The world of policing is one of constant change. As far back as the early days of Peelian police philosophy the missions and goals of police departments have constantly been altered. In our diverse communities and cites worldwide we see police departments engaged in very different forms of policing. Even across the many jurisdictions that operate within our nation we see departments that run at the very opposite ends of the policing spectrum, with some acing in extreme public service roles and others involved in aggressive crime fighting ideologies. These different approaches are all based of what the police identifies as the needs of the community. As constant research is conducted in the field of policing, departments adopt new policies and programs. As new technologies arise they too are incorporated into law enforcement.
The New York City Police Department like any other department in the world is constantly changing and adapting its policies to conform to that of new technologies and trends in law enforcement. One of these policies that has been put into use in recent years has been that of a community policing initiative. Finding its roots in police-community relations policies of the 50’s and 60’s, community policing is a philosophy that seeks to form a partnership between the police and the community. Through this bond the community can fully identify its needs and work together with the police to battle crime as well as many other services that do not fall within the traditional roles of policing. All of this is aimed at taking a proactive approach to crime. Its basis is simply trying to work with the community to identify its problems and fixing them before they escalate or lead to crime. Community policing is far different than any other philosophy seen in policing.
Although throughout history, “there have been sporadic variations in the underpinnings of American law enforcement, its substantively has remained a legal-bureaucratic organization focusing on professional law enforcement (Gaines and Kappeler, 2003 p. 476)”. This legal-bureaucratic set up of the American police department has it as an agency concerned with statistic and numbers. The outputs of policing that include number of arrests, volume of recovered property, number of citations issued, response times and the other stats of policing play a more important role than the end result of policing (Gaines and Kappeler, 2003). This view of law enforcement has led to the police filling a fully reactive role and not paying attention to the underlying problems that cause crime in an area. A more in depth view of community policing can show how it attempts to fulfill its proactive philosophy.
First, Community policing aims to broaden the function of the police. According to Gaines and Kappeler (2003), the police must move away from their traditional role as crime fighters. They should incorporate a much broader role that uses fear reduction...