Community Police


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Community Policing in the US:

-History of Community Policing
-Community Policing
-Problem-Oriented Policing and Community-Oriented Policing

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  • Various crime commissions discovered that most crimes were not reported to police. The first use of victimization studies in the early 1970s indicated that there were significant levels of crime that were not reported to police. Fear of crime was also a significant concern for both police and citizens.
  • Kansas City Patrol Experiment – Around 1971, law enforcement agencies started to question the value of routine patrol. Kansas City (MO) designed an experiment to assess the effects of different levels of patrol on public attitudes, reported crime, victimization, traffic accidents, response time, etc. Conclusion – Overwhelming evidence is that decreasing or increasing routine preventive patrol within the range tested had no effect on crime, citizen fear, community attitudes toward police, response time, accidents. Rand Investigation Experiment - 150 large agencies surveyed and site visits occurred in 25 cities. The study questioned the traditional assumptions about the importance and worth of detective units. Important findings: Detectives solved only a small percentage of cases that were assigned to them. Detectives spent most of their time on tasks unrelated to crime solving (trial preparation, reports, interviews, etc.). Most important determinant of case clearance was information obtained by the patrol officer. Task forces did appear to result in more cleared cases. Rapid Response Studies – There is some discussion of response time studies in the first chapter of Problem Oriented Policing and Crime Prevention. In summary, police response time was not as important because 1) there was often a delay between the commission of a crime and the discovery of the crime; and 2) a delay often resulted between discover of the crime and notification to police.
  • Foot patrol often decreases fear of crime, although the impact of foot patrol on actual crime is less certain. See Police Foundation (1981). The Newark Foot Patrol Experiment . Washington D.C.
  • Source: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services;
  • Source:
  • There are different ways of defining and operationalizing community policing. Some suggest it’s a philosophy, others think it’s a tactic, and still others consider it a process. As such, some different conceptualizations of community policing are important discussion points.
  • Organizational Elements Philosophy adopted organization-wide: Department-wide adoption of community policing is evidenced by the integration of the philosophy into mission statements, policies and procedures, performance evaluations and hiring and promotional practices, training programs and other systems and activities that define organizational culture and activities. Organizational systems support and value a service orientation, and stress the importance of different units within the agency working cooperatively in support of community policing. Implementation of the community policing philosophy may occur incrementally and within specialized units at first, but a defined path leads towards full, department-wide implementation. Decentralized decision-making and accountability: In community policing, individual line officers are given the authority to solve problems and make operational decisions suitable to their roles, both individually and collectively. Leadership is required and rewarded at every level, with managers, supervisors, and officers held accountable for decisions and the effects of their efforts at solving problems and reducing crime and disorder with the community. Fixed geographic accountability and generalist responsibilities : In community policing, the majority of staffing, command, deployment, and tactical decision-making are geographically based. Appropriate personnel are assigned to fixed geographic areas for extended periods of time in order to foster communication and partnerships between individual officers and their community, and are accountable for reducing crime and disorder within their assigned area. The geographic boundaries are naturally determined based more on communities rather than statistical divisions. Utilization of Volunteer Resources: Community policing encourages the use of non-law enforcement resources within a law enforcement agency. Volunteerism involves active citizen participation with their law enforcement agency. The law enforcement organization educates the public about ways that they can partner with the organization and its members to further community policing, and provides an effective means for citizen input. Volunteer efforts can help to free up officer time, and allow sworn personnel to be more proactive and prevention oriented. Examples of such resources might include police reserves, volunteers,  Explorer Scouts, service organizations, and citizen or youth police academies. Enhancers: There are a number of enhancers and facilitators that may assist departments in their transition to community policing. For example, updated technology and information systems can facilitate community policing by providing officers access to crime and incident data which supports problem analysis or increases uncommitted officer time by reducing time spent on administrative duties. This results in enabling officers to spend more time in the community. In addition, enhanced technological and analytical capabilities allow the agency to gather timely information about crime problems, which supports better resource and personnel deployment while providing officers a better understanding of the problems within their beat. In addition, information must be made accessible not only to police officers, but also to the community. If officers are to be responsible for problems in their beat, and if the community is to be an equal partner in combating crime and disorder, both must have access to timely and complete information. Finally, community policing training for all sworn and civilian personnel can serve as a facilitator to successful implementation of the philosophy. Training opportunities support community policing through alternative means of enforcing the law and impacting crime and disorder problems. Community policing training must be incorporated into all facets of training, and required for all department personnel and available to the community, and expanded well beyond the definition and basic elements. Source:
