Community-oriented policing

Published: 2019-09-09 07:30:00
1786 words
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In this era, a lot of changes are taking place forcing various departments to adjust so that they can remain relevant. For instance, in the past police services were limited to solving local issues such as theft and burglary. Transnational issues such as terrorism were resolved by higher ranked departments such as the FBI. However, the increased incidences of terrorism which affect local communities saw the reformation of the nation security which expanded police responsibilities. At the same time, the force was under pressure to improve their performance because of the high crime rates. The police force reacted to the pressure by adopting various strategies that shifted the force's operation from reactive and passive to preventive and interventionist models. The former model painted the police force as a department that only stepped in after destruction; this contrasted with the objective of the force which is to ensure public safety. On the other hand, preventive and interventionist model made the police to use a lot of force which highlighted various shortcomings that were embedded in the force. For instance, the 2014 shooting in Ferguson is one of the incidences that illustrated flaws underlying the preventive and interventionist approach.

According to Maximino (2015), the limitations of the previous techniques demanded formulation of better strategies that could enable the force to achieve their objective with high efficiency. The realization that provision of efficient services should involve the contribution of both the user and provider can be considered as the turning point of policing in the US. Such a concept is supported by the logic that states that a significant portion of the population are law abiders and only a small percentage break the law eventually affecting the larger society. Therefore, the public has the obligation to get involved in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of new police programs. The technique ensures that the adopted policies align with the real circumstances because the incorporated ideas encompass the real issues on the ground; the outcome is a more efficient technique that performs the expected duties with dignity and integrity.

Most academicians agree that community oriented policing strategies are the most recent innovation that can be classified among other devices such two-way radios. Evidence of the new policy's efficiency is evidenced by the reduced number of crimes as well as increased loyalty between the public and the police force. For example, statistics indicate that the adoption of community-oriented policing in the 1980s saw the reduction of crime rates from 2245 in 1990 to 983 by 1996. Docobo (2005) agrees with Maximino that community oriented policing is a philosophy that is focused on social disorders as well as a crime through the delivery of police services that incorporate aspects of both the traditional and reformed police strategies. Therefore, the policy acts as a connection between the public and the citizen who work towards the same goal. Such a relationship ensures transparency within the force which in turn increase the trust that the public has towards the police; this reduces instances of citizens' rebellion which can increase the rift between the community and the police thus reducing crime rates (Mirsky, 2009).

The policy has reshaped the relationship between the force and the police which enhances their collaboration. During the reactive and passive operational model, the society perceived the force as incompetent to achieve its role. Upon the adoption of preventive and interventionist framework the police employed excess force in dealing with crime; this created a negative mentality towards the force where the community treated the police as enemies. The community oriented policing philosophy forced several amendments within the department which include the delegation of the role of decision making to officers who exercise joint command who are located within a specified geographical location. Chapman and Scheider (2016) explain that such a move prevents generalization techniques thus ensuring that strategies used within a given region suit the requirements. Since community policing involves a collection of many different approaches, no single definition can suit the policy as it encompasses not only a crime but also non-crime matters (Leech & Drury, 2009) . Therefore, available descriptions are just an attempts of summarizing the policy and thy often leave out some important components. According to Maximino, the variability of community policing can be evidenced by different results across multiple communities as well as departments.

From a general perspective, it can be concluded that community oriented policing has received positive results as evidenced by the reduced crime rates. For example, positive police-community relationships have reduced the fears associated with a crime which fulfills the primary aim of the policy. Achievement of such a goal can be correlated to the utilization of the preventive operational model which emphasizes on utilizing new technology and local intelligence to counter crimes such as terrorism. The new policies have created frameworks that unites the public, the police, and other public service agencies by allowing efficient coordination which in effectively curbs terrorism (Chapman & Scheider, 2016). However, some scholars argue that community oriented policing success has only received short-term success such as enhancement of the satisfaction and changing citizen's about disorder; yet it has failed to forecast and prevent future crimes which translate to increased crime fears (Charlotte, Weisburd, Telep, Vitter, & Bennett, 2014). Although Maximino agrees that the community-oriented policing strategy has had positive results by reducing negative perception towards disorder and fulfilling the public's perception, he agrees that they have been no statistics prove such information, and thus thy are nothing but assumptions.

