Community Crime Prevention
What is community policing?
Community policing is a law enforcement strategy that has been around since the early 80s in the United States. Most people in the public safety sector have likely heard this term before, but what does community policing really mean?
Community Policing is generally defined as a law enforcement philosophy that allows officers to continuously operate in the same area in order to create a stronger bond with the citizens living and working in that area. This allows public safety officers to engage with local residents and prevent crime from happening instead of responding to incidents after they occur.
How is community policing different from traditional policing?
- Intended to prevent crime before it happens rather than responding to crime after it occurs
- Focuses on creating a safe social environment
- Engages residents to determine which criminal activities they are most affected by, creating an accurate law enforcement priority list shaped by the people who live in the area
- Encourages residents to participate with law enforcement in order to keep their own community safe
In its simplest form, community policing creates a partnership between law enforcement and residents. The more involved law enforcement is with the residents they are sworn to protect, the more residents can help law enforcement achieve their goals.
What are the benefits of an effective community policing structure?
- Residents having a more favorable view of their local police department
- Improved trust between law enforcement and residents
- More accurate information from residents regarding criminal activity in their community
- Better understanding of the needs of citizens and their expectations of the police
Many public safety agencies are using technology to better engage their residents and boost their community policing initiatives. Systems like Everbridge Nixle use tools such as mass notification, 2-way communication, anonymous tipping, and social media integration to engage residents on the platforms and devices they use most.
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