Small departments and community policing.During the past several years, many police executives implemented the concept of community policing within their departments.(1) By now, these police executives realize that community policing is a philosophy and an organizational strategy, not merely a new program. Accordingly, employees of community policing departments understand that they need to solve existing problems in an innovative way--they must involve citizens in the process of policing themselves.(2)
Many write about large- and medium-sized police departments that return the police to the communities they serve by forming partnerships with the citizens. However, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the International Association of Chiefs of Police
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) was founded in Chicago in 1893 as the National Chiefs of Police Union. (IACP IACP International Association of Chiefs of Police
IACP International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
IACP International Association of Culinary Professionals
IACP Istituto Autonomo Case Popolari
IACP International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists ), 79 percent of police agencies 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. employ 25 or fewer officers, and 60 percent of that number employ fewer than 10 sworn officers.(3) Even so, small-sized departments that implement a community policing philosophy generate little discussion.
Some suggest that most departments with fewer than 25-30 officers already subscribe, by virtue of their environment, to "community policing." This is probably true to some extent, since police officers in small towns tend to know most of the community's residents. However, small town policing and community policing are not necessarily the same, and small agencies need to consider the benefits that can be realized from a change in philosophy toward a new partnership with the community.
This article discusses the community policing philosophy and how it might impact on small departments, police administrators, and communities, as well as what internal changes need to occur when departments implement the concept. Finally, it includes a "critical issues" checklist that police administrators should carefully consider before making a public move toward community policing.
Community policing departments are more receptive receptive /re·cep·tive/ (re-cep´tiv) capable of receiving or of responding to a stimulus. to innovation than traditional departments with autocratic structures, which do not lend themselves to this type of concept. Therefore, departments interested in community policing must first consider changes to reshape their internal organizations.
To begin, department officials should examine their approaches to internal problem solving problem solving
Process involved in finding a solution to a problem. Many animals routinely solve problems of locomotion, food finding, and shelter through trial and error. . This sometimes necessitates that administrators make some difficult, and perhaps risky, decisions to change the way things have always been done. Because traditional organizations oftentimes of·ten·times also oft·times
Adv. 1. oftentimes - many times at short intervals; "we often met over a cup of coffee"
frequently, oft, often, ofttimes do not encourage collaborative thinking between management and personnel, resentment and dissension may build. In community policing, the partnership between management and employees begins within the organization.
This does not mean that command and control cannot exist. Many situations occurring within a department obviously need to be handled according to procedures that require tight controls. It does mean that departmentwide input and problem solving can impact on day-to-day police work.
However, not all aspects of the organization must change. The Superintendent of Police in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, suggests a "bureaucratic bu·reau·crat
1. An official of a bureaucracy.
2. An official who is rigidly devoted to the details of administrative procedure.
bu garage sale":
"...the conventional police
organization is like a 50-year-old
house. When it was built,
it was new, strong, and in
leading fashion magazine in France and America. [Fr. and Amer. Culture: Misc.]
See : Fashion , but with the passage of
time ... parts of it rot rot (rot)
2. a disease of sheep, and sometimes of humans, due to Fasciola hepatica.
decay. , and it
goes out of style. The answer,
however, is not to bulldoze bull·doze
v. bull·dozed, bull·doz·ing, bull·dozes
1. To clear, dig up, or move with a bulldozer.
2. To treat in an abusive manner; bully.
down. What is needed is an
imaginative renovation job.
"Gut the rotted rot
v. rot·ted, rot·ting, rots
1. To undergo decomposition, especially organic decomposition; decay.
a. and anachronistic a·nach·ro·nism
1. The representation of someone as existing or something as happening in other than chronological, proper, or historical order.
parts from the old and
begin building from that solid
base so that you end with a
house that is once again
strong, contemporary, and
retains that of the old which
complements the new."(4) With this in mind, police administrators can begin the process of incorporating community policing into their departments.
The community policing philosophy requires that officials make certain concrete changes within the organization. These changes provide for a smooth transition to the community policing concept.
Redefine Verb 1. redefine - give a new or different definition to; "She redefined his duties"
define, delimit, delimitate, delineate, specify - determine the essential quality of
2. the Department's Role
To begin, department officials must redefine the role of the police in their communities. In some cases, this may be the first time administrators give specific thought to the role of the department within their communities. It is important, though, that community policing departments work as partners with the citizens they serve to solve problems that relate to the quality of life, as opposed to simply enforcing the law.
Once officials define the role of the department in the community, they must train all officers on the principles and philosophy of community policing. Here again, small departments have an advantage in that administrators can take a hands-on approach to the training in an atmosphere more conducive con·du·cive
Tending to cause or bring about; contributive: working conditions not conducive to productivity. See Synonyms at favorable. to good communication and understanding.
