Community policing is a scheme that promotes governmental strategies that help in maintaining efficient use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques, to proactively deal with urgent conditions that increase public insecurity issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime. It involves collaboration between the police and the community that identifies and solves community problems. All members of the community join hands in the effort of enhancing the safety and quality neighborhood (Ford & Morash, 2002).
Reinvigorating communities is essential when a community want to deter crime and create neighborhoods that are more imperative. In some communities, it may take time to remove barriers of lethargy and doubt so that meaningful partnership is created.
Components of community policing
This is a collaboration between law enforcement groups, persons, and organizations they serve to extend solutions to troubles and boost trust in police. This organization may consist of government agencies, community members or groups, profits or service providers, private businesses, and media.
Groups of people from various organizations join hands to support community-based organizations to solve insecurity problems.
Problem-solving is the development of proactive and organized examination of known problems to widen and carefully evaluate efficient responses.
How community policing is implemented in my neighborhood
This community policing is in a semi-urban area where the office is located outside the premises of the local government council. I observed the location of the office and found out that the location serves as a strength of this forum because the community of this area perceived the project as theirs and identified with it.
The project was implemented in the following phases:
- Advocacy Visits to the three local government councils
- Holding police-community partnership workshops in the three local government councils
- Inauguration of community policing forum in three local government councils
There were advocacy visits, which were carried in the three local government areas, studied. The main purpose of these visits was to explain the purpose of the project and seek the collaboration of these communities in the implementation of the project. The communities responded positively and were committed to supporting the project.
The police–community partnership workshops were held and police partnership forums were established in each location.
After the police-community partnership workshop, what followed was the reading of guidelines for the forums’ operations, clarifications were made and the document was adopted for use. This was later followed by the inauguration of the executive management committee of the forum.
This forum had a functional leadership that met every month to discuss and take decisions on critical security, community problems, and needs. The coordinator was supposed to mobilize and coordinate roles of the forum. The mission and vision of the project were well comprehended by the leadership of the forum. There was a high level of cohesion within the leadership forum.
Benefits of community policing to this community
- It developed a closer contact between the police and the public thereby civilizing their relationship and removing the fear of police.
- It enhanced public assurance and trust in the public ability to control crime
- It encouraged public input by removing the demand upon police service
- Improved crime reporting
- Reduced complaints against police
- It encouraged greater contact between the neighbors and promoted community contribution thereby providing room for advancement and creativity.
- It assisted in humanizing the public spirit by helping police in combating crime.
Ford, D. & Morash, M. (2002).The move to community policing: making change happen. Newbury Park, CA, Sage.