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Community Policing 10

Community Policing

Community and police coming together to identify and solve community’s security related problems is community policing. It involves citizens as partners in the process of reducing and controlling problems of crime with the effort of improving the quality of life for the community (Trojanowicz 1988). The police force help communities to mobilize support and resources to solve the underlying problem and enhance their quality of life. Empowering the community is a strategy that is very essential in crime prevention and creating more vital neighborhoods.

With time, the nature of communities has changed and so has the characteristics of crime and violence that affect the community. The strategies that the police have been using have proved futile for they have not been able to meet the desired goal, and therefore there has been a need from even the practitioners demanding for innovations that will help curb the issues affecting the communities (Oliver & Bartgis, 1998). In our community and mostly my neighborhood, there has been a notable increase in graffiti in the recent past, Paintings on buildings and stone fences have been a nuisance for a long time. Many people have lost a lot of money painting their building only to find them destroyed through graffiti.

Due to this underlying problem, I recommend community policing to help wipe out this vise and any other crime problem. Community policing requires participation of a wide range category of people; from the local government, business leaders, public and private agencies, churches, residents, schools and hospitals. This is because they are all responsible of safeguarding the communities’ welfare and because it is a democratic nature. Community policing bring together the police and the community to deal with a disorder using a wide variety of methods which are not used in traditional policing. The good thing about community policing is that it requires the police to handle security issues of the people and indentifying the problem disturbing the well being of the same community. Community policing helps get to the root causes of crimes in the society, it recognizes that crime is a community issue, caused by the societal issues and failures. For an effective implementation of order in the community, there must be a part played by the community itself and the police force (Fielding, 1995).

To incorporate community policing in the force requires training and education. They have to examine the old tactics they have been using and then adopt the new improved techniques in the community policing system. This system is a philosophy where an officer is supposed to work in the same area permanently working in direct contact with the citizens to indentify and resolve problems. It states that an officer is supposed to offer full policing service, proactive and reactive, and solving problems including crime and neighborhood decay. Having deployed an officer into a specific place on permanent basis, community and officers have a direct link; they know each other by the first names (Bryett & Harrison, 1993).

Community policing officer do their job just like any other officer in that, they answer calls and make arrests but the only difference is that they are mostly focused on proactive problem solving. This means that what ever issue is disturbing the community is dealt with from the roots. This system is effective for dealing with crime because officers not only rely on the police cars for transport; they are free to walk the beat on bicycles or horses. Moreover, there develops a partnership between the community and the police due to the fact that officers are deployed on permanent basis. There are no rotations in and out of the beats. It decentralizes police officers and their decision making in that an officer is empowered to make any decision as long as it is a solution to the societies’ problems. This system changes the mission of the police in that most focus is on solving problems.

Community policing allows the community to be involved in coming up with the best solutions for the crime mostly affecting them. This is brought about the belief that, to get a comprehensive solution, allow the community and the police explore all the possible and creative way of addressing of solutions to the underlying problems. Community policing is founded on two theories; first, the normative sponsorship theory that states, that most of the people are of good will and willing to work with others to reach an agreement.

When you have people brought together sharing common goals, there is a higher probability that they will agree on the goals that are beneficial to their community or neighborhood. Secondly, the critical social theory which its focus in on why people come together to correct and defeat the socioeconomic and political handles they face blocking them from meeting their needs. To enhance the critical theory, people must be educated about their issues before they fight for change, take action for their change and reflect on their social actions.

In many communities policing approach, the key thing is solving the problems affecting the society. Most police organization act under a chain of command. This means that, there are some officers who can not make certain decisions. However, in community policing the officer is free to make decisions and attend to any problem coming from the society proves that, community policing is effective in dealing with the crime in any given society.

