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