  • Tactical Elements Enforcement of laws: Community policing complements the use of proven and established enforcement strategies, becoming one of many tools available to officers that can be collectively employed to prevent and combat crime. As the philosophical foundation, emphasis is placed on the quality of individual and group efforts. In addition, police departments should be active partners in identifying laws that need to be amended or enacted, then working with lawmakers and organizing citizen support efforts to change them. Collectively, these activities allow police agencies to address underlying conditions that lead to crime while strongly enforcing breaches in the law. Proactive, crime prevention-oriented: Departments became highly reactive under the traditional model of policing. Law enforcement responded to calls for service from citizens and focused primarily on arresting offenders after crimes had been committed. Under community policing, law enforcement focuses not only on enforcement, but also on crime prevention and proactively addressing the root causes of crime and disorder. The community actively engages in collaborating on prevention and problem-solving activities with a goal of reducing victimization and fear of crime. Problem-solving: Describes the process of attempting to solve problems. Police, community members, and other public and private entities work together to address the underlying problems that contribute to crime and disorder by identifying and analyzing problems, developing suitable responses, and assessing the effectiveness of these responses. While enforcement is an integral part of policing, problem-solving relies less heavily on use of the traditional criminal justice system components and enforcement methods and more on preventing crime through deterring offenders, protecting likely victims, and making crime locations less conducive to problems. Source:
  • External Elements Public Involvement and Community Partnerships: In community policing, citizens are viewed by the police as partners who share responsibility for identifying priorities, and developing and implementing responses. Accurate surveying of customer needs and priorities is required under community policing to determine the problems that drive police services, and give the public ownership of the problem-solving process. Government, other agency partnerships: The police are only one of the many local government agencies responsible for responding to community problems. Under community policing, other government agencies are called upon and recognized for their abilities to respond to and address crime and social disorder issues. Community-based organizations are also brought into crime prevention and problem-solving partnerships with the police. The support and leadership of elected officials, as well as the coordination of the police department at all levels, are vital to the success of these efforts. Source:
  • Citizen Input Examples – neighborhood meetings, citizen surveys, citizen police academies, etc. Broad Function – Remember, the primary functions of policing include law enforcement, service, and order maintenance. So the function of police expands well beyond enforcing laws. Personal Service – Historically, the “beat cop” knew his neighborhood and the citizens. The introduction of vehicles limited this “closeness” between police and citizens. Community policing restores that “intimacy” between an officer and a neighborhood such that personalized services are more likely to occur. Source: Gary Cordner, Eastern Kentucky University -
  • Sources: Gary Cordner, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Sources: Gary Cordner, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Sources: Gary Cordner, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Variations in CP – Every city cannot effectively utilize foot patrol, hire crime analysts, or organized community meetings. So, community policing will take different forms depending on this context and involvement of the community. For example, foot patrol is commonly used in New York City but rarely considered in rural county law enforcement agencies. Recommended Reading on CP variations – Maguire, Edward, R., Kuhns, Joseph B., Uchida, Craig & Cox, Stephen. (1997). Patterns of Community Policing in Non-Urban America . Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency , 34(3) : 368-394.
  • Community policing started to take root following the passing of the 1994 Crime Act and the creation of the COPS Office. COPS-funded training helps advance community policing at all levels of law enforcement - from line officers to law enforcement executives - as well as others in the criminal justice field. Source:
  • The next module will discuss POP in detail. However, this slide introduces the concept of POP within the discussion of COP and draws comparisons between the two.
