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In society, it is known fact that law enforcement is not always trusted by the public. Many times minority see law enforcement as the enemy, this is especially true of the now alienated Muslim community and other minority group. Minority believe law enforcement mistreat them because of their race or religion. Evident has shown this assumption to be true in some respect. "Law enforcement has debated on way to reverse this mindset and answer the questions relating multiculturalism, profiling, and how to promote fairness" (Robinson, 2002, p.6).
Therefore, the government devises plans, which incorporated the community into preventing crimes. Law enforcement agencies working with other governmental agencies, private business, church organization and other nonprofit group developed solution to increase trust of law enforcement. In essence "Community policing is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies, which support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques, to address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime"(Community Policing defined). Community policing objective should be to build a trusting relationship while at the same time improving mutual effort in crime prevention.
One primary intention of the joint venture between law enforcement and the other contributors is to increase trust. Without trust in the partnership, the venture will be ineffective. When the public lack trust in the law enforcement they will not violate the "snick code" that is present in many community especially minority neighborhoods. Law enforcement have to work a tight rope when deal with the public because if one thing occur such as a police killing an unarmed suspect or if they arrest an minority for a crime but not a non minority this create a distrust between the police and the community. It is necessary in community policing for law enforcement to build a relation of trust to avoid distrust when some thing does happen.
Law enforcement cannot build trust if they are not fair or balance in every incident. Law enforcement further need to work with the community by listening to them in order to perform gathers information about the environment. If law enforcement merely attempt to remove a problem from a neighborhood and not find the foundation of the problem the problem be rebuild by someone else. Therefore, it is essential that the public be involved in how the community is policed. If law enforcement focuses its attention on issue that does not collate with the issue they witness in their community then the partnership is not working.
Many times law enforcement is not able to solve problem because they do not know the inner working of conflicts like the citizens or other agencies working in the environment where the conflict has arises. Local groups know when there is a drug problem in a neighbor, by the volume of drug abuser they counsel in the neighbor. The local homeless shelters know if homelessness is a grown problem. The local churches know if people in the neighborhood are hungry. If law enforcement do not collaborate with these vary groups they will not know why people come into neighbor they normal would not enter unless they are looking for drugs.
Moreover, they will not know if men are looking for prostitutes, if do not have communication with the local people. Furthermore, if a person is hungry or homeless they might commit petty crime to get money. However, without law enforcement working with the public and the other agencies then they will know why crime has increase if they do not k now about the source with that been said it extremely important for the public to be able to trust the police. Law enforcement has to understand that they need the public as much as the public need them. Community policing is necessary in generating a relationship of cooperation. Furthermore, community policing address the element of the crime triangle found in communities.
The Crime triangle elements consist of opportunity, offender, and location. In order to prevent crime through community policing some element of the crime triangle must be either eliminated or reversed. When law enforcement desire to prevent crimes before they occur they have to know the element involved in crime triangle. Once the element are discovered the community and law enforcement must work together in order to find solution to resolve the issue.
"The basis crime prevention to be a reality the old concept of placing the citizen at the core of crime prevention effort must be followed" (Robinson, 2002, p.5). Therefore, the people who live in the community, in addition to the local business in the areas must contribute and collaborate with law enforcement. When there is collaboration between law enforcement and the community they serve crime prevention will be successful. The percentage of crime can be clearly seen in LEMAS (Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics).
Community policing has resulted in a reduction in crimes according statistics from LEMAS (Law enforcement Statistics www.cops.usdoj.gov/default.asp?Item=1429). The positive results show a reduction in murders, felonies assault and burglaries. This reduction is the result of the community informing law enforcement of potential criminal activity in the area and therefore, law enforcement is able to prevent crimes thus reducing the crime rate.
Â A Critical Analysis of the Effectiveness of Community Policing
The main purpose in of community policing is to reduce crimes in a society, giving the public a sense of safety and security from the threat of crime in their community. Furthermore, citizens do not desire to expose their family members to life in a community where the security of their family is at risk. However, they will not be able to accompany this feat without assistance. Therefore, community-policing philosophy will only be effective with a partnership with law enforcement.
