What is Community Policing?

Community policing is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies that support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.”

Community Policing Defined Report from Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) from the US Department of Justice

History Of Community Policing

The concept of community policing has be around for a long time and in the US it can be traced as far back as the 19th century. The primary purpose for its inception was to have police engaging with communities to build strong relationships between its members and law enforcement. One of the earliest and major tactics of community policing involved officers going on foot patrols through the neighborhoods they serve. In today's modern era, this has evolved to departments incorporating social media and/or community engagement systems to share relevant local information with residents.  It has been an integral strategy for cities who have looked to combat violence, drugs and other criminal activities.

Only 17% of US residents age 16 and up have had a face-to-face interaction with a police officer


Only 40% of property crimes and 47% of violent crimes are reported to police

Implementing Community Policing

According to Strategies for Community Policing, common implementations of community policing include:

  • Relying on community-based crime prevention by utilizing civilian education, neighborhood watch, and a variety of other techniques, as opposed to relying solely on police patrols.
  • Re-structuralizing of patrol from an emergency response based system to emphasizing proactive techniques such as foot patrol.
  • Increased officer accountability to civilians they are supposed to serve.
  • Decentralizing the police authority, allowing more discretion amongst lower-ranking officers, and more initiative expected from them.

“Applying community policing techniques backed by the principles of ethical policing will produce a notable correlation between the collaborative relationship that will be fostered and a palatable decline in crime.”

Jon Gaskins, PoliceOne

Community Policing Analysis

A 2014 study published in the Journal of Experimental Criminology, “Community-Oriented Policing to Reduce Crime, Disorder and Fear and Increase Satisfaction and Legitimacy among Citizens: A Systematic Review,” systematically reviewed and synthesized the existing research on community-oriented policing to identify its effects on crime, disorder, fear, citizen satisfaction, and police legitimacy.

The study found:

  • Community-policing strategies reduce individuals’ perception of disorderly conduct and increase citizen satisfaction.
  • In studying 65 independent assessments that measured outcomes before and after community-oriented policing strategies were introduced, they found 27 instances where community-oriented policing was associated with 5% to 10% greater odds of reduced crime.
  •  16 of the 65 comparisons showed community-oriented policing was associated with a 24% increase in the odds of citizens perceiving improvements in disorderly conduct.
  • 23 comparisons measured citizen satisfaction with police, and found that community-oriented programs were effective almost 80% of the cases, and citizens were almost 40% more likely to be satisfied with the work of the police.

Although this study was not definitive, it provides important evidence for the benefits of community policing for improving perceptions of the police. The overall findings are ambiguous, and show there is a need to explicate and test a logic model that explains how short-term benefits of community policing, like improved citizen satisfaction, relate to longer-term crime prevention effects, and to identify the policing strategies that benefit most from community participation.

Why Everbridge for Improved Community Policing

Control Public Information Dissemination

Maintain complete power and control to author messages and disseminate information to the public at will.

Easy Resident Text Opt-In

Easily increase resident opt-in’s at an exponential rate. Maintain a robust database of resident contact information to foster a community dialogue or provide effective emergency notifications.

A Force Multiplier

Publish and distribute public information at scale, with the push of one button, via social media, websites, email, text, mobile app, and Google Alerts. Leverage residents to act as force multiplier to assist in preventing and solving crime. Ideal when internal resources are limited.

Precise Neighborhood Targeting

The most precise neighborhood-level geographic targeting system available. Send messages to specific communities or neighborhoods.

Focus on Public Safety

The most trusted public safety product on the market, as used by over 8,000 public safety agencies. Completely focused on helping agencies keep residents safe and informed.

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