Community Policing Research Paper

Introduction Problem statement The world is a highly dynamic place. Each and every day, individuals, industries, and nations conjure up new ways of doing things and find effective approached to better address the problems and challenges that they face. In the United States, the policing department is tasked with one of the most important roles.

As part and parcel of the law enforcement function, police officers and departments ensure law and order is maintained by monitoring criminal activity, investigating crimes and testifying in court, making arrests, respond to emergencies, and take part in community patrols. However, as the world continues to constantly and continuously evolve, the degree and nature of crime as well as people’s expectations and their perspectives on the role of the policing departments also changes.

The responsibilities of the police officers’ stops being viewed in light of merely fighting crime, but extends to crime prevention, dispute resolution, and social assistance. To respond to these new expectations and ensure that public safety has been effectively maintained and that the quality of life is properly promoted, it is important that the police and community stakeholders come up with fresh and efficient pproaches that can foster improvements in the quality of services that they provide.

Community policing has been hailed as an effective strategy that can aid in the attainment of this goal. But the problem remains that to date, no succinct understanding of community policing exists. Therefore, to help address this problem, this paper aims to examine some of the fundamental components related to community policing in a bid to facilitate the learning process and foster better understanding of the concept of community policing and how it can be made to work.

The first goal of this project will be to draw on the various descriptions that have een coined within the law enforcement community to advance forward a clear and concise definition of the concept of community policing. After defining community policing, the paper will then delve into specific police departments and explore how these departments go about implementing community policing. The specific questions that will be investigated when taking a peek at the various police departments are; is every cop a community police officer and if so what training do they undergo?

And do communities feel engaged by these kinds of policies or is the strategy just another over-hyped turnoff? It is true that neighborhoods need policing. Regardless, rather than merely policing neighborhoods, it is my belief that police officers should adopt approaches that completely engages the public and community members to ensure effective conflict resolution. There exist limitless opportunities in every industry and where there is an open mind there is a frontier.

To attain this paper’s primary objective of fostering a better understanding of police officers engagement with the communities that they serve, the author will rely on books, past studies, and journal articles on the topic as well as eports from the department of justice on the particular police departments and actual information from the police departments. Definition of community policing Researchers and scholars have defined the concept of policing differently.

However, although slightly varying, all these definitions feature certain primary elements that are encompassed within the concept of community policing. Koci and Gjurag (2016) stated that community policing has been proposed as a central piece of democratic policing delivery within the Albania police. The authors define community policing as a local and national strategy that fosters close ollaboration between the police, non-governmental organizations, and local authorities to identify and address local policing needs.

Riccio, Ruediger, Ross, and Skogan (2013) pointed out that community policing involves decentralization of administrative duties, to improve institutional responsiveness, and engage with the community in developing safer project solving approaches that extend the mandate of the police officers to include quality of life issues. Sciarabba (2010) noted that community policing offers a fresh avenue through which crime can be reduced.

The author goes n further to explain that community policing is the process of developing initiatives that are community-based so as to improve neighborhood-level crime control and restore community elements destroyed by crime. On the other hand, Yuksel and Tepe (2013) explored the level of citizen satisfaction with police officers in a community policing environment. The researchers stated that community policing, rather than responding to selected incidences, focuses on the underlying causes of problems within the community and how to solve them.

They reiterated that community policing is heavily dependent on citizen cooperation and involvement. The Us Department of Justice (2014) stated that community policing is an approach that recognizes that the police are seldom able to solve community problems when working alone, but can accomplish this goal properly through interactive partnerships with community stakeholders. Therefore, based on the above definitions of community policing, it can be deducted that the concept of community policing encompasses two main ideas; community partnerships and effective problem solving.

Hence, for purposes of this project, community policing will be defined as the process through which police officers are facilitated and supported to oster effective collaborations with members of the community with regard to the identification of community problems and the development of proper solutions to such problems. It entails making all the members of the community, as well as any other relevant stakeholders, active collaborators in the effort to improve the quality and safety of the neighborhoods.

