Community Policing

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COMMUNITY POLICING

What Is Community Policing?

Partnership Effective community policing has a positive impact on reducing neighborhood crime, helping to reduce fear of crime and enhancing the quality of life in the community. It accomplishes these things by combining the efforts and resources of the police, local government and community members.

An Idea for the Times Community policing is 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. It is founded on close, mutually beneficial ties between police and community members.

Community policing offers a way for law enforcement to help re-energize our communities. Developing strong, self-sufficient communities is an essential step in creating an atmosphere in which serious crime will not flourish.

A Practical Approach to Problems. Community policing seeks the input and talents of all members of the community in the effort to safeguard our neighborhoods.

Community policing is being advocated by leaders at the highest levels of government—including The President of the United States, who describe it as the “changing of policing.” It has even been suggested that community policing can play a primary role in directing the way government services are provided at the community level.

Getting Back to the People. At the center of community policing are three essential and complementary core components: community partnership, problem solving and change management.

Community partnership recognizes the value of bringing the people back into the policing process. All elements of society must pull together as never before if we are to deal effectively with the unacceptable level of crime claiming our neighborhoods.

Problem solving identifies the specific concerns that community members feel are most threatening to their safety and well-being. These areas of concern then become priorities for joint police-community interventions.

Change management requires a clear recognition that forging community policing partnerships and implementing problem-solving activities will necessitate changes in the organizational structure of policing. Properly managed change involves a recognition of the need for change, the communication of a clear vision that change is possible, the identification of the concrete steps needed for positive change to occur, the development of an understanding of the benefits of change, as well as the creation of an organization-wide commitment to change.

What Makes Community Policing Different? Law enforcement has long recognized the need for cooperation with the community it serves. Officers speak to neighborhood groups, participate in business and civic events, consult with social agencies and take part in education programs for school children. Foot, bike and horse patrols bring police closer to the community.

More Effective Ways to Solve Ongoing Problems. Law enforcement leaders seeking innovative ways to enhance performance and maximize resources have struck a responsive chord across the nation with a variety of community policing initiatives. Government and community leaders are increasingly cognizant that they must accept a share of the responsibility for problems caused by lapses in many areas of society. Police have long borne a disproportionate share of this burden.

Renewed Emphasis on Crime Prevention. The Brigantine Police Department is looking to enhance its tough stance on crime with renewed focus on strategies that help prevent crime, reduce fear of crime and improve the quality of life in neighborhoods. This requires an intimate knowledge of the community.

Policing concepts currently in vogue have tended to isolate officers from the communities they serve which can hamper crime control efforts. Community policing allows law enforcement to get back to the principles upon which it was founded, to integrate itself once again into the fabric of the community so that the people come to the police for counsel and help before a serious problem arises, not after the fact.

Never before done our officers are now seen on a daily basis at the schools, getting out of the car and speaking with business owners. When not answering calls to service officers are now encouraged to do some sort of community policing.

How Does Community Policing Work?

Expanded Policing Goals. Crime prevention takes on renewed importance in community policing as the police and the community become partners in addressing problems of disorder and neglect that can breed serious crime. As links between the police and the community are strengthened over time, the partnership is better able to pinpoint and mitigate the underlying causes of crime.

Community Policing Relies on Active Community Involvement. Community policing recognizes that community involvement gives new dimension to crime- control activities. While police continue to handle crime fighting and law enforcement responsibilities, the police and community work together to modify conditions that can encourage criminal behavior. The resources available within communities allow for an expanded focus on crime-prevention activities.

Police Services Delivered Through the Neighborhood Patrol Officer. Patrol officers and deputies are the primary providers of police services in community policing efforts. They handle the daily policing needs of the community. The entire police organization backs the efforts of the neighborhood officers.

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