  • Instructor Note: This chart could be used as a handout. According to Goldstein, problem-oriented policing primarily emphasizes the substantive societal problems the police are held principally responsible for addressing; community policing primarily emphasizes having the police engage the community in the policing process. Under problem-oriented policing, how the police and the community engage one another will and should depend on the specific problem they are trying to address, rather than being defined in a broad and abstract sense. Community policing implies that responses to problems will involve some sort of collaborative or cooperative working relationship between the police and the community. Problem-oriented policing allows for this possibility, but does not imply that such arrangements are always necessary or appropriate for addressing every problem. Carefully analyzing problems before developing new response strategies is given greater weight and importance under problem-oriented policing than under community policing. Problem-oriented policing specifically promotes using alternatives to the formal criminal justice system, redefining the nature of the police’s relationship to this and other systems; community policing does not explicitly address this relationship. Community policing strongly emphasizes organizing and mobilizing the community, almost to the point that doing so becomes a central function of the police; problem-oriented policing advocates such efforts only if they are warranted in the specific context of addressing a particular problem. Under community policing, certain features of police organizational structure and policy, like geographic decentralization and continuity in officer assignments to neighborhoods, are deemed essential; under problem-oriented policing, many of these features are seen as helpful, but not essential—problem-oriented policing can be done under a variety of organizational arrangements. Community policing emphasizes that the police share more decision-making authority with the community; problem-oriented policing seeks to preserve more ultimate decision-making authority for the police, even while encouraging the police to solicit input from outside the department. Problem-oriented policing emphasizes officers’ intellectual and analytical skills; community policing emphasizes their interpersonal skills. Finally, community policing expands the police’s role to advance large and ambitious social objectives, like promoting peaceful coexistence, enhancing neighborhood quality of life, promoting racial and ethnic harmony, and strengthening democratic community governance; problem-oriented policing is more cautious, emphasizing that the police are more limited in their capacity to achieve these goals than many people imagine, and guards against unrealistic expectations of the police. Some scholars and observers who have merged the concepts of community and problem-oriented policing erroneously ascribe the more ambitious goals of community policing to problem-oriented policing, as well. Source: Scott, Michael (2000). Problem-Oriented Policing: Reflections on the First 20 Years . Washington, DC. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
  • Community Police

    1. 1. Community Policing in the US Problem solving in society
    2. 2. Topics <ul><li>History of Community Policing </li></ul><ul><li>Community Policing </li></ul><ul><li>Problem-Oriented Policing and Community-Oriented Policing </li></ul>
    3. 3. History of Community Policing <ul><li>An outgrowth of two major forces in the 1960s: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Concerns about rising crime rates and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The national civil rights movement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These movements lead to increased attention and funding for research and policy development </li></ul>
    4. 4. History of Community Policing <ul><li>Also in the 1960s, a due process revolution was also occurring and the country was demanding: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>improved police-community relations; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>increased education for officers; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>diversity in the ranks, and; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>controls on police discrimination. </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. History of Community Policing <ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Congress allocated monies for research, which produced the; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Kansas City Preventive Patrol Study </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rand Investigation Experiment. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Response time studies suggested that police rarely respond to crimes in progress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evidence from these studies indicated that police were limited in their ability to affect crime levels </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. History of Community Policing <ul><li>Implications of the Research Findings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased interest in how to best involve citizens in the crime problem/solution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased experimentation on methods for preventing crime , including a number of studies on the impact of foot patrol. </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. What is Community Policing? <ul><li>Community policing focuses on crime and social disorder through the delivery of police services that includes aspects of traditional law enforcement, as well as prevention, problem-solving, community engagement, and partnerships. </li></ul><ul><li>The community policing model balances reactive responses to calls for service with proactive problem-solving centered on the causes of crime and disorder. </li></ul><ul><li>Community policing requires police and citizens to join together as partners . </li></ul>
    8. 8. Some Core Elements of Community Policing
    9. 9. COMMUNITY POLICING Community Policing Definition <ul><li>Agency has multi-disciplinary partnerships with indicated community partners, including other government agencies, non-profit and community groups, businesses, the media, and individuals. </li></ul><ul><li>Existing partnerships bring appropriate resources and level of commitment to community policing activities. </li></ul><ul><li>Level of interaction between law enforcement agency and community partners: communication, coordination, or collaboration. </li></ul>Community Partnerships Collaborative partnerships between the law enforcement agency and the individuals and organizations that serve or include anyone with a stake in the community. Problem Solving Organizational Transformation Community Policing Elements The process and effect of problem solving should be assessed at each stage of the problem solving process. <ul><li>Agency management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leadership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decision-making </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Planning and Policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizational evaluations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agency Accountability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transparency </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Organizational structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Geographic assignment of officers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>De-specialization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flatten organizational structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resources and finances </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Personnel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recruitment, hiring and selection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personnel evaluation and supervision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technology/information systems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication/Access to Data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality and Accuracy of Data </li></ul></ul><ul><li>General Problem Solving Approach </li></ul><ul><li>Problem Solving Processes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scanning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Response </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>General Skill in Problem Solving </li></ul>
    10. 10. Other Ways of Defining Community Policing
    11. 11. Organizational Elements <ul><li>CP Philosophy is Adopted Throughout the Organization </li></ul><ul><li>Decentralized Decision-Making and Accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Fixed Geographic Accountability and Generalist Responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Utilization of Volunteer Resources/Services </li></ul><ul><li>Enhancers </li></ul>
    12. 12. Tactical Elements <ul><li>Enforcement of Laws </li></ul><ul><li>Proactive, Crime Prevention Oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Problem-solving </li></ul>
    13. 13. External Elements <ul><li>Public Involvement in Community Partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Government and Other Agency Partnerships </li></ul>
    14. 14. Philosophical Dimension <ul><li>Citizen Input - Police agencies need extensive input from citizens on problems, priorities, policies, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Broad Function - Policing is a broad function - it is much more than just law enforcement. </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Service - Policing works best when officers know citizens and deliver personalized service - the opposite of “stranger” policing. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Strategic Dimension <ul><li>Re-Oriented Operations - Police look beyond traditional strategies of routine patrol, rapid response, and detective investigations and utilize proactive strategies and tactics. </li></ul><ul><li>Prevention Emphasis - Whenever possible, police should emphasize preventing crime rather than simply reacting after the fact. </li></ul><ul><li>Geographic Focus - Policing should be organized and deployed to maximize the extent of identification between specific officers and specific neighborhoods. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Tactical Dimension <ul><li>Positive Interaction - Police should positively interact with all segments of the community - especially since the nature of police work guarantees that some negative interaction is inevitable. </li></ul><ul><li>Partnerships - Police should partner with the community to deal with crime/problems, including collaborating with public and private agencies. </li></ul><ul><li>Problem Solving - Police and citizens should take every opportunity to address the conditions that cause incidents and crimes. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Organizational Dimension <ul><li>Structure - Police agencies should re-examine their structures to assure that they support and facilitate community policing. </li></ul><ul><li>Management - Police agencies should re-examine the way people are supervised and managed to assure consistency with community policing. </li></ul><ul><li>Information - Police agencies should re-examine their information systems to make sure they support and facilitate community policing. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Variations in Community Policing <ul><li>Community policing varies from one community to the next. </li></ul><ul><li>Community policing in a large, metropolitan city may be different than community policing in a small, rural area. </li></ul><ul><li>Community policing is dynamic and it changes with the community, crime rates, mobilization of citizens, region of the country, and other social and environmental factors. </li></ul>
    19. 19. The 1994 “Crime Act” Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) <ul><li>COPS Mission - Advance the practice of community policing to improve public safety. </li></ul><ul><li>Provided grants to hire and train community policing professionals, improve technology, and develop innovative strategies. </li></ul><ul><li>By 2005, COPS had invested $11.3 billion to add 118,768 community policing officers and deputies to the our streets and schools </li></ul>
    20. 20. Problem-Oriented Policing and Community-Oriented Policing
    21. 21. Selected Comparisons Between Problem-Oriented Policing and Community Policing Principles Principle Problem-Oriented Policing Community-Oriented Policing Primary emphasis Substantive social problems within police mandate Engaging the community in the policing process When police and community collaborate Determined on a problem by problem basis Always or nearly always Emphasis on problem analysis Highest priority given to thorough analysis Encouraged, but less important than community collaboration Preference for responses Strong preference that alternatives to criminal law enforcement be explored Preference for collaborative responses with community Role for police in organizing and mobilizing community Advocated only if warranted within the context of the specific problem being addressed Emphasizes strong role for police Importance of geographic decentralization of police and continuity of officer assignment to community Preferred, but not essential Essential Degree to which police share decision-making authority with community Strongly encourages input from community while preserving ultimate decision-making authority to police Emphasizes sharing decision-making authority with community Emphasis on officer skills Emphasizes intellectual and analytical skills Emphasizes interpersonal skills View of the role or mandate of police Encourages broad, but not unlimited role for police, stresses limited capacities of police and guards against creating unrealistic expectations of police Encourages expansive role for police to achieve ambitious social objectives
    22. 22. POP and COP <ul><li>Historically, many considered these two concepts to be mutually exclusive. </li></ul><ul><li>Police leaders and academics tend to agree that these concepts overlap in philosophy and practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Bottom line – It’s not one or the other, it’s one and the other… </li></ul>