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  • Community Policing

    How do you feel about the concept of communtiy policng in urban areas? WHat are the pros and cons of Community Policing? Do you feel that community policing is causing a decline in the number of arrests?
    Just a qeustion I want to ask LEO for a Criminal Justice class I am taking.
    Thanks for your opinions.

    DAWAND

  • #2
    I was around before comm.policing & when they called it "neighborhood policing" I think it's a good concept IF the dept. involved realizes they are offering a service,not a product (arrests,citations,etc.). Because of this the effectiveness can be very nebulous. Comm. based policing is also costly. More officers needed or the offs. have to devote more time to solving problems in their assigned area which means more money in overtime. Arrests MAY go down If the offs. do the job comm. based policing is intended to do. But again you have to ask "What is the role of a Police Dept?" If it's only to make arrests, then I'd say this style of policing is ineffective. If the role of the Police is to enhance the quality of life ( & nowadays that's what politicans want for their constituents) then I'd say Comm. BASED Policing is a good idea. The problem you have with all this is politicans & police administrators arguing what the Dept. should be doing. When arrests decline mgmt. gets upset. When arrests go up, people, via their elected officials say the police are too strict. In reality police depts should be trying to work themselves out of a job but that's just not possible. Another argument for this is police offs. can't be all places all the time, so what's wrong with teaching the public simply to look out for their own neighborhood. Personally, I like the concept.

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    • #3
      Thanks Hemi you have given me some useful info on the subject.

      Comment


      • #4
        Community Policing

        As a retired state officer, I may not be the best judge of the effectiveness of Community Policing. In theory, it's great. It calls for a considerable amount of creativity on the part of the assigned officers, and often involves officers attempting to solve problems not traditionally police matters. Crime prevention/reduction should be the basis for any police program. If a community is dedicated to the idea of ridding itself of gangs and crime, community policing can be a useful tool. Too often though, commitment on the part of the community is lacking. When it is, community policing is worse than useless.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by PhilipCal
          As a retired state officer, I may not be the best judge of the effectiveness of Community Policing. In theory, it's great. It calls for a considerable amount of creativity on the part of the assigned officers, and often involves officers attempting to solve problems not traditionally police matters. Crime prevention/reduction should be the basis for any police program. If a community is dedicated to the idea of ridding itself of gangs and crime, community policing can be a useful tool. Too often though, commitment on the part of the community is lacking. When it is, community policing is worse than useless.

          This is weird, I was just asking for more information on this and a few other programs in the "Ask A cop" forum and here it is.... I thought Community Policing was supposed to be a partnership of different agencies (state, city, county, federal) working together to prevent and police (no pun intended) crime by removing the potential for a criminal action to happen. Especially the prevention part. Targeted patrols, higher community awareness, public interaction with the authorities in all areas. But where criminal activity has been a problem in the past or has the potential to happen especially. I understand that you can never completely eliminate the likelyhood of a crime happening (just not enough time or officers) but my understanding was that these types of programs were designed to prevent them from occurring in the first place, therefore crime is reduced due to pre-action, not re-action?
          "We have enough youth, how about a fountain of smart?"

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          • #6
            Community policing is a good concept if you have good resources. When the resources go away, then you lose the concept in my eyes. We had a juvenile officer and a school resource officer, however, due to money reasons, both spots were returned to patrol. This is sad because the money problem that exists really doesn't and the PD takes the brunt of the cuts. With that being said, the community hasn't called the city managers bluff on any of it. This means that the community concept is lost because the community doesn't care about the cuts. We are relegated to making more arrests and finding about 1 heroin OD a week because of it. We're not a large city either. Did we have less arrests with the Juvenile Officer and SRO, yes, and we had better intervention. Community policing only works if the community is willing to work with you, until then, you will have more arrests and less intervention that prevents the problems.

            Just my 2 cents, hope this helps.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by hemicop
              Another argument for this is police offs. can't be all places all the time, so what's wrong with teaching the public simply to look out for their own neighborhood. Personally, I like the concept.

              I think you have the right idea "hemicop". Simple awareness can prevent a variety of unpleasant things from happening. It isn't a cure all but then again nothing is.
              "We have enough youth, how about a fountain of smart?"

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              • #8
                Her in Phx. we have "Community Action Officers" & "Neighborhood Enforcment Teams". These are usually experienced officers & they'll use a variety of resources to squelch a problem. Neighborhood crac house? Get Zoning in to contact the property owner, inspect the house & condemn it.Result? The house gets torn down! High crime apt complex? Get mgmt to participate in a "crime-free multi-housing program". Tenants sign a lease they'll be law-abiding & if they commit a crime they'll vacate the apt. If an off. goes to an apt as aresult of a crime, mgmt gets notified & the tenant is evicted. Works pretty well around here & you can see how the public can help themselves in this & how the police can bring other forces to bear on the problem

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                • #9
                  Community policing is also a way of dealing with the 'perception' of crime in a community. As an officer, you may have a top 10 list of police related problems that you feel need to be addressed. However, the specific community may feel that there are other, more urgent problems that need to be fixed. For example, a recent homeowners association meeting revealed that a large number of residents felt that blocking off through streets would keep the riff raff out of their neighborhoods. A good community officer knows that the criminals are walking or riding bicycles in the area. Few crack heads have cars. So, educating the community becomes a priority. Add some crime prevention training and you have a very supportive neighborhood.
                  Jerry
                  "If all else fails, stop using all else!"

