Community Policing is a philosophy that centers on building relationships and working together with members of the community; hence, and this policy encourages interactive cooperation between law enforcement agencies and people. The partnerships help the police to be well-conversant with what is happening in the community as well as being invested in solving problems that may risk public safety. The community policing has elements that engage in resolving issues, implementation of the community policing organizational transformation, and finally, developing partnerships within the community. The main objective of community policing is to build interactions between local agencies and members of the public through fruitful interactions to come up with strategies for reducing the rate of crime in communities. Therefore, communications between local agencies, such as law enforcement and members of the public have both its strengths and weaknesses (Segrave & Ratcliffe, 2017)
Community policing has advantages consisting of philosophies that enable regular and closer contact between police officers assigned to specific geographical locations and individuals who work and live in those particular areas. It leads to an increased connection between these two parties helps to improve a better understanding of the priorities and concerns in a community. Also, it aids in identifying available resources in the area, and useful assets to address the issues found in the area (Hafner, 2003)
Additionally, community policing philosophies aids in the decentralization of a police department. Decentralization of the police department means there is a reduced reliance on policies made in leadership departments, and decision-making is devolution. Decentralization enables local police to have more authority, thus allowing them to find better solutions to specific problems without restrictions or policies that are rigid.
Thirdly, with the limited budget in law enforcement agencies, e.g., police stations, police departments are expected to do much work, which they cannot because of the limited funds. Thus, these departments have hired civilian employees at a cheaper cost than employing sworn officers; because these civilian employees can handle tasks in police departments such as administration and dispatch. Sworn officers then direct their attention to duties concerning law enforcement and community policing.
Also, community policing philosophies have led to the prevention of crime because this approach focuses on the prevention of crime before it happens. Crime prevention is by identifying and addressing specific concerns associated with criminal activities by finding the cause of the problem and then figuring out the best way to solve the issue.
Moreover, these challenges resulting from community policing philosophies include a hard transformation of an organization that needs sufficient resources and commitment. Changing the culture in a law enforcement agency is difficult, but the hardest part is changing policies, procedures, and training officers on the new ways to conduct themselves.
Secondly, the only way the community policing can work successfully is with the involvement of the community members. Without trust and partnership within a community and the local agencies, e.g., the police, any attempts for the policy to work will fail. "Police and their would-be partners do not always value the same, or even compatible things" (Thacher, 2001). Thus, efficient community policing involves long term commitment from everyone involved, and the relationship formed must be established and maintained because it is not a quick fix.
Thirdly, I think sometimes wrong people are appointed to head the project. Some individuals use the program to focus on improving their welfares rather than improving the community. Therefore, when corrupt people are selected, the community policing program fails to help the community due to problems such as embezzlement of funds
Some of the concerns can be solved to enhance a better relationship between community and law enforcement agencies. Before appointing a person to head such a policy program, thorough research should be conducted on the person to determine the characteristics and priorities of such an individual. The investigation is to determine if the person is suitable for the job or not. When the right person gets appointed, the program runs smoothly without interference and thus becomes a success.
Also, when implementing such a policy, the government should be ready to offer sufficient resources that will enable the success of such a program. When resources are limited, people tend not to stay happy and committed to a program. Thus when law enforcement agencies have limited resources, they cannot fulfill all their duties, and this makes the program stressful and unsuccessful.
Law enforcement agencies should invest time in building strong and reliable relationships with community members. Investing time increases the level of trust between the two parties. If trust exists, then the program becomes a success, but if there is a lack of confidence, the program fails.
In summary, the introduction of community policing philosophies is essential in many communities because of the many positive outcomes that result from it. Therefore, if such a program exists in a neighborhood, an individual should actively participate in it and encourage others to see its importance.
Hafner, M. R. (2003). Changing the organizational culture to adapt to a community policing philosophy. FBI L. Enforcement Bull., 72, 6. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgibin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/fbileb72§ion=61
Thacher, D. (2001). Policing is not a treatment: Alternatives to the medical model of police research. Journal of research in crime and delinquency, 38(4), 387-415. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0022427801038004003
Segrave, M., & Ratcliffe, J. (2017). Community policing: A descriptive overview. https://aic.gov.au/publications/archive/community-policing--a-descriptive-overview
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