The Transition to Community Policing
Identify and explain three differences between
traditional and community policing philosophies. What historical perspectives
have influenced the transition from traditional policing to community policing
within many departments across the country? What impact did this transition
have with regard to law
enforcement administration and management?
The first difference to discuss is that in a
traditional policing concept, the police are not around until a crime is
committed and then the officers respond to apprehend the suspect or investigate
the crime itself. This is a reaction type of response instead of a
preventative response which is community policing. Community policing
puts the police department in the public and community and many times where
available, they have a beat or patrol that remains the same and keeps the same
officers in the neighborhood. This allows them to build relationships
with the community and make their presence known.
Traditional policing also handles crimes by themselves
as a department and community policing involves the community in the policing
activity. Not necessarily apprehending suspects or investigating calls
but programs such as neighborhood watch which allows the citizens to be vigilant
in their own neighborhood for criminal activity.
The final comparison is that traditional policing does
not take the community in account when decisions are made or when policy is
developed. Community policing allows input from the community and often a
board is created to work with city officials to get the community’s opinion so
they help develop and own the solution or new program.
Policing in the United States is once again undergoing
a period of rapid change in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11,
2001. While police departments across the United States have been implementing
the principles of community-oriented policing for nearly two decades, the
threat of terrorism and the concentrated efforts of Homeland Security have
forced the police to rethink their role (Oliver, 2008). After 9/11,
police departments had to change their method of policing to not only look out
for traditional criminals but now terrorists. This involved many training
programs and funding.
The affect on law enforcement and management was that
new programs had to be developed to handle the new threat and funding had to be
secured as well. The Federal government also became more involved in
local departments in items such as sharing data bases and information.
The local departments had to also reach into the community and gain their
support for the changes from traditional to community policing.
Oliver, W. (2008). Community Oriented Policing A
Sytematic Approach To Policing. New Jersey:
Pearson Education Company.
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