Effective community policing has a positive impact on reducing neighborhood crime, helping to reduce fear of crime and enhancing the quality of life in the community. It accomplishes these things by combining the efforts and resources of the police, local government and community members.
An Idea for the Times
Community policing is a collaborative effort between the police and the community that identifies problems of crime and disorder and involves all elements of the community in the search for solutions to these problems. It is founded on close, mutually beneficial ties between police and community members.
Community policing offers a way for law enforcement to help re-energize our communities. Developing strong, self-sufficient communities is an essential step in creating an atmosphere in which serious crime will not flourish.
A Practical Approach to Problems
Community policing seeks the input and talents of all members of the community in the effort to safeguard our neighborhoods.
Community policing is being advocated by leaders at the highest levels of government. It has even been suggested that community policing can play a primary role in directing the way government services are provided at the community level.
Getting Back to the People
At the center of community policing are three essential and complementary core components: community partnership, problem solving and change management.
Community partnership recognizes the value of bringing the people back into the policing process. All elements of society must pull together as never before if we are to deal effectively with the unacceptable level of crime claiming our neighborhoods.
Problem solving identifies the specific concerns that community members feel are most threatening to their safety and well-being. These areas of concern then become priorities for joint police-community interventions.
Change management requires a clear recognition that forging community policing partnerships and implementing problem-solving activities will necessitate changes in the organizational structure of policing. Properly managed change involves a recognition of the need for change, the communication of a clear vision that change is possible, the identification of the concrete steps needed for positive change to occur, the development of an understanding of the benefits of change, as well as the creation of an organization-wide commitment to change.