Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,728,960 articles and books

Community policing: the process of transitional change.



Community policing has captured the attention of police agencies across the country. A national survey of police departments in areas with a population of more than 50,000 found that over one-half of the agencies have implemented community policing, and an additional 20 percent indicated they planned to do so.(1) The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (1994), also known as the Biden Crime Law, is a piece of legislation, sponsored by Rep. Jack Brooks and supported by Sen.  of 1994, which provides funding for 100,000 new police officers, has motivated mo·ti·vate  
tr.v. mo·ti·vat·ed, mo·ti·vat·ing, mo·ti·vates
To provide with an incentive; move to action; impel.



mo
 many departments to develop programs that encompass various elements of community policing in an effort to receive additional funding. The question arises, are these agencies truly implementing community-oriented policing A philosophy that combines traditional aspects of law enforcement with prevention measures, problem-solving, community engagement, and community partnerships.

From the 1930s to the 1960s, U.S. law enforcement relied on a professional policing model.
 (COP COP

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Colombian Peso.

Notes:
The currency market, also known as the Foreign Exchange market, is the largest financial market in the world, with a daily average volume of over US $1 trillion.
), or are they merely trying to obtain the available federal funding?

Over the last 10 years, many experts have written on the subject of COP. Despite the availability of this literature, a lack of clarity or consensus seems to exist as to whether agencies, in fact, provide police services using a COP model. Conceptually, community policing has many meanings.(2) For some agencies, it represents a philosophy, while for others, it describes activities and programs. Given the problem of defining community policing, it is not surprising that critics have questioned whether the law enforcement community seriously has embraced community policing.

A preliminary analysis of the effects of The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 on moving agencies toward community policing suggests that organizations have been slow to implement structural changes that reflect the philosophy of community policing.(3) The authors of the book Community Policing, considered COP pioneers, contend that it takes an agency about 10 years to fully implement community policing.(4) This suggests that the controversy over whether or not a department is, in fact, using COP may be more a reflection of time rather than definition.

The authors of this article initially conducted a study to help law enforcement students comprehend the underlying principles of COP. In this study, they examined three areas: 1) law enforcement administrators' perceptions of community policing; 2) how administrators have implemented the principles and strategies of COP in their agencies; and 3) the skills administrators believe effective community police officers need.

METHODOLOGY

The authors collected data for this study from the 89 law enforcement agencies A law enforcement agency (LEA) is a term used to describe any agency which enforces the law. This may be a local or state police, federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Paul, 1901–64, king of the Hellenes (1947–64), brother and successor of George II. He married (1938) Princess Frederika of Brunswick. During Paul's reign Greece followed a pro-Western policy, and the Cyprus question was temporarily resolved.  metropolitan area. Approximately one-half of the population of Minnesota lives in this seven-county area, and one-half of the 8,000 law enforcement officers in the state work in this metropolitan area.

During the summer of 1996, the authors developed a survey and sent it to each of the department heads of the 89 agencies. A cover letter explaining the intent of the study accompanied the questionnaire. Within 2 months, a total of 75 surveys were returned, representing an 84 percent rate of response.

THE INSTRUMENT

The questionnaire for this study was developed to assess law enforcement agencies' level of involvement with COP. Questions focused on three main sections: philosophy, strategies, and officer skills. Department heads were asked to identify themselves and the number of full-time sworn officers they employed. Respondents In the context of marketing research, a representative sample drawn from a larger population of people from whom information is collected and used to develop or confirm marketing strategy.  also were asked if their agencies identified themselves as COP agencies, and if so, how long they had been involved in community policing and how many officers were assigned as·sign  
tr.v. as·signed, as·sign·ing, as·signs
1. To set apart for a particular purpose; designate: assigned a day for the inspection.

2.
 specifically to COP duties.