Evaluate Employees Differently
Officials must evaluate community policing officers differently than those who work in more traditional police environments. For example, in addition to productivity, the evaluation should include credit for creativity. The officers should show a firm commitment to solve problems in innovative ways. Officials, on the other hand, should make all officers aware of how they rate certain elements of their jobs, and they need to meet with officers on a regular basis to discuss whether the officers need to improve in any particular areas.
The Powell Police Department uses an employee evaluation form that rates over 35 factors indicative of character and commitment, such as the officers' perseverance Perseverance
See also Determination.
redid dictionary manuscript burnt in fire. [Br. Hist.: Brewer Handbook, 752]
Call of the Wild, The
dogs trail steadfastly through Alaska’s tundra. [Am. Lit. and patience and their relationships with both coworkers and the public. While virtually any officer can produce in terms of numbers, the evaluation system also takes into account the humanistic hu·man·ist
1. A believer in the principles of humanism.
2. One who is concerned with the interests and welfare of humans.
a. A classical scholar.
b. A student of the liberal arts. side of the employee, which more significantly affects the relationship between the department and the public.
Assign Specific Patrol Areas
In order to give street officers some sense of personal responsibility, officials should assign them to a particular beat. Officials should strategically divide these areas so as to preserve the unique identity of individual neighborhoods. They should also avoid mixing different types of neighborhoods together in the same area of responsibility.
Assigning beats may pose a special challenge to small departments that are generally fortunate just to have enough officers to provide necessary services and to handle calls. As a possible solution to this problem, small departments should attempt to identify areas where the responsible officers could make personal contacts to identify specific problems and possible solutions, even though they must also answer calls for service throughout a larger area.
This method of policing develops a sense of ownership of particular geographic areas, and it allows the officers to look seriously at the problems that occur in "their" areas. It also allows small departments of one or two officers to work more closely with the community to solve problems.
v. pri·or·i·tized, pri·or·i·tiz·ing, pri·or·i·tiz·es Usage Problem
To arrange or deal with in order of importance.
Small departments, like their large counterparts, may have to evaluate and prioritize the calls that require a police response and ease the community into assuming more of the responsibility for resolving problems. For example, minor accidents that occur on private property might require that the drivers go to the police station to file a report, thereby freeing up officer time that could be better spent working in assigned areas. Small departments benefit greatly from this system of prioritizing calls, since they have fewer officers to respond to calls.
Tailor Police Work to Community Needs
Community policing requires that departments tailor their police work to the particular needs of the community. Therefore, officials should assess the needs of the department in relation to the needs of the community.
In order to do this successfully, officials must seek legitimate citizen input. Line officers should work with citizens and merchants in both neighborhoods and business districts to build and revitalize re·vi·tal·ize
tr.v. re·vi·tal·ized, re·vi·tal·iz·ing, re·vi·tal·iz·es
To impart new life or vigor to: plans to revitalize inner-city neighborhoods; tried to revitalize a flagging economy. working relationships, and administrators should make contact with community leaders. In this way, administrators can parallel the more accessible police/neighbor relationship with a more visible role as community leaders.
CRITICAL ISSUES CHECKLIST
In addition to the concrete changes administrators should make, there are other possible ways to enhance the success of community policing. This "critical issues" checklist falls within the purview The part of a statute or a law that delineates its purpose and scope.
Purview refers to the enacting part of a statute. It generally begins with the words be it enacted and continues as far as the repealing clause. of how administrators of small departments, prior to making a public move, should approach incorporating the change to a new philosophy of policing.
Ensure Strong Administrative Leadership
Administrators must lead the change toward community policing. Subordinates must see that leaders willingly take risks for the good of the whole.
Department administrators must also use their positions of leadership to promote new relationships with the communities they serve. However, police administrators must set the agenda for change. They must oversee the building of relationships with the public without allowing it to take over the relationship.(5) As time passes, change will be necessary, and police administrators who are inflexible will suffer.
Make a Gradual Change
Administrators can quickly institute even complex programs. However, the change to a new philosophy of policing requires more time. It takes time for department personnel to view the community as a partner and to develop ways to act out that partnership.
One way administrators can move gradually toward a community policing policy is to first institute 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 . "Essentially, problem-oriented policing (POP) asks officers to think independently to look for underlying dynamics behind a series of incidents, rather than focus on the individual occurrences as isolated events."(6) POP does not require the depth of police/community partnership or substantive structural changes in the department to function effectively. This gives administrators a chance to ease the department into the community policing philosophy.
