Community-oriented policing aims at getting rid of all the situations that promote crime in a community. The approach to the concept of community-oriented policing has a direct visible benefit of ensuring that there is a good relationship between the community and the police. As such, this enables the police to get better satisfaction from their job. In addition, effective community policing enables a better implementation of the proposed modern management and practices in policing (Linda, 1999).
This strategy of fighting crime works quite well in poorer urban areas like slums and public housing. This is because, in such areas, police and minority citizens’ relations improve greatly. For this program to work to full capacity there is a need to involve both the national and departmental levels of the government. In community-oriented policing, the issue of problem-solving will involve officers looking for the possible problems in the course of their daily duties. Consequently, a deep analysis of the problems identified is then done.after the analysis of the problem, then the next step should be implementing the findings and the assessment of the effectiveness of the implementation of those responses.
In implementing the above approach in community-oriented policing, the police department establishes a communication association with for example students, academic communities, and the business community in the area. Community-oriented policing aims at redefining policing and at merging police/citizen cooperation in crime prevention. This too entails the use of police resources in reinforcing the values of a community as the topmost priority. In doing this, programs should be created to reinforce the whole process of community-oriented policing. This includes; directed area responsibility, fear reduction projects in the community, positive interaction projects.
Community-oriented policing, by definition, is a philosophy of full service where the same police officer works at one particular area permanently. This is a philosophy of achieving full police service. The police officer works in active association with the citizens of that geographical area aiming at establishing and solving the problems facing that community. As such, the police officers engaged in community-oriented policing works from outside offices, which are located within the geographical areas that they operate. This is a new approach to policing that works to recognize the shared responsibility of the police officers and the local community. It ensures that the citizens are safe and fully recognizes the independence of the police. Community-oriented policing, in a broader perspective, aims at getting rid of crime in the community. Both the community and the police officers get into equal partnership. In so doing, the community problems are effectively discussed; solutions are identified and put into effect.
Community-oriented policing aims at not only responding to crime in the locality but also aims at preventing and resolving all other retrogressive behaviors in the community. The whole concept in community policing lies in the belief that law enforcement officers should work in partnership with the community in solving the contemporary problems facing today’s society.
Implementing Community Oriented Policing
In achieving effective implementation of community-oriented policing, there is always a need for faith and commitment from both the community and the police officers. In essence, this strategy of fighting crime and other social crimes in a community is a complex process that always requires effective strategic planning that also involves planning and translation of the set strategies into workable practice within the public and the police.
In community-oriented policing, it is worth considering that in its implementation, realistic and achievable objectives are set. As such, the effective implementation should first start by the police making use of such policing practices that involve the whole community in the decision-making that involves their security. in so doing; the law enforcement agencies should aim at establishing long-term association/partnership between themselves and the community. This will enable the community members to feel that they are part of the security measures being taken by the police. In so doing, they will fill committed in the whole process and their cooperation will be assured (Gaines et al. 2000).
In regards to this, therefore, the community the police ensuring that the police act by the people’s consent rather than by force should conduct oriented policing. This should in turn aim at ensuring that the police and the community always work together in mutual consent of eradicating crime and other social crimes in the community. The above measures should be done by first identifying the security issues that the community perceives as being the most important /vital. In so doing, the structuring of the community should be done in a way that reflects the community needs and the priorities advanced above.
Important Concepts of Community Oriented Policing
Community-oriented policing is always started with the recognition that no single agency can succeed in solving all society’s complex problems alone. As such, this program is conceptualized and implemented bearing in mind that the police-community relationship in fighting crime restores safety in the locality as well as in the business district. In so doing, the officer who is in a position to understand and effectively relate with the community is in a better position to create a link with other agencies in helping the community fight the problems facing that community. As such, community-oriented policing is established with the knowledge that the partnership of the police and the community in eradicating crime will increase public confidence in the police force. In so doing, there will be a decrease in fear of crime. It is generously believed that this new approach in crime reduction will help mobilize community resources in helping them solve the community problems by specifically influencing certain problems in the community (Barker, et al. 2008).
Community-oriented policing aims at helping reduce recurrent calls of service by the community on the police officers. This is because the police officer is with the people and they always solve problems together. Community-oriented policing incorporates three key concepts. These include community partnership organizational transformation and problem-solving. Community partnership involves a partnership between the community and the law enforcement agencies in seeking solutions facing the community and implementing the same. This is made possible by involving other government agencies, community groups’ private businesses, and the media. On the other hand, organizational transformation aims at restructuring the law enforcement agencies in effectively supporting the community to solve the different problems that face it. The concept of problem-solving in community-oriented policing aims at systematically seeking the problems and solutions of the problems facing the community.
On the other hand, problem-oriented policing is another approach to policing that aims at discrete examinations of police business whereby such problems placed in the hands of