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                  • #10
                    Bumping this topic up. Because I am involved in the community side of community policing, I'd really like to see more discussion of the subject.

                    There are several other threads that started a discussion on this but they didn't go very far.

                    Here are two links to other threads on the topic. These have some useful information and ideas.

                    http://forums.officer.com/showthread...unity+policing

                    http://forums.officer.com/showthread...unity+policing

                    There are a few more, but they didn't seem to me to be particularly useful.

                    Some questions for generating discussion:

                    1) If your department purports to do community policing, does it use "community policing" as a buzz word or does it actually have a workable program?

                    2) have you ever been a community policing officer (neighborhood policing officer / crime prevention officer -- whatever it is called in your department). If so, what experiences have you had that might shed some light on its effectiveness (or ineffectiveness)?

                    3) If you are a civilian, have you ever been involved in the community side of the concept. If so, what experiences have you had that might shed some light on its effectiveness (or ineffectiveness)?

                    There are, of course, many more questions that could be asked. This is just a starting point.
                    Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
                    Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
                    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1

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                    • #11
                      Community Policing is far from expensive. I work with 2 other guys and we pretty much ride bikes or walk the entire shift. We have taken on 4 high crime neighborhoods. Not only have we saved the department in fuel costs but dropped violent crimes and property crimes 49% within these neighborhoods... Further more, there seems to be this slight trust for police in these neighborhoods now. You cant really beat a decent drop in criminal activity plus a cost savings and a community that trusts you. Our city has a pop of about 230,000 and it doesnt work in all areas.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        How does this work? What do you do while you are biking/walking? Do you try to focus on "positive" contacts or do you otherwise police in the same way you would in a car?

                        What aspects of your work would you attribute the "slight trust" in the community to? Just being visible, or actually getting to know the folks on the street?

                        Has your participation in this brought you a different view of the community than you had before? If so, how?

                        One of the aspects of bike patrol the officers in my department (I'm a volunteer civilian) is that it makes it easier to sneak up on lawbreakers. They can't see you coming, and they can't outrun you.

                        The walking patrol on the other hand gets to know most of the people on the street & they find out there are lots of good folks there who look just like the "bad guys." Helps in preventing them from going after the law-abiding citizens based on "impressions."

                        Big argument here AGAINST foot patrols in particular in my department is that those officers are unable to respond to calls for service. So foot patrols supposedly increase the response time to calls, making it necessary to have more cops out there.

                        Any thoughts on this?

                        Originally posted by 1345 View Post
                        Community Policing is far from expensive. I work with 2 other guys and we pretty much ride bikes or walk the entire shift. We have taken on 4 high crime neighborhoods. Not only have we saved the department in fuel costs but dropped violent crimes and property crimes 49% within these neighborhoods... Further more, there seems to be this slight trust for police in these neighborhoods now. You cant really beat a decent drop in criminal activity plus a cost savings and a community that trusts you. Our city has a pop of about 230,000 and it doesnt work in all areas.
                        Last edited by rubyrose; 10-18-2008, 02:10 PM.
                        Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
                        Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
                        A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hillsborough Sheriff actually has a community policing unit. Basically they are put in a specific community for the sole purpose of long term problem solving. I think if if you're a large agency with the resources and manpower, that's a great way to do things.

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                          • #14
                            This is a national project in Ireland where millions are spent each year with fulltime officers spending 100% of their time bridging the gap between the police and high-crime areas.

                            Good concept however I feel it makes the police look more huggable and loveable rather than a force that exists to ensure that you don't cause trouble. It may sound like an old concept but the police are police, and should be nothing more. I don't know..I may be wrong. My Government certainly thinks I am.

                            They'd rather I go and hug those poor misunderstood crims..

                            EDIT: PhilipCal got it in one. What I may add is that the role of social worker becomes far more prevalent now in policing than it ever has..something which isn't, technically, a police matter. Did we all not join to solve crimes?
                            Last edited by ForegoneReality; 10-18-2008, 07:47 PM.

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                            • #15
                              I took college courses specifically about this topic.
                              Community policing is great on alot of different aspects. Community policing raises awareness to the community about its police department. Community policing also gives the citizens that they are safer and feel like a call away for assistance. When an officer goes door to door, that citizen gets the personal connection with the officer so that if there ever is any time where the citizen is in a need of assitance, they can feel confident about calling the police for help. There is a huge HUGE list of pros and cons that you can go write all day long. Its all how your views upon the subject are. I feel that community policing is a wonderful way to get in touch with the community but at the same time, there are some drawbacks. Ill get the author of my community policing book later for you.

                              Comment

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