The philosophy section consisted of 10 statements that reflect the underlying principles of community policing as identified in the book Community Policing. The survey asked respondents to indicate which of the following activities their departments had performed:

* Secured commitment and support from city/county management to implement COP

* Developed a departmentwide strategy to implement COP

* Integrated all divisions and individuals in the agency into the COP process

* Provided special training to department personnel regarding the philosophy, strategies, and duties associated with COP

* Relieved officers from traditional patrol duties and assigned them to specific problem areas

* Gave individual officers discretion and authority to use problem-oriented strategies to address calls for service

* Amended a·mend  
v. a·mend·ed, a·mend·ing, a·mends

v.tr.
1. To change for the better; improve: amended the earlier proposal so as to make it more comprehensive.

2.
 their agency personnel evaluation process to account for the new tasks associated with COP

* Established formal community partnerships to identify and address community problems and crime

* Increased the direct participation of citizens in addressing community problems

* Refocused both the department's and community's expectations of police service to accommodate for COP (e.g., effect on response time, citizen responsibilities, etc.).

The next section of the survey examined the strategies that departments used to implement community policing. The open-ended question A closed-ended question is a form of question, which normally can be answered with a simple "yes/no" dichotomous question, a specific simple piece of information, or a selection from multiple choices (multiple-choice question), if one excludes such non-answer responses as dodging a  asked respondents to list any strategies that their agencies regularly performed that illustrated a commitment to COP.

The final section consisted of the following eight skills or traits associated with officer competence in COP: problem-solving skills, ethical integrity, interpersonal communication Interpersonal communication is the process of sending and receiving information between two or more people. Types of Interpersonal Communication
This kind of communication is subdivided into dyadic communication, Public speaking, and small-group communication.
 skills, writing skills, knowledge about the causes of and solutions for crime, mediation mediation, in law, type of intervention in which the disputing parties accept the offer of a third party to recommend a solution for their controversy. Mediation has long been a part of international law, frequently involving the use of an international commission,  skills, organizational skills (organizing groups and communities), and college-level preparation. Respondents were asked to check those skills they thought were critical for the effectiveness of officers assigned to COP.

FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION

Sample Characteristics

The 75 agencies that responded ranged in size from 1 to 850 sworn officers. Approximately one-half of the agencies had 25 or fewer officers, while 6 of the departments had 100 or more officers.

Fifty-nine of the 75 agencies that responded identified themselves as COP agencies. Twenty of the agencies were in their first year of COP, while 8 indicated they had instituted community-oriented policing at least 10 years earlier. The majority of agencies had been involved with COP for less than 5 years.

Common Concepts of COP

More than 70 percent of the agencies incorporated 5 of the 10 principles that encompass the COP philosophy. These 5 principles exhibit both the internal organizational changes and the external changes that embody em·bod·y  
tr.v. em·bod·ied, em·bod·y·ing, em·bod·ies
1. To give a bodily form to; incarnate.

2. To represent in bodily or material form:
 police-community involvement. These 5 principles incorporated by the agencies are: giving officers discretion and authority, freeing up officers to work COP, training all personnel regarding COP, establishing community partnerships, and increasing participation of citizens.

COP is based on the premise that line officers have the authority and discretion to develop solutions to problems occurring in neighborhoods. This, in fact, represented the most widely accepted principle held by administrators. Relieving officers from traditional patrol duties to work in specific problem areas paralleled this principle. These practices reflect changes within the department regarding the delivery of police services, which suggests that administrators perceive that traditional reactive reactive /re·ac·tive/ (re-ak´tiv) characterized by reaction; readily responsive to a stimulus.

re·ac·tive
adj.
1. Tending to be responsive or to react to a stimulus.

2.
 policing does not adequately address problems facing communities today. In contrast, problem-solving techniques provide proactive means for combating recurring re·cur  
intr.v. re·curred, re·cur·ring, re·curs
1. To happen, come up, or show up again or repeatedly.

2. To return to one's attention or memory.

3. To return in thought or discourse.
 problems within the community.

COP also is based on the philosophy that the police and the community work together to solve problems. Acknowledging the importance of this facet facet /fac·et/ (fas´it) a small plane surface on a hard body, as on a bone.

fac·et
n.
1. A small smooth area on a bone or other firm structure.

