Police Presence in Low-Income Communities

Law enforcement is essential to keeping things in order in any society, and the security forces generally do it. In low-income neighborhoods, the necessity for a police intervention may be especially pronounced since these individuals are searching for ways to make ends meet. The police may therefore be more important in some communities than others (Sherman, 421-449). However, it has been noted that most residents in these underserved areas doubt that the police are making a difference in their quality of life. For residents of these neighborhoods, police presence means constant surveillance and heightened tensions.

In light of the police concentration on these variables, the public has begun to doubt the system’s good intentions, effectiveness, and impartiality. The use of force by police officers to combat drug trafficking and crimes involving firearms is not unheard of. Even in the most trivial situations, cops have been accused of abusing their authority. People’s trust in their legal system has been eroded by these incidents, which directly impact their sense of security. Due to excessive crime levels and a general deficit, most residents of low-income neighborhoods are subjected to police surveillance. However, this presence may do more harm than good in specific communities. Therefore, for everyone’s well-being, the police must enhance their conduct while interacting with colleagues.

According to research, places with the highest levels of mistrust tend to be ones with a higher police presence. When individuals don’t want to help law enforcement because of these results, it leads to more criminality and a false sense of the law. Many of those subjected to police abuse have little in the way of social assets, political clout, or money. To further their self-serving agendas, the police can use these restrictions. I believe that amplifying their voices will have a significant impact.” All localities will be on the watch for dubious conduct by law enforcement officers and make them accountable. Without active participation from the people most impacted by crime, actions to reduce it will be a futile endeavor.

Even though law enforcement agencies have a wide range of responsibilities, they all execute the same essential functions: enforce the laws and maintain the peace. Criminals have been apprehended, infants have been delivered, and law enforcement personnel have given their lives for the good of the communities they were sworn to protect and serve throughout history. On the other hand, some officers have misused their positions and brought disgrace upon the departments and organizations in which they work. As a result, police-community ties have been strained, and confidence has been eroded among citizens. The use of community policing has been done by police departments and other law enforcement agencies to reestablish trust and communication with community members.

Today’s policing is a challenging but ultimately rewarding profession. Law enforcement issues have been clear since 1635, and today’s technological advancements are making any possible police misbehavior more visible to the communities in which they operate. Since the 1960s, there has been increased violence and protests against police officers, primarily targeting ethnic minorities and low-income neighborhoods. At the same time, as the demands of the job have changed, officers today have taken on additional responsibilities like social workers, protectors and peacekeepers, family counselors, and other obligations. Some police agencies have adopted a community policing strategy to enhance their connections with the people in their neighborhoods.

The media has a significant impact on the public’s opinion of law enforcement, both in terms of coverage and exposure to the media outlet’s audience. Because of negative media coverage of police, members of the public are beginning to have less confidence in their local law enforcement officials. However, as police agencies become more conscious of the ongoing debates in the press and the community regarding their policies and conduct, there are several ways to solve this sound problem. The practice of community policing is a promising strategy for increasing trust and communication between police personnel and the general population.

The public exposure of increasingly violent instances involving the police and the general population has led to some police agencies that are now taking a more proactive approach to their training, reporting, and policing since they are being examined more than ever before. President Barack Obama convened a task committee of law enforcement specialists and community leaders in response to citizen-initiated shootings of police officers and citizen retaliatory shootings of police officers. The task group convened to examine the most effective strategies for increasing trust and reducing tensions between law enforcement agencies and the general population. One of the task force’s recommendations was to improve the quality of community policing services.

When it comes to influencing public opinion and promoting compliance, how the law is enforced is more important than the justice of the laws itself. As a result, the public must believe that the police are fair and trustworthy law enforcement officers who apply the law objectively and use their vast powers only when required, in an equitable and just manner, for the police to succeed. To have a sense of legitimacy, residents must believe that police officers share their sense of right and wrong and that they are defending public ideals.

