorisoccurring,thefrontlinesisessentiallythepoliceforce.Withcommunitypolicing,that
warcanbefoughtmuchmoreeffectively.Fearofcrimeisreduced,terrorismisfought,
communitiesareenriched,andcrimeispreventedallwiththeuseofcommunitypolicing.

References

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