2.
 of COP, agencies established formal partnerships with the community, increased direct participation of citizens in addressing community problems, and secured commitment and support from city or county management. These actions suggest that law enforcement administrators recognize that the police cannot solve all of the problems facing communities on their own. As a result, they have developed ties with the broader community in an attempt to eliminate the us-versus-them mentality men·tal·i·ty
n.
The sum of a person's intellectual capabilities or endowment.
 that often characterizes traditional reactive policing.

The four principles least likely to have been implemented involved internal changes within the agency. Specifically, agencies did not amend the evaluation process, refocus Verb 1. refocus - focus once again; The physicist refocused the light beam"
focus - cause to converge on or toward a central point; "Focus the light on this image"

2.
 expectations, integrate the entire agency into COP, or develop a departmentwide strategy. It is possible that the process of converting to COP requires that certain changes take precedence The order in which an expression is processed. Mathematical precedence is normally:

1. unary + and - signs
2. exponentiation
3. multiplication and division
4.
 over others, and in time, departments will implement the remaining principles as they progress in their "journey" to COP. If so, then it would appear that agencies implementing the above principles are, in fact, community policing agencies because they have created ties with the community and developed new ways to deliver services based on proactive policing.

Yet, based on conversations with officers and chiefs from a number. of agencies, the authors have concluded that this may not be the case and offer an alternate hypothesis The alternate hypothesis (or maintained hypothesis or research hypothesis) and the null hypothesis are the two rival hypotheses whose likelihoods are compared by a statistical hypothesis test. . Three principles lay the groundwork for the change to COP and require implementation during the first stage of the transition to community policing.

First, departments must develop a departmentwide strategy to implement COP. A key step in the process requires participation from all members of the agency. This step often is neglected, especially when agency administrators conceive conceive /con·ceive/ (kon-sev´)
1. to become pregnant.

2. take in, grasp, or form in the mind.


con·ceive
v.
1. To become pregnant.

2.
, develop, and implement the COP initiative without input from other employees. Members of the agency excluded from the planning process are more likely to perceive COP as just another public relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most  program instituted by the chief. When officers lack participation in the COP process, the chances for undermining it increase.

The second principle means integrating all divisions and individuals into the COP process. As one chief stated: "Our department is integrated around the COP philosophy. It is the philosophy that is important, and everyone, including civilian staff, needs to be committed to it." The philosophy provides the framework for police-community relations and affects how the police deliver services to the community.

Establishing community partnerships designed to address and solve problems confronting residents is the common bond that guides departments committed to COP. Community-oriented policing does not mean special units that work in isolation from the rest of the department. Special units represent tools that departments can use to address specific problems identified by the police and the community. Agencies that create special units assigned solely to community policing typically create hard feelings and misunderstandings among other department personnel, especially those in patrol.
Community Policing Principles Implemented by 75 Minnesota Law
Enforcement Agencies

Principles                                   Yes     No

Gave officers discretion and authority       78%     22%
Established community partnerships           75%     25%
Freed up officers to work COP                72%     28%
Increased participation of citizens          72%     28%
Trained all personnel on COP                 71%     29%
Secured support from city administrators     63%     37%
Developed departmentwide strategy            54%     46%
Integrated entire agency into COP            49%     51%
Refocused expectations                       43%     57%
Amended evaluation process                   31%     69%


The third principle involves providing training to all department "personnel regarding the philosophy, strategies, and duties associated with COP. Community-oriented policing differs fundamentally from traditional policing and compels officers to look at the profession of policing in a different way. Without proper training, officers are unsure of what COP is, how it is implemented, and what their roles are, resulting in confusion, misconceptions Misconceptions is an American sitcom television series for The WB Network for the 2005-2006 season that never aired. It features Jane Leeves, formerly of Frasier, and French Stewart, formerly of 3rd Rock From the Sun. , and resistance to change. Officers who think of COP as nothing more than social work will have nothing to do with it. Oftentimes of·ten·times   also oft·times
adv.
Frequently; repeatedly.

Adv. 1. oftentimes - many times at short intervals; "we often met over a cup of coffee"
frequently, oft, often, ofttimes
, such officers have had little or no training in COP.