The public’s impression of the police can be negatively influenced by a variety of reasons and allegations of racial bias in the enforcement of the law by law enforcement officers. Researchers have discovered that discriminatory behaviors might be founded on explicit, implicit, or unconscious prejudices regarding police officers’ administration of the law. Racism and gender, ethnicity, and sexual identity have been linked to uneven outcomes in police and disparate outcomes in policing. There is still a great deal of uncertainty around the presence, nature, and consequences of police prejudice in policing. (Bandes, 176-194), studies that look at the link between a person’s race and police conduct have found that there are racial discrepancies in police searches, spot checks, arrest and detention, and the use of power, all of which may seriously disrupt people’s faith and diminish thoughts of the credibility of police officers.

The public’s trust in police officers may be bolstered through better officer behavior during interactions with the community. According to research, residents who have a greater sense of confidence in police officers are more likely to observe the law and collaborate with police by coming forward as witnesses or engaging in crime-control initiatives (Jackson, 547-572). Studies show a strong correlation between public faith in police officers and their ability to protect the community by reporting crimes, testifying in court, and generally abiding by the law.

Adopting a policy approach beyond the traditional emphasis on law enforcement is essential to establishing a successful community collaboration. In this broader perspective, activities that contribute to order and well-being are recognized for their importance as community assets. Assistance to accident or crime victims, the provision of emergency medical services, and the resolution of personal and neighborhood conflicts are all examples of actions that fall into this category. These services contribute to the development of trust between the police and the public.

When police officers work together, they get access to a broader range of important information from the community that may assist in the investigation and mitigation of criminal behavior. Police officers have a chance to build relationships with people in the community through this program. When it comes to enlisting the participation of community people in the promotion of safety and security, the whole police organization must be involved.

Every day, police officers encounter difficult obstacles, either responding to emergency calls, enforcing traffic offenses, or simply sitting in their patrol vehicles. Aside from that, when an officer answers a call, they must make split-second choices to assess the danger and choose the acceptable degree of force to use in response. As part of their training, police officers are taught to analyze a situation and make the best choice based on what they know and observe. This helps them better prepare for their work’s dangers (Owens, 41-87). Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), low morale, and low confidence are all experienced by police officers because of preparing for threats or horrific events in the past.

Policing techniques provide the foundation for restoring order to a chaotic situation while also fostering a positive connection between officers and individuals in the community. Preventive, reactive, and problem-oriented police tactics are the three basic types of policing practices. Every kind of police practice has its own set of features. Proactive policing involves involving the public to assist in preventing a crime from occurring. The response of police officers to a crime in progress is known as reactive policing. The goal of problem-oriented police is to detect and resolve issues in a community as soon as they arise rather than waiting for them to occur.

Education and programs are used to encourage community members to become active in crime prevention as part of community policing initiatives. When a community does not fear reporting a crime, the neighborhood becomes safer, and officers are better able to conduct investigations, ultimately reducing criminal activity in the community. Many police agencies employ initiatives to help build and strengthen trust and communication with the community, such as establishing a community service division, among other things. Community policing also enables police officers to be visible in their communities by making school visits and hosting community training sessions.

Works Cited

Bandes, Susan A., et al. “The mismeasure of Terry stops: Assessing the psychological and emotional harms of stop and frisk to individuals and communities.” Behavioral sciences & the law 37.2 (2019): 176-194.

Jackson, Jonathan, et al. “Police legitimacy and the norm to cooperate: using a mixed effects location-scale model to estimate the strength of social norms at a small spatial scale.” Journal of Quantitative Criminology 37.2 (2021): 547-572.

Owens, Emily, et al. “Can you build a better cop? Experimental evidence on supervision, training, and policing in the community.” Criminology & Public Policy 17.1 (2018): 41-87.

Sherman, Lawrence W. “Reducing fatal police shootings as system crashes: Research, theory, and practice.” Annual Review of Criminology 1 (2018): 421-449.

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DemoEssays. 2023. "Police Presence in Low-Income Communities." March 28, 2023. https://demoessays.com/police-presence-in-low-income-communities/.

1. DemoEssays. "Police Presence in Low-Income Communities." March 28, 2023. https://demoessays.com/police-presence-in-low-income-communities/.


DemoEssays. "Police Presence in Low-Income Communities." March 28, 2023. https://demoessays.com/police-presence-in-low-income-communities/.