When one is assessing the effectiveness of the community policing philosophy the problem must be evaluate from the start of the project to the conclusion. If there is not a date for the project to conclude, there should be at least a date to evaluate the progress. Furthermore, the partnership between the community and law enforcement must be assessed to evaluate the effectiveness of the partnership. The effectiveness of the policies and tools must be applied as well. "For example, Community policing policies when they are effective, there will be a reduction in neighborhood hotspots for crime, also a reduction in the number of arrest" (Palmiotto, & Donahue, 1995, p.33).
Another measure of the effective in community policing is the participation of the community. When the community is trust the program that is in place then there will be a high percentage of success. If the community has mistrust then it obvious, the programs will not work. The community policing rely on public support therefore, if do not report suspected criminal behavior to law enforcement the program will not be successful. The community involvement is critical to the strategy planning conducted by law enforcement.
Another important factor effecting community policing is the community available assets being used to reduce crime. "For example, the community will have to invest in lighting for dark target areas for crime." (Palmiotto,Â &Â Donahue, 1995, p. 33). The effectiveness of the community policing can be seen in the improved seen such drug user not congregating in the area which will also mean the drug dealer will not be either. The cleanness of the community also is an outer sign of success. When buildings are not painted with gang signs and prostitutes are not soliciting men for sex are good sign that community policing is working as planned.
Community policing Impacts on society
Community policing is practiced in the society where there are different people who have different values. There are factors in the society, which have impact on community policing. Some of the factors have positive impacts while others have negative impacts to the philosophy.
Social capital is one of the factors that have impact on community policing. Social capital is usually used as the framework, which reveals the relationship between the officers and the people who supervise them. It is expected that in most of the times those officers who have higher levels of social capital are in a better position to have more accomplishment in community policing as compared to those who do not have much trust, cooperation, group cohesion and also who have social support in their work relations. (Wisler 2009).
Another social factor is the level of the social cohesion that exists in a certain society. If the bonding by the members of the society is weak then it means that community policing will not beÂ effective while on the other hand if there is social cohesion then it means that the society is in a better position to work more closely hence making community policing more effective. (Wisler 2009). Â This is because for community policing to be successful there is need for existence of strong relations in the community.
The level by which the members of the community will integrate with law enforcers also affects the level of effectiveness of community policing. The values that the society holds also play a big part in determining the extent by which community policing will succeed. This arises especially if the community holds different values in the interpretation of behaviors. This is because there are some behaviors, which might be interpreted as crimes by some people while others may not. This may cause tension when executing the community policing programs
Impacts of Technological advancements
Over the last years, there has been computer and telecommunication technologies have grown at a very high rate. The law enforcement agencies have been offered an unprecedented capacity in the collection, storage, analyzing, and the sharing of data by the development of the computing powers. The information technology is a tool, which has really helped the local law enforcement to achieve its broadening and complex mission. The advancement of technology has had impacts on community policing.
There has been new police technology, which is mostly installed in the patrol cars. This is useful as is used in mapping or detecting the hideouts of the criminals. With the help of the community, the technological device plays a great role in the community policing. The introduction of computers in community policing have also made the process of detection easier as criminals can be detecting by the use of the cell phones. The advancement of technology has given the patrol officers new tools for accomplishing their missions in community policing. This will also make the work easier because many young patrol officers and also people in the community are able to use computers. This will make community policing a more efficient even in future. (Rahtz 2001).
However working in the computer is not as easy as easy as responding to radio calls the way it used to happen. This means that the knowledge of computer will be a requirement in the recruitment of patrol police. The patrol officers may also be forced to spend so much time working on the technology instead of doing their community policing activity. There will also be less development of skills as due to over reliance of technology. (Brodgen 2005).
Its no doubt that advancement in technology have aided in responsiveness in community policing and made the work more efficient but the police should look critically at each technology to make sure that it serves the community and also it is designed in a way that it will it will make the goal of community policing be accomplished. There should be efforts to prevent the police from becoming accustomed by computers and forget their work.