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Community Policing: Partnerships for Problem Solving, fourth edition.

Community Policing: Partnerships for Problem Solving, fourth edition, by Linda S. Miller and Karen M. Hess, Wadsworth Publishing, Belmont, California, 2005.

Community policing has steadily gained popularity and acceptance as a viable solution to seemingly intractable crime and quality-of-life problems. Indeed, many police departments are practicing community policing in some form, oftentimes at the behest of elected leaders who recognize its value. Delivering on the promise of community policing and transforming a law enforcement agency from reactive to proactive can be made easier when "change agents" fully understand the tenets of community policing, problem-oriented policing, and community partnerships. Linda S. Miller and Karen M. Hess have completely revised the fourth edition of Community Policing: Partnerships for Problem Solving and present an easy-to-read text that captures all of the necessary principles to ensure the success of community policing.

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One of the most important facets of community policing is partnerships; police partnerships with stakeholders are essential if crime reduction and quality of life are to improve. Miller and Hess have devoted a new chapter (chapter 7) to partnerships, their importance, and how to establish meaningful ones. Chapter 7 begins with a discussion on the value of partnerships and how collaboration leads to positive results. The authors cite several authoritative community policing sources and experts who refer to partnerships as "the glue of community policing." The glue comes about through active community involvement and mutual trust by committed stakeholders. In addition to adjustments in the community that must be made, organizational changes are necessary to sustain successful partnership programs. Miller and Hess carefully point out a few techniques, such as call management and citizen police academies, that help an agency deploy better and encourage public involvement.

The text is divided into three major sections: "Overview," "Building Relationships and Trust," and "Community Policing in the Field: Collaborative Efforts." The "Overview" describes some of the fundamentals of community policing, including its evolution, the mission and culture of police organizations, community involvement, proactive policing, and implementing community policing. Section 2, "Building Relationships and Trust," describes how to overcome the traditional obstacles associated with decentralized policing (i.e., community policing), characterized as open communication, building partnerships, and forming a working relationship with the media. The last section, "Community Policing in the Field: Collaborative Efforts," outlines previous research and some successful community policing projects. The relevant topics cover early experiments in crime prevention, safe neighborhoods and communities, reaching youth through community policing, gangs and drugs, violence and terrorism, and the future of community policing.

The text is replete with commentaries and excerpts by community policing experts and other policing authorities, including Herman Goldstein, John Eck, and William Spellman, along with the U.S. Department of Justice, Community Policing Consortium. Each chapter ends with discussion questions and a community project assignment, which adds a novel critical-thinking touch. The publisher also offers a Web site (www.infotrac-college.com) with additional sources for research. The text is excellent for any college course on community policing, problem-oriented policing, or police and the community. Practitioners will find the text useful for academy courses on the same subject and to help facilitate implementing community policing or partnership programs.

Reviewed by

Captain Jon M. Shane (Ret.)

Newark, New Jersey, Police Department
COPYRIGHT 2007 Federal Bureau of Investigation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Author:Shane, Jon M.
Publication:The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
Date:Apr 1, 2007
Words:538
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