Background The origin of the idea The idea of community policing is a fairly new perspective having only started attracting interests within the past two decades. The history of police and policing research, the highly dynamic nature of communities, and the shifting cha teristics of violence and crime that affects such communities are some of the underlying reasons why community policing has been brought to focus.

The strategies and policies that were employed in the past to fight crime and improve public safety are not effective today like they were in the past due to the changing nature of crime and communities. Hence, to achieve the primary goal of increasing security, safety, and well-being among communities, scholars, researchers, and policing agencies decided that there is an urgent need for a different kind of approach to help curb the increased problems that communities today face.

The rapidly changing modern environment has meant that police and policing agencies and departments today are striving to deal with a myriad of problems that includes, but not limited to, increased violence levels, gang activity, and the drugs epidemic. The increased burden placed on the police officers has stretched thin their limits to levels where they are not able to fully contain crime using traditional strategies.

As a result, both the police officers as well as other community stakeholders have realized that rather than focusing on crime prevention and containment, preventing crime from its root causes can help educe the crime burden and foster safe and secure neighborhoods. By taking a unified stance against crime and violence, and ignorance of the law, and committing to collaboratively participate in intervention development and crime-prevention initiatives, stronger and more self-sufficient communities devoid of disorder and crime can be created.

As noted by Kelling (1988), community institutions are the first line of defense against disorder and crime. A historical examination of the role of the police To further understand the concept of community policing and appreciate why it is an integral framework to fighting crime and isorder in society, it is critical to traverse the role of the police force over the years. Just like the communities, the American policing system also gradually evolves as time goes by.

These transformations in American policing can be said to have gone through the political, reform, and community eras (Gaines, & Miller, 2016). The political era (1840-1930) was an era that was full of corruption. The 1840’s American police system was a quid pro quo system that involved the police greatly impacting on the outcomes of elections either through rigging or by swaying people’s votes. Some of the services that the police offered during this time include crime prevention, social service programs, maintenance, and immigration duties.

The Organizational design was largely decentralized at this time due to a lack of communications and transportation. During this time, the main function of the police officers was to serve local political interests and patrols were mainly done on foot or by using bicycles. Corruption, brutality, and forced confessions were common place within the police departments. The idea of reform only started taking root in the late 1920’s after the findings of the Wickersham commission.

The reform era was characterized by the centralization of the police departments and the establishment of a professional relationship between the community members and the police (Oliver, 2007). In contrast to the political era when police freely engaged with the locals and built relationships, they were non-approachable in the reform era and they did not care about relationship building with community members. Technological advancements meant that bicycles were not used for patrol anymore, but rather, police used police vehicles in patrol to increase response times.

In addition, the police also used telephone systems, the 911 in particular, and the primary policing duty was crime control. Relationships between the police and the community went from bad to worse during this era resulting in widespread mistrusts. However, corruption was minimal since police were better trained and paid, and the use of technologies and scientific methods to crime-prevention made policing more efficient. The findings of the 1974 criminal justice study The Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment ushered in further police reforms that led to the community era.

The community era was a time where crime control and community collaborations on community services were integrated (Gaines, & Miller, 2016). Police departments were again decentralized and special community police units were created to help rebuild relationships with the members of the community and make them trust that the policing departments care for their wellbeing in addition to fighting and preventing crime. Today, the idea of community policing has been explored, expanded, and adjusted to fit current conditions and better foster improved service quality.

Police departments and leaders are no longer content to be restricted within the narrow confines of minor modifications to traditional policing operational and management practices. Today’s overwhelming demand for better quality services coupled with the escalating nee optimize staff and resources and encourage innovativeness among police officers while at the same time fostering community participation in policing initiatives, necessitate the for a more in-depth and comprehensive examination of how to effectively utilize community policing to improve policing effectiveness and efficiency.