This study found that agencies incorporating these three principles in the first stage of the implementation process are more likely to have a successful transition. Working through the process of developing a strategy, integrating it throughout the department, and exploring the possibilities COP extends for delivering police services create a solid foundation that encompasses all department personnel. The COP philosophy directs and guides the mission of the police in the community. It unites officers and administrators in a common quest for Verb 1. quest for - go in search of or hunt for; "pursue a hobby"
quest after, go after, pursue

look for, search, seek - try to locate or discover, or try to establish the existence of; "The police are searching for clues"; "They are searching for the
 making the community a safer place. As a result, the remaining principles generally are implemented rather quickly following the transition stage.

Administrators in agencies that have implemented COP point out, however, that the transition to community policing takes a considerable amount of time to develop and execute. One chief thought that it takes at least 10 years to change an organization.

Strategies

The survey asked respondents to list all of the strategies that their agencies regularly perform that relate to COP. Fifty respondents(5) listed 129 strategies, which were grouped into 10 common topics.

The most widely cited strategies involved developing school programs and working with community groups. Drug Abuse Resistance Education The neutrality and factual accuracy of this article are disputed.
Please see the relevant discussion on the . This article has been tagged since September 2007.
 and Gang Related Education and Training represent some of the school programs reported by the department heads, along with school liaisons and such juvenile programs as Explorers. The community groups listed included business owners, apartment managers, and apartment residents.
Number of Community Policing Strategies Implemented

                                                 Departments
Strategies                                     Responding (50)

School programs                                      23
Officers working with community groups               21
Crime prevention programs                            10
Community involvement                                13
Block clubs and neighborhood watches                 12
Problem-oriented policing                            10
Officers working in neighborhoods                    10
Alternative strategies (e.g., bike patrol)           10
Community feedback                                    8
Citizen police academy                                6


Sixteen departments developed crime prevention programs designed to provide information to the community. These programs included sponsoring conferences with community groups, involving residents in the hiring process, and developing associations with the citizens by organizing and working to develop block clubs and Neighborhood Watches.

Some strategies used by a number of police agencies to increase police visibility included problem-oriented policing Problem-oriented policing (POP), coined by University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Herman Goldstein, is a policing strategy that involves the identification and analysis of specific crime and disorder problems, in order to develop effective response strategies in conjunction with  strategies, officers working in substations and/or walking the beat, team policing, and bike patrols. Additional methods designed to increase ties with the community included seeking community feedback through surveys, interviews, or phone calls, as well as establishing citizen police academies.

Still, community-oriented policing is a philosophy. Strategies evolve from the philosophy as methods to accomplish COP goals. In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently
, until the philosophy is integrated throughout the agency using the three core principles discussed, strategies lack coherence coherence, constant phase difference in two or more Waves over time. Two waves are said to be in phase if their crests and troughs meet at the same place at the same time, and the waves are out of phase if the crests of one meet the troughs of another. .

Officer Skills

The survey specifically asked respondents which skills or traits they felt were critical for officers engaged in community policing. Interpersonal communication skills, problem-solving abilities, mediation skills, ethical integrity, the ability to organize groups and communities, and knowledge of the causes of and solutions for crime were supported overwhelmingly by the department heads. Two out of three also perceived writing skills as important for officers engaged in COP.

Interestingly, only 33 percent felt that college-level education was important for developing the skills officers need to perform COP. Ironically i·ron·ic   also i·ron·i·cal
adj.
1. Characterized by or constituting irony.

2. Given to the use of irony. See Synonyms at sarcastic.

3.
, the skills and traits they have identified as crucial for COP generally are attributed to individuals who have college educations.

Clearly, department heads recognize that community policing requires that officers develop and possess skills typically not associated with traditional reactive policing. It follows that education and training become acute prerequisites for the transition to COP. Line officers remain the key to its successful implementation. It makes little sense to send officers into the community to implement COP with deficient de·fi·cient
adj.
1. Lacking an essential quality or element.

2. Inadequate in amount or degree; insufficient.



deficient

a state of being in deficit.
 skills and only a vague notion of what they are supposed to accomplish.

