POLICE MODEL 6
To: The police Chief
From: Policing expert
March 04 2015
RE: Recommendation for a general policing strategy
There are numerous reasons why community oriented policing hasemerged as the dominant policing style today. I highly recommendcommunity oriented policing as the only policing strategy thatdirectly serves the role of the police to the community. COP is theonly policing model that has managed to interact with the communityin a close, understandable and friendly manner making the communityfeels safer, protected and well secured. COP understands thatpolicing cannot be successful without the involvement andcollaboration of the community. According to Akwasi (2007), COP is anempowerment to the community focusing on social order and crimecontrol.
COP bases its concepts and components on the relationship betweenthe police and the community. The concepts of community orientedpolicing are based on how the police deliver and the engagementsactivities involved to reduce crime. The police deliver throughcommunity engagement, crime prevention, problem solving andpartnerships. Community engagement is the most common feature of COP.It entails developing trust and maintaining it as the pivotal rolefor success. Community engagement goes beyond the standard lawenforcement emphasis and involves activities such as door-to-doorvisits, emergency social services, simply walking with an aim ofincreasing personal perceptions of safety (Akwasi, 2007). Suchactivities build trust between the community and the police and inturn help the police to gain access to useful information from thecommunity to prevent crime.
Crime prevention and problem solving is simply detecting theunderlying conditions for crime. The conditions may include detectingpeople who are involved in crimes, offenders, potential victims,social setting for crime, and physical environments amongst others.The problem once detected is solved through four stages scan,analyze, respond and assess. Partnerships come in after the policedetect the problem. It is the process of responding to problemsthrough working together with community agencies, the society, socialservices, the public to come up with a tailor made solution. Theproblem can be termed as solved if completely eliminated with thesolution being limited to disorder problems.
My rationale for recommending COP is the fact that it has stood thetest of time and proven to be an effective policing model. The modelhas been remarkable since its implementation, significantly managingto reduce crime rates. Statistics reveal that when crime continued torise in many western nations in the 80’s and early 90’s despiteimproved police technology and professionalism, police managersrealized that there was something missing in the police force. Thepolice department ultimately concluded that to be able to serve thecommunity effectively they had to reach the community. They realizedthat the community was the source of crime and would also be the mostappropriate place to start controlling crime. Since then, COP hasgained its popularity and growing acceptance as a stage for violentcrime control. COP is a platform for law enforcement as stipulated inthe 1994 Act. The Act articulated its goal to putting 100,000additional community street police prioritizing crime control and themaintenance of order (Greene, 2000). This Act has been successfulthanks to COP.
Apart from yielding positive results, COP has greatly improved therelationship between the police and the community. This is the onlypolicing strategy that promotes relationships and friendship betweencivilians and the police. According to Normandeau’s theory,community policing articulates organizational decentralization ofpower and reorientation. COP is the only strategy that lowers thepolice from their authority to establish rapport with civilians. Itis also the most appropriate strategy of curbing crime and preventingit through going to the root source of crime.
According to Akwasi (2007), community policing practices throughactual initiatives like foot patrol, public education programs,neighborhood watch programs, storefront ministrations and weed –seedprograms are informative and crime preventive. Foot patrol alsoreferred to as walking the beat is a signature for communitypolicing. It is the amongst the oldest and most recognized practicethat has worked to prevent crimes in many states. The police presencewalking during the day or night in the community increases a sense ofsafety to the community. It also allows the police to gain insightson any plaguing crimes or issues in the community. The involvementthat COP creates for the community earns it a bonus point as comparedto other policing strategies.
Seeing the police educate the public on security and safety issuesis incredible. COP employs this strategy to inform, warn and alertthe community about crimes. Neighborhood watch programs ordoor-to-door visits happen mostly during the day and serve purposeslike introducing the patrol to residents, obtaining information oncrime and local residents too. No other form of policing encouragesfriendly interactions as in other cases the police knock at the witha warrant door to arrest. Store-front ministrations aims atdecentralizing police services to get the police to be close to thecommunity. This happens through establishing storefronts in thecommunity as in Alabama, Newark, Houston and Birmingham. Theweed-seed program aims at uprooting vices from the community andplanting virtues. Through COP the weed-seed program is able topromote positive living in the community.
Police departments can also come up with creative ways or programsto make community-policing work. The Halton policing service, whichimplemented community policing in Canada for example, implemented apolicing squad for crime alert in 1982 (Greene, 2000). The plan wasto build rapport with the officers and the public and worked toreduce illegal acts like selling drug. As years went by the programwas phased out by other more creative initiatives. COP is flexiblerequiring the police to get creative and solve the problem of crimein the society.
Despite COP having many benefits and being the recommended strategyfor policing the community, COP has some barriers. COP is unclearabout its role with so many divisions in the community. It appears asthough community oriented policing is for public relation purposesrather than fundamental policing philosophy. Most COP strategies aretraditional methods like crackdowns and foot patrol making itimpossible to employ modern crime combating techniques andtechnology. Working with the community can be challenging and manytimes the police have to be very patient to succeed in fightingcrime. In cases where the community is not cooperative with thepolice, combating crime takes longer than usual and may continue tothrive without control.
In conclusion, COP is the recommended strategy for reducing crimeand promoting law enforcement for the community. Being the onlystrategy that offers community related programs like fixed patrolassignments, special problem solving units, auxiliary volunteerprogram and community websites or newsletters gives it an advantageover the other strategies.
Akwasi, O.(2010). Community policing strategies, vol.5, Centreof criminology, University of Toronto, Ontorio retrieved from http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/topics/youthandthelaw/roots/volume5/prev enting03_community_polcing.aspx
Greene, Jack R. (2000). Community Policing in America: Changingthe Nature, Structure, and Function of the Police. Volume 3:Policies, Processes, and Decisions of the Criminal Justice System:NCJ