Skid Row Areas: Community Policing

The policing of skid row areas is usually associated with a great number of challenges because such districts attract a great number of people who may violate the law in different ways. Moreover, the residents of such areas are more affected by economic difficulties such as unemployment. Additionally, homelessness is a widespread phenomenon in these parts of a city.

Overall, these urban districts are more exposed to the risk of violent conflicts. This is one of the reasons why many researchers believe that police officers should focus on peace-keeping (Bittner, 1967). It is vital to keep in mind that many crimes committed in such districts are driven by interpersonal disputes that are not timely settled. So, in order to prevent crime, police should be able to resolve such disputes. In many cases, they need to intervene into conflicts that are not related to crime; for instance, one can mention family quarrels (Bittner, 1967).

This function can be successfully applied by law-enforcement professionals if they can take a personalized approach to residents of such districts (Bittner, 1967). This is why many police officers spend more time in order to learn more about the background of people living in skid row areas (Nowicki 1997). Overall, this approach is important for minimizing the risk and impact of various offenses.

Police officers can adopt various approaches when they need to work in the areas what are badly affected by poverty, homelessness and crime. For instance, one can speak about the strategy of containment. It implies that law-enforcement agencies try to make sure that the problems of these urban areas do not affect other communities.

For instance, they can arrest the residents of these areas, if they pose a threat to people living in other parts of a city. This approach does not eliminate the internal conflicts imbedded in such areas. In contrast, police-officers may focus on problem-solving. They should focus on the underlying causes of a specific behavior. For instance, domestic violence can be attributed to alcohol abuse.

Moreover, the evidence indicates that the arrest of the abusing husband can be a useful precaution against further violence (Eck & Spelman, 1987). Therefore, they do not just try to confine the problems of skid row areas; instead, they try to eliminate them. The only similarity is that in both cases, police officers may not establish close ties with the community that the patrol.

In turn, it is important to consider community policing. This approach means that police-officers try to create a positive image of law-enforcement agencies (Eck & Spelman, 1987). Moreover, they want to strengthen informal ties with community residents. In particular, law-enforcement agencies establish close partnerships with people who want to take an active part in the prevention of crime (Bayley & Nixon, 2008). The main peculiarity of this approach is that police-officers are more involved in the life of the community that they patrol. This approach is also based on the premise that it is necessary to identify the root causes of various crimes. Overall, this approach also relies on problem-solving activities.

Overall, community policing is the most productive approach because it enables law-enforcement agencies to gain better insights into the problems of a particular neighborhood, including a skid row area (Palmiotto, 2003). More importantly, this approach is vital for gaining the trust of the community. These are the main issues that can be identified.

Reference List

Bayley, D., & Nixon, C. (2008). The Changing Environment for Policing, 1985-2008. Web.

Bittner, E. (1967). The Police on Skid-row: A Study of Peace Keeping. American Sociological Review. 32(5), 699-715.

Eck, J., & Spelman, W. (1987). Who Ya Gonna Call? The police as problem-busters. Crime & Delinquency, 33 (1), 31-52.

Nowicki, D. (1997). Mixed Messages. New York, NY: Prentice Hall.

Palmiotto, M. (2003). Community Policing: A Policing Strategy for the 21st Century. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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