CONCLUSION

Interest in community-oriented policing is sweeping through police agencies and academic circles across the country. Community policing sessions at the national meetings of such professional organizations as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) was founded in 1963 to foster professionalism in the criminal justice system by advancing the quality of education and research programs in the field.  and the American Society of Criminology The American Society of Criminology is an international organization which embraces scholarly, scientific, and professional knowledge regarding the etiology, prevention, control, and treatment of crime and delinquency.  are well attended and provoke pro·voke  
tr.v. pro·voked, pro·vok·ing, pro·vokes
1. To incite to anger or resentment.

2. To stir to action or feeling.

3. To give rise to; evoke: provoke laughter.
 charged discussions regarding definitions and issues relating to relating to relate prepconcernant

relating to relate prepbezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc 
 implementation of COP.

In many of these sessions, attendees discuss common problems of implementing community policing. Such discussions reveal that many of the agencies that encounter resistance from their officers have not implemented the three principles laid out as critical to the success of COP.

The majority of the department heads in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area seem committed to implementing COP in their agencies and not just trying to obtain available federal funding. However, guidelines guidelines,
n.pl a set of standards, criteria, or specifications to be used or followed in the performance of certain tasks.
 for changing police agencies remain incomplete and sketchy. This leaves many administrators searching for ways to make COP fit their departments and communities.

The authors' survey found that agencies that successfully implement COP offer three guidelines or suggestions for change. First, implementing COP must be a departmentwide effort; it is not something the department head can do alone. Second, involving everyone in the development and implementation ensures ownership and commitment to the philosophy of COP. Finally, the change to COP is a process that takes time and a tremendous amount of work. Still, the effort is worth it. As one chief whose department has successfully implemented COP said, "COP is the only real way that the police can effectively deliver services. COP is what the police are supposed to be."

Endnotes

1 Department of Justice, FBI, Community Policing: A Survey of Police Departments in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.  (Lansing, MI: National Center for Community Policing, 1993).

2 J. Seagrave, "Defining Community Policing," American Journal of Police 15, no. 2 (1996): 1-22.

3 J. Ziembo-Vogl and D. Woods, "Defining Community Policing: Practice Versus Paradigm," Police Studies 19, no. 3 (1996): 33-50.

4 R. Trojanowicz and B. Bucqueroux, Community Policing (Cincinnati, Ohio “Cincinnati” redirects here. For other uses, see Cincinnati (disambiguation).
Cincinnati is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Hamilton County.
: Anderson Anderson, river, Canada
Anderson, river, c.465 mi (750 km) long, rising in several lakes in N central Northwest Territories, Canada. It meanders north and west before receiving the Carnwath River and flowing north to Liverpool Bay, an arm of the Arctic
 Publishing, 1990), 16.

5 Of the 75 surveys returned, 25 did not respond to this question.

Dr. Breci serves as an associate professor at Metropolitan State University's School of Law Enforcement in St. Paul St. Paul

as a missionary he fearlessly confronts the “perils of waters, of robbers, in the city, in the wilderness.” [N.T.: II Cor. 11:26]

See : Bravery
, Minnesota.

Chief Erickson commands the Arizona Western College Arizona Western College (also AWC) is a public community college located in Yuma, Arizona. The school's sports teams are called the Matadors and the school colors are cardinal and gold. They participate in the NJCAA, the ACCAC, and the WSFL.  Police Department in Yuma, Arizona Yuma is a city in and the county seatGR6 of Yuma County, Arizona, United States. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 84,688. .
COPYRIGHT 1998 Federal Bureau of Investigation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Erickson, Timothy E.
Publication:The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
Date:Jun 1, 1998
Words:2695
Previous Article:Surreptitious audio surveillance: the unknown danger to law enforcement.
Next Article:DVERTing domestic violence: the Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team.
Topics:



Related Articles
Small departments and community policing.
The transition document.
Building better civilian review boards.
Developing an identity book.
Incorporating diversity: police response to multicultural changes in their communities.
Police supervision in the 21st century.
Implementing change: community-oriented policing and problem solving.
Police training in the 21st century.
SOMALIA - March 10 - Warlords Block Policing.
Community policing: implementation issues.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters