Public safety is one of the main reasons that influenced the philosophy of community policing. Community policing involves organizational strategies that utilize partnership to find a solution when public safety is threatened (Peak & Glensor, 2008). Community policing is divided into three main strategies which include community partnership, organizational transformation and problem-solving strategies (Peak & Glensor, 2008).
The first one which is community partnership is a partnership between the security agencies and the members of the community who give information necessary to offer the law enforcement agencies help to find lasting solutions to issues involving criminal activities (Peak & Glensor, 2008).
Organizational transformation on the other hand involves putting structures and channels that will enable members of the society to offer help. Lastly, problem-solving is basically the action plan after a problem has been identified. A police officer in New York by the name Amato played a significant role in tracking down drug lords in 45th street and third avenue (Godfrey, 2010). He established a good rapport with the residents and business owners in the neighborhood who in return trusted him and offered information about the drugs business.
Amato called in narcotic detectives and with the help of a landlord, they were able to track down the people involved in the illicit trade of drugs. Building confidence and trust between the law enforcers and the members of the community was the main reason that made this a success.
Mounting police patrols and increasing routine checkups may work but not as effectively as the strategy used. Community policing is mainly based on finding permanent solutions to problems. routine checks may have scared the drug lords away but that would not permanently solve the issue.
Scaring the drug lords away can only have them relocate to other places but that does not make them give up on their trade (Tonry & Morris, 1993). The best way to deal with such scenarios is to find the source of the problem and eliminate it. In this case, were it not for the community support facilitated by the partnership, this would have not happened. Using community policing gives a permanent solution to persistent crime issues. Community policing creates good working relations between the communities and the law enforcement agencies.
This relationship is fruitful in dealing with crime and other societal discrepancies. The success of community policing is based on reliable information given by eyewitnesses. When law enforcers are working freely and interacting with the community, it is easy to get information that can lead to successful crime management. In the case above, it is out of trust that the officer gained from the community that he was able to get first-hand information on the criminal operations taking place. This trust is cultivated by creating a good rapport with the community (Tonry & Morris, 1993).
Community policing enables the law enforcement agencies to increase their responsiveness in regards to matters or concerns raised by the community hence cultivating good faith. It is good faith that facilitates an effective community policing strategy.
Nonetheless, community policing must be based on a mutual understanding that the police are there to help but it remains the responsibility of the members of the community to report and bring to the attention of the police any form of criminal activities perceived to be taking place. This would help the police and other law agencies to offer more timely and long-term help to control the situation.
Godfrey, S. (2010). Assessing the Success of Community-Policing (Neighborhood Watch Program). New York, NY: Foundation Press.
Peak, K. J. & Glensor, R. W. (2008). Community policing and problem solving: Strategies and practices (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Tonry, M. H., & Morris, N. (1993). Modern Policing. New York, NY: Free Press.