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Community Policing Essay

1030 words - 4 pages

Community PolicingCommunity policing is regarded as the answer to crime in many of America's cities today. Communitypolicing.org defines community policing as, "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 (About, p. 1)." In other words policing that works with the community while trying to solve and prevent crime. Community policing also holds officers more accountable and requires more effectiveness by focusing on problem solving.Community policing requires that the same officers work in the same area on a semi-permeate basis. This means that citizens will see the same officers often. Seeing the same officers all the time gives them an identity to the citizens. A police officer is no longer just a badge number, instead he is the person you see standing outside the McDonalds or the guy you talk to while on your walk through the park. Officers become friends to the people. This trust that is built can be very useful to an officer when he has questions about a crime. Currently cops don't have the best reputation in many communities, in fact they are often seen as the enemy. This is probably because the only time a person would encounter a police officer is when the cops believe they've done something wrong. If a person is finding himself in situations where he is able to socially interact with a friendly officer his opinion will slowly shift. This same idea applies to the cops as well. Many police officers only see the worst of our society. As a result they begin to build very cynical feelings toward the community. By putting the officers in a situation where they encounter many different people while on patrol many of which do not have bad intentions they develop a broader and more accurate sense of the community.Another benefit to community policing is the idea that if a police officer become familiar with a specific area he will be more likely to be able to identify areas and issues of concern for the community. If people are constantly complaining to him about a graffiti problem he make it a point to look out for that. The people will also be more likely to complain to an officer they know and trust rather than some cop who seems to have "more important" things to do.Seeing the same officers over and over also gives the public an increased feeling of security. They begin to feel they have someone specific to turn to when a crime goes wrong. Officers and the public will begin to take more pride in their community. The police work with neighborhood watch programs and D.A.R.E. programs. Citizens are no longer just incident bystanders to crime they have an active role in preventing it.The idea of community policing doesn't go over easy with all police officers. Many cops feel that this idealistic vision of the police working hand in hand with the community is problem filled. Many cops feel that...

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