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Community is the philosophy that imposed a new responsibility on police to devise appropriate ways for engaging the public. This included active outreach, a reallocation of officers from emergency response mode to proactive crime prevention mode, notation of public feedback and collaborative work to solve other, perhaps less apparent, problems plaguing the neighborhood. Lastly, it included a decentralization of police command such that each area's needs were met accordingly and in a timely fashion. (Skolnick& Bayley, 1988).
Community Policing is an approach that reorients policing strategy from a reactive to a proactive one. Proactive crime prevention occurs with an active involvement of the community. With a strong social orientation, community policing promotes police-citizen interactions, improves police-community communication, fosters an effective working relationship between the police and the public, and upgrades the quality of police services (Kennedy and Moore, 1995).
Community policing stresses policing with and for the community rather than policing of the community. It aspires to improve the quality of life in communities. In improving the quality of life it aims to solve community problems alongside the community and as defined by the community. Beyond this it has, however, proven difficult to pin down what specifically is involved in implementing community policing. On that there is broad agreement among scholars and many police officers (Tilley 2008).
Community policing is not a set of specific projects; rather, it involves changing decision-making processes and creating new cultures within police departments. It is an organisational strategy that leaves setting priorities and the means of achieving them largely to residents and the police who serve in their neighbourhoods. Community policing is a process rather than a product. (Skogan 2006).
A police officer is defined as a person whose duty is to keep order, arrest people who break the law, regulate and control matters of public order, safety, health and morals (Nault, 1994).
Community Policing Pillar Structure
Community Policing has become a core aspect of modern policing that characterizes a service-led organization. The MPF has the diligence to undertake active consultations with the public in view to improve the quality of service and concentration of resources where most required leading to a greater degree of participation of the community.
The structure of Community Policing at Divisional Level is as follows:
(Source: National Policing Strategic Framework, 2004)
The Divisional Commander will, through Tactical & Coordinating Group meeting (T & CG) in assistance with the Divisional Planning Unit, will implement community policing by ensuring available resources are aligned with identified priorities of the community.
The Divisional Commander will be responsible for planning, organizing, implementing, monitoring and evaluate policing at Divisional level. The following are his main responsibilities:
Submit regular report of progress to the Commissioner,
Ensure resources are properly monitored,
Develop competence, assign duties and responsibilities and provide adequate support.
The Station Commander has the following roles in connection with Community Policing:
Ensure smooth implementation, monitoring and evaluation at station level,
Ensure that the aims and objectives are communicated to station personnel and the community,
Conduct regular reviews to gauge compliance,
Provide necessary support and engagement.
Community Policing Officer
The Community Policing Officer's main role and responsibilities are as follows:
To be fully involved in the implementation of community policing in his station area,
Monitor release of resources on a daily basis,
Promote an understanding of dedicated community policing in the neighbourhood,
Support Neighbourhood Officers and community representatives
Neighbourhood Officers are police officer of the rank of Police Constable and Corporal who are the main actors in the implementation of Community Policing. Their main role and duties are as follows:
Promote understanding of the community in a defined sub-area,
Engage with local residents and identify neighbourhood priorities,
Inform Community Policing Officer about problems and priorities within the sub-area,
Reassure the community and work closely with local partners.
Why Community Policing?
Community Policing philosophical elements are very important to the implementation of it. Without understanding and commitment to stakeholders, both implementation and benefits will be restricted. The elements are:
The community as a key element for police work (Rosenbaum, 1998),
The community as central to the identification and response to crime and safety concerns (Moore, 1992), and
Broadening the police role (Bennett, 1998).
Cordner defines the strategic dimension of community policing as including the 'key operational concepts that translate philosophy into action', linking the broad ideas and beliefs of community policing to the specific programs and practices that are implemented (1998). Community policing impacts upon the strategic direction and operations of policing organisations through:
Expanding the role and duties of police officers to enable them to think more laterally, to engage in both proactive and follow-up activities and to provide a more personalised service delivery;
Redeveloping police activities and operations for example, through reorienting operations to focus less on patrol and more on local problem solving, crime prevention education, and developing positive relationships with youth (Moore, 1992; Rosenbaum, 1998);
Emphasising prevention, focusing on long-term benefits and reconceptualizing how the impact of police work is measured beyond crime rates and clearance rates (for example focusing on community perception of safety and attitudes towards law enforcement); and
Developing a more localised, community-specific focus for officers to generate a sense of accountability and responsibility for specific areas.
Benefits of Community Policing
Change is uncomfortable and resistance to same is a normal reaction. Communicating the benefits of Community Policing is an important step in reducing this resistance and in gaining commitment from all stakeholders.
Benefits to the Officer:
Community Policing provides the officer with self-satisfaction from solving problems. Instead of being reactive, with a proactive approach, the solution to a problem is easily found.