Draft a Clear Mission Statement
All community policing departments should adopt a clear mission statement that reflects the department's commitment to forming a partnership with the community. This mission statement sends the message to officers that the department is serious in its community policing effort.
The success of community policing depends greatly on the acceptance of the mission statement by the entire organization. Front-line officers who see the positive results of the program may adapt easily to the philosophy. However, some of these officers, particularly veteran officers, may believe that community policing and social work are much the same.
In addition, community policing requires changes in long-established habits and generally requires a more emotional and cognitive commitment by officers to work with the community, rather than on the community. When a problem of acceptance exists, management should involve the officers in the change process. They should have decisionmaking power and the freedom to learn from their mistakes. They should also receive credit for good work and creativity, as well as constant encouragement.
Assess the Community's Needs
Administrators should assess the needs of the communities they serve so that they can efficiently plan the thrust of their particular community policing strategies. One method of doing this involves the use of a community analysis worksheet that is available through the Behavioral Science behavioral science
A scientific discipline, such as sociology, anthropology, or psychology, in which the actions and reactions of humans and animals are studied through observational and experimental methods. Services Unit of the FBI Academy The FBI Academy, located in Quantico, Virginia, is the training grounds for new Special Agents of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was first opened for use in 1972 on 385 acres (1.6 km²) of woodland. in Quantico, Virginia Quantico, Virginia lies in Prince William County, 23 miles north-northeast of Fredericksburg, Virginia, United States, near Dumfries and Stafford along Highway 619. It is totally surrounded by Marine Corps Base Quantico and the Potomac River. . This worksheet tracks general demographic, socioeconomic so·ci·o·ec·o·nom·ic
Of or involving both social and economic factors.
of or involving economic and social factors
Adj. 1. , and institutional characteristics of a community. It also helps administrators to examine crime-related social conditions.
Dr. Robert Trojanowicz refers to community policing as the "ideological public-police relationship of the future."(7) Whether this philosophy dominates tomorrow's police work is not entirely predictable, but it is hard to envision either the police or the community not wishing to put the positive aspects of community policing to work.
Community policing produces a new vitality and deeper fulfillment ful·fill also ful·fil
tr.v. ful·filled, ful·fill·ing, ful·fills also ful·fils
1. To bring into actuality; effect: fulfilled their promises.
2. in law enforcement's relationship with the public, emphasizing a partnership between the two. In addition, it eliminates law enforcement's adversarial ad·ver·sar·i·al
Relating to or characteristic of an adversary; involving antagonistic elements: "the chasm between management and labor in this country, an often needlessly adversarial . . . relationships with law-abiding citizens.
However, administrators who look at community policing merely as a handy program to increase their popularity with the public are not looking at the risks or the long-term commitment necessary to make community policing work. The positive feedback and improved 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 that result from the program should not be priority goals-partnerships and problem solving are the major priorities.
Community policing offers a concept that emphasizes the police as part of the community. Community policing departments respond positively to the needs of the communities they serve, and they help to restore the quality of life. Yet, they do not surrender the responsibility of criminal detection and apprehension The seizure and arrest of a person who is suspected of having committed a crime.
A reasonable belief of the possibility of imminent injury or death at the hands of another that justifies a person acting in Self-Defense against the potential attack. . It is a winning combination.
(1) Joseph Harpold, lecture on community policing, 166th Session of the FBI National Academy, Quantico, Virginia, 1991. (Community policing is a partnership between police and law-abiding citizens to create permanent solutions to problems and thereby enhance the quality of life in the community.) (2) Robert Trojanowicz and Bonnie bon·ny also bon·nie
adj. bon·ni·er, bon·ni·est Scots
1. Physically attractive or appealing; pretty.
2. Excellent. Bucqueroux, Community Policing, A Contemporary Perspective (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 Publishing Company, 1990). (3) Managing the Small Police Department (Arlington, Virginia: International Association of Chiefs of Police, 1990) (4) Chris Braiden, "Ideas on Ownership," Footprints: The National Community Policing Newsletter, Michigan State University Michigan State University, at East Lansing; land-grant and state supported; coeducational; chartered 1855. It opened in 1857 as Michigan Agricultural College, the first state agricultural college. , Spring/ Summer 1991. (5) Larry Monroe, lecture on community policing, 166th Session of the FBI National Academy, Quantico, Virginia, 1991. (6) Supra A relational DBMS from Cincom Systems, Inc., Cincinnati, OH (www.cincom.com) that runs on IBM mainframes and VAXs. It includes a query language and a program that automates the database design process. note 2. (7) Robert Trojanowicz, lecture on community policing, 166th Session of the FBI National Academy, Quantico, Virginia, 1991.