Policing has always involved the police and civilians. However, for closer and engaged involvement of the public, the concept of community policing is necessary. For a community-policing program to work effectively, certain managerial and technical know-how and skills are critical. The community-policing concept creates a team of official police officers and the community to enhance crime prevention. Community policing aims at minimizing the chances of a crime occurring rather than crime-solving. A favorable relationship between the police and the community results in a greater number of arrests immediately after the perpetration of a crime. The police in England established that it was less likely for a crime to occur in the presence of law enforcement authorities in their first community policing trials after the Second World War (Palmiotto, 2011).
For a productive level of cooperation to exist between the police and the community, the police officers involved in the program must be acquainted with the concept of multiculturalism. Most communities are multicultural, and an effort by the police to understand the nature of a community will be a sign of goodwill to the community in question. In addition, this is an indication that the police force is seeking a working relationship with the community to enhance security. A good attitude by the community is required in order to achieve a successful community-policing program. A negative attitude by the member of the public towards the police limits cooperation providing criminals with an opportunity to rein terror on innocent individuals.
In some cases, it is necessary to include specific individuals in an active community policing activity. The activity involves the patrolling of areas prone to crime and reporting to the authorities in case of an occurrence of a crime. The members involved in community policing are trained not to intervene in case of a crime occurrence. In Germany, the community police members may be equipped with equipments for self-protection, but are prohibited to carry deadly objects such as a gun (Friedmann, 1992). This kind of duty may require some basic training on crime and the essence of training. The effectiveness of the relationship between the police and community, and the limit to the authority of the members of the community police constitute the major concept of community policing.
An administrator within the law enforcement authorities must be able to organize community policing and delegate duties in an appropriate and effective manner. In addition, the administrator must be able to develop a valid work plan for the program. In the community, the management of policing should be an interactive process involving even the senior-most member of the law enforcement authority. This encourages the participation of the whole community and the immediate members of the community police. It is essential that the concept of discrete ranks dissolve into continuous and interactive participation for the program to be successful (Hess et al, 2011).
The law enforcement officers directly interacting with the member of the community form the interface between the management and the community. These officers and the volunteers, if any, should have the skills to interact with both groups in a harmonious manner, and send the right signals. This aspect of community policing, known as people skills, is more significant for the higher-ranking officers in law enforcement. Officers with bigger responsibilities should provide feedback for every bit of a new issue raised by the junior members of the law enforcement agency (Hess et al, 2011). Moreover, enthusiasm on their part and support for their junior staff is essential to maintain high morale.
Friedmann, R. R. (1992). Community policing: comparative perspectives and prospects. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Hess, K. M., Orthmann, C. M., & LaDue, S. E. (2012). Management and supervision in law enforcement (6th ed.). Clifton Park, NY: Delmar/Cengage Learning.
Palmiotto, M. J. (2011). Community Policing a Police-Citizen Partnership.. Hoboken: Taylor & Francis