Community Policing provides an opportunity to be creative and innovative. By empowering the officer, it allows him to seek solutions and encourages the use of innovation and creativity instead of restricting him or her to using just traditional policing strategies.
It gives the officer a chance to make a "real difference." Most police officers chose this profession, at least in part, to help people. By
employing problem-solving techniques the officer can experience the self-
satisfaction which comes from helping others.
It gives the officer the opportunity to become familiar with more people. People get to know the officer as a person and not just as a nameless and
faceless police officer whom they occasionally see drive or walk by. This will result in better communications, better relations with the public and in the delivery of quality service.
Community Policing results in a positive change in how the community views both the individual officer and the department. Once we have established a good reputation with our community, we must always work to keep their respect. By working in partnership with the community we can improve upon both our reputation and how the community views us as an organization and as individuals. It provides for a better place to work. By working to improve the quality of life in the community, we also improve our work environment. Community policing stresses the necessity for establishing a working environment which supports the efforts of the individual employee, provides him/her with the equipment and training necessary to do her job, and rewards her for her efforts.
Benefits To The Community:
It provides the community with a voice in how it will be policed. Traditionally, police have selected the manner and style of policing to be used in any community. Frequently this style of policing may differ from neighborhood to neighborhood. The community has no input in selecting the style of policing which will be used. Under community policing, the community works in partnership with the Police to decide the style of policing which will be used within the community.
It provides the community with a voice in setting law enforcement priorities. To become a more efficient police department, we must evaluate how we prioritize our calls for service. The community should participate in this evaluation. What we as a police organization think should be a low priority call may be a higher priority to the members of the community. We must work together to formulate our enforcement priorities and be adaptable enough to change those priorities as the needs of the community change.
It provides a permanent resolution to recurring problems. Officers should "treat the illness" and not the symptoms. As a result the community will benefit by having recurring problems either permanently eliminated.
It provides a stronger, safer and more friendly community in which to live. If we actively involve the community in resolving neighbourhood problems, the community will develop a sense of unity and partnership with the Police. This will result in a more friendly and safe place in which to live. Our goal as police officers is to improve the quality of life in the community that we serve.
Drawbacks of Community Policing
EfficiencyÂ meansÂ gettingÂ theÂ mostÂ resultsÂ withÂ availableÂ resources.Â ToÂ measureÂ theefficiency ofÂ community policing, the resources ofÂ the police agency,Â local government and private agencies, citizen groups, the business community, and the neighborhood must first be defined. The assessment must then determine whether these resources are being used to their fullest to solve any given problem. Agencies that can successfully enhance and realign their resources by forming community partnerships will be able to make community policing more efficient and cost-effective.
Organisational culture is the personality of the establishment. Culture is comprised of the assumptions, values, norms and tangible signs of organization members and their behaviours. Members of Mauritius Police force soon come to sense the particular culture of an organisation. (Foster in Newburn, 2007: p.108-208).
Carroll Buracker and Associates Ltd (2007) suggest that most officers are not trained in the formation of partnerships; nor do they have experience in organising community involvement or empowering the community. With limited training it is unlikely that police will realise the full potential of community policing. Skogan (2006) suggests training is often 'short-changed' because community policing is labour intensive. Mastrofski (2006) argues that in the United States recruit training has not been substantially revised to promote community policing techniques. Greene (2000) highlights the fact that generally less than one week is devoted for American police officers to learn and function in new police 'thinking roles' and if results can be achieved with limited training then the question of whether success comes from a scheduled programme or is due to the individual officer.
Training and Development
Training and development is a subsystem of an organization that emanate from two independent yet interdependent words training and development. Training is often interpreted as the activity when an expert and learner work together to effectively transfer information from the expert to the learner (to enhance a learner's knowledge, attitudes or skills) so the learner can better perform a current task or job. Training activity is both focused upon, and evaluated against, the job that an individual currently holds (Learner R., 1986). On the other hand development is often viewed as a broad, ongoing multi-faceted set of activities (training activities among them) to bring someone or an organization up to another threshold of performance. This development often includes a wide variety of methods, e.g., orienting about a role, training in a wide variety of areas, ongoing training on the job, coaching, mentoring and forms of self-development. Some view development as a life-long goal and experience. Development focuses upon the activities that the organization employing the individual, or that the individual is part of, may partake in the future, and is almost impossible to evaluate (Nadler Leonard, 1984).
Training and development ensures that randomness is reduced and learning or behavioral change takes place in structured format. In the field of human resource management, training and development is the field concerned with organizational activity aimed at bettering the performance of individuals and groups in organizational settings. It has been known by several names, including employee development, human resource development, and learning and development (Harrison Rosemary, 2005).