To implement this system there is a need to tailor make community policing to meet the needs of a particular community and there be negotiations and dialogue between the two. The community policing philosophy emphasizes on increasing the police presence in the community so as the community can discharge social duties effectively. In this case, the purpose of an officer is not only enforcing the law but also for providing services that are aimed at improving safety and order in the community. Police and community work towards a common goal, safety and improved lives. When they work together there are high chances that much is going to be achieved that the police would have managed alone.

Police force and patrols tries to decrease a crime or disorder with the presence of police officer. The same case applies to community policing but this time round using the community inputs to indentify a crime and strategize on dealing with it effectively. This is why it is said that community policing without problem solving does not qualify to be called community policing (Eck & Spelman, 1987). Officers therefore try and solve the recurring of a certain problem by going ahead and implementing strategies that will address the underlying cause of the problem. All crimes affect the community in a certain way; therefore involving the same community in solving the problem can result to be more efficient. By the fact that community policing is a more personalized service helps build trust and positive interaction between the two which in the long run will result to improved services.

For the development of an effective community policing force there is need to form a force that is responsive. This can be affected by creating toll free emergency numbers. This will result to victims calling the police force anytime anywhere, regardless of whether they have money or not. In our area, to call a police station requires you to use money. So incase you are robbed off everything, you cannot reach the police force. After putting in place the communication part of it, there is a need to addressing the beat where by a police officer should not serve in particular place for a time less that four years. This will enable the community to know the officer so well and feel free working with him/her. Each beat should have a committee comprising of police and the public meeting maybe every three months and discussing the progresses they have made and where improvement is required (Wycoff & Mary, 1994).

There should be well laid procedures to educate the public on the need to prevent crime and the measures to take because of the underlying problem. This can be enhanced by giving officers to different groups in the society; like the youth, women, men, etc. technology should be utilized in community policing for better results. The police department should therefore be equipped with information technologies gadgets to help it serve the public efficiently (Mark, 1976). For instance, the use of fax net can be a vital machine in our area whereby the police use it to communicate with the community mostly the business people informing them of the criminal activities and any wanted criminals.

More over, due to vulnerability to robbery, members of the neighborhood watch groups should be established. Neighborhood voice mails system can help the community communicate with the police force and the neighbors for effective crime reduction. Introduction of complaint box system in different locations is also an effective strategy in community policing. For people who may be having information which can assist the police and yet remain unidentified.

There is a need of involving the media in community policing. Media covers so many people at a time. When publicizing community concerns and the desired solutions, the media can be used to communicate this to the community. The media have a positive impact on public perception of the police, crime problems and fear of crime. Moreover there should be an establishment of a community court to be charging petty offenders. the hearing of cases is done in the neighborhood where the offence occurred, the judge and the community panel members discuss with the offender the effect they have to the community and then directed to perform community service, pay some money or financial restitution, or attend a vocational training so they can recognize that they are held accountable of their offences. In the long run reducing the number of graffiti cases in our community (Radelet, 1986).

There are many benefits for community policing to the community like, community police relationship is improved and therefore there is a change of perceptions of police. When communities are involved in handling their problems, there will be an increased public accountability through participation. There are high chances that the problems will be solved because both the police and community are working on shared goals.


Community policing implemented in our neighborhood can result to curbing graffiti and other crimes that has been a problem of our community. This is because of its diverse ways of dealing with issues using the community; it not only focuses on crime reduction but also on dealing with the root cause of the same which means it is an effective way of policing. However, its implementation depends with the acceptability from the police force. Community policing is a battle of hearts and minds of police officers. This means that only officers that believe in the philosophy are the ones with the high chances of engaging in problem solving and working hand in hand with the community to curb crimes.

Community policing strategies are tailored to the local community. Therefore investigation of the community should first be undertaken before implementing it. Traditional police structures are common barrier of community policing implementation. Many officers are cynical of community policing an therefore training is first of all required to ensure that the officers understand the philosophy and all the skills required in this system. Finally there is a need to change the organizational structure so that all officers can be empowered to make decisions which are beneficial to the community. There is no need of the chain of command that is experienced in the police force due to its paramilitary nature.


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