In spite of the public appraisal of the community oriented policing, certain flaws have been highlighted which demands reformation. For instance, although the policy emphasizes on the need to include the public, the inclusion has been selective as it leaves out the young population who are often associated with criminal activities. Therefore, the young population perceives the designed laws as a target rather than an asset meant to serve them (Forman, 2004). As much as the definitions of community policing emphasize on the element of community involvement in finding new techniques to deal with present issues, the involvement is partial leaving a significant mandate of decision making to the force (Leech & Drury, 2009). Mirsky (2009) has pinpointed the lack of a correlation between the implementation of the new policy, officer training and the expected outcome to be evidence that the public involvement is theoretical rather than practical. The nature of community policing only limits it to certain neighborhoods. Research has found out that the policy is only effective among the middle class and white populations; this excludes the low-class black population (Charlotte, Weisburd, Telep, Vitter, & Bennett, 2014)

Critical analysis

The research on community oriented policing has a double folded impact, as it possesses both a positive as well as negative effect. The study paints the police force as a department that is aimed towards fulfilling its required purpose of making the community safe. A brief history that each scholar provided highlighted the many approaches that the force has undertaken with the intention of improving their services. Other than the mandate to accomplish their missions, the attempts that have finally led to the adoption of community-oriented policing implies that to police officers the public interests always comes first. The outcome is an improved public image that creates trust between the force and the community which in turn make police work more appealing. On the other hand, the criticism of the new policy highlights some flaws that underlie police force department. For instance, the issue of partial inclusion of the public in designing new techniques as well as the non-uniform applicability of community-oriented policing policy highlights aspects of deception and unfairness within the force. Such factors contrast with the expected conduct of integrity which makes the public create negative perception towards the sector; this enhances rebellion towards the set laws which in turn increases crime rates making police work more challenging as a result of lack of public cooperation.

The literature review highlights the advantages and limitations of the community policing approaches. Although scholars mentioned achievement of significant positive results, lack of statistical evidence disregards the authenticity of such assumptions. Instances like this demands that the police force makes efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of the any adopted strategy which will highlight the elements that need to be emphasized and those that need some correction. The review also illustrates the need for transparency within the force. For example, upon the adoption of the current policy, the police should have clearly explained to what extend the public would get involved in the processes of making decisions concerning a new technique. Lastly, the research highlights the inadequacy of transparency within the police department; reports regarding the introduction of the present policy emphasized that it was going to be applied across the US yet it is only applicable to neighborhoods with certain features. Therefore, the force needs to make transparency a mandatory constituent of their operations as it is essential in creating trust between the service providers and the users.

Although community policing approaches have been around for a relatively long period of time, certain constituents are often ignored in spite of their important functions. The review highlighted two primary components that form the basis of the policy. The first element is the principle the "broken windows" theory from which the approach was derived. The concept explains that social disorder is somehow contagious and thus if left unattended to it can lead to high level of immorality and serious crimes. Therefore, the police force needed to have an accurate understanding of the moral stance of the community for them to align their practices accordingly so as to root out any form of the disorder before it develops into something fatal. The second constituent is the selective participation, where those who were likely to get involved in criminal activities were exempted from offering their contributions towards policy improvement. Exploring the works of scholars such as foreman and other academicians who have written about the principles and features of Community policing enables an individual to have an in-depth understanding of the primary constituents of the current policy.

Various recent incidences have implicated the police force for using excessive force when dealing with the public as well as racism. For instance, Michael Brown, Walter Scott and Eric Garner are some of the recent African Americans that have been killed by the police in controversial situations. Such incidents come after studies carried out by the federal department indicated that by 2004 almost 90% of the police departments had fully adopted the community-oriented policing approach. Since the approach is directed towards correcting flaws such discrimination and unnecessary harm to the public, such contrasts raised the question of just how applicable was the policy in 2014. However, reduction of such incidences in the year 2015 can be considered a positive indicator,...


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