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Community policing has been a concept since the nineteen seventies, when metropolitan police departments thought that it may be a good way to stop and deter crime if the citizens saw the police in the neighborhoods. It is an increasingly important strategy for controlling and preventing crime and enhancing community safety. It is both a philosophy and an organizational strategy that allows the police and the citizens within any community to work closely together in strategic ways to solve and deter the problems of crime, drugs, fear of crime, physical and social disorder, neighborhood destruction, and the overall betterment for the quality of life in their community. The two articles about community focus on the effectiveness of community policing and what they mean to the citizens and the police that participate in community policing.
The problems with the community police being effective is the fact that there are bad apples in every bunch meaning that some of the police officers have made it hard for the citizens to respect them based on the fact that they are bad police officers. Community policing involves the citizens to see officers in the community interacting effectively with them. This entails police officers getting out of the vehicles and talking to the youth about crime prevention as well as the aspects of their job. If the youth know what police do then they may be more receptive to the fact that the police are in their communities. The perception that police are as violent as the criminals is a hard reputation that many police departments have. Many citizens see that the police beat up on the criminals and other people in bad areas who aren't doing anything illegal. This is a problem because many of the police can't be accepted as community oriented when this type of stuff occurs. This is why it is important for the police to get out and explain what their job is, not only to the youth but to the adult population as well.
The aspect of community policing entails protecting the neighborhood by the police officers as well as the citizens that live in the communities. For this reason, community policing gets its name. If officer involve its citizens with ways to deter crime then the effectiveness of order is in place. The program does not promote vigilantes because that is illegal but instead promotes the presence of community leaders who can step up to the plate and show the criminals in that community that they are working on the side of the police. It is very important for those criminals to see that community members are involved with the police hand in hand because they will feel the need to move out of the community if they are in danger of getting arrested since they don't have areas to commit their crimes. This system works well for the police because it takes down the barrier of community against police and puts a working relationship with the public that makes the job for the police officer easier and also makes the community members feel more at ease with the officers in their area.
Some of the bad aspects of community policing involves the fact that police spend a lot of time engaged with the community members and this takes time away from the patrols to patrol areas of crime. Citizens start to expect its police officers to actively engage them all the time and the departments don't have the man power to do this all the time. So if something violent happens and there isn't a police officer in sight then the community members tend to blame the officers for not being in the area at that time losing credibility for them.
I feel that community policing is an important part of law enforcement. If the public doesn't know what the police do and it seems that they are afraid of them then how can we expect society to understand law enforcement? The motto "Assist, Protect and Defend" is an important key to policing and the public needs this. I do however feel that certain communities need this type of policing to not only deter crime but to make the neighborhoods a better and safer place to live. I think that if you get people involved in making a better place to live then they will appreciate it more. I also think that if the police are to kill the bad reputation that they have for some of the members of society then they will better be able to handle situation easier with the help of the public. Not only does it foster a better relationship, it sells the community the right to respect their law enforcement officers who are out there trying to protect them.
The focus of police resources on certain groups of people in specific areas or places within a community plays into a political theme but, as an operational philosophy, lacks in defining an encompassing crime control and reduction strategy. The demand in which it is asked to accomplish some measure of community oriented policing within law enforcement agencies has led to a grouping of programs reacting to various societal missteps that are way outside. Although local politics often dictate a department's response to crime reduction and prevention, the benefits of community oriented policing make broadening its impact throughout the police organization and the community a worthy goal to meet.
This goal should not be considered mutually exclusive of aggressive enforcement. An operational philosophy that combines community based policing with aggressive enforcement provides a balanced and comprehensive approach to addressing crime problems throughout an entire jurisdiction rather than merely in targeted areas within a community. In Anne Arundel County, Maryland, an experiment in such integrated patrol has led to dramatically increased productivity in a midnight patrol shift and has contributed to an overall decline in crime throughout the county. It discusses the ongoing integrated patrol experiment in Anne Arundel County and some of the factors that led to its development. There is an understanding among these factors that regardless of its potential and appeal, it still has its limits. Community Oriented Policing should complement but not replace police agencies' traditional mandates. The integrated patrol approach grew from the presumption that community based policing can and should coexist with a solid policy of aggressive enforcement. Integrated patrol also grew from a developing understanding that current methods of measuring police effectiveness may be inadequate for accurately assessing the full range of responses necessary to address crime in a comprehensive way.
Although the method of policing has changed over the last several decades with regard to personnel deployment strategies and new technologies, little attention has been paid to the way in which upper management deals with personnel or defines productivity within a structured, paramilitary environment. A management philosophy that sets parameters but encourages solutions by the rank-and-file is more desirable than a system that discourages the innovative and creative worker. With effective measures that accurately validate police successes, a new management philosophy can emerge.
The application of community policing programs within this model is best accomplished through aggressive enforcement, the use of the flexible organizational structure concept, and common sense. The tendency to apply law enforcement resources exclusively to specific communities to the exclusion of others should also be avoided in order to encourage officers to apply the resources available to them on every call for service. In an integrated patrol approach, shift commanders assume a difficult, but ultimately integral role. They must know their employees and encourage their employees' activities. They should also measure the results fairly, provide guidance and support, and act to maximize the effectiveness of the team.
Community policing is essential in gaining the trust of the citizens in the United States. It doesn't really matter whether you are working in a metropolitan area with very high crime, or you are working in a low populated rural area where there is not much crime at all. The realism is that police patrols and interaction with the community helps deter crime. Aggressive police techniques are rampant in the metropolitan areas and the citizens are in an uproar about it. Community policing gets the citizens involved and helps balance the stereotype that citizens have on officers making the police more effective in high crime areas.
Just as community policing has an effect on high crime areas, the same applies to rural areas where the police are getting out and talking to the citizens. Police officers have a job to do when they are dealing with the community all the time. They are able to be more effective when they earn the trust by visiting homes, stores and community establishments.
Comparing bike patrols and community policing, it is almost the same concept of operations. Bike patrols have direct contact with the citizens in the community that they patrol because they don't have vehicles that they can hide in, instead they are in they wide open and really have no choice but to speak to the citizens. Community policing make those officers get out in the community and develop a relationship with the community which may be policy for the department. It is practically the same concept and both are very effective patrol techniques. This type of patrol isn't meant for quick response, it is meant to help officers gain a more personal level of trust within the community. It gives the officers a one on one opportunity to connect and show the people in the neighborhood their personal side. It gives the police a chance to connect with the youth.
The importance of police patrols is critical in stopping crime. As we mentioned earlier that police officers have a job to communicate effectively in the community, I think that the citizens also have the job to when dealing with the police as well. We will only have effective police patrols when all of society can develop a relationship with the police and we all can work together to stop crime and help those in need. Whether it is officers who patrol on horses or bikes, patrolling is definitely an effective way to deter crime as well as catch criminals in the act.
In conclusion, I think that community policing should remain in effect in all communities whether they are high crime areas or suburban areas where there is little crime because this is a deterring factor to stop crime from ever happening. If Law enforcement never gets out in the communities and teach the public about crime prevention and safer ways to protect their neighborhoods then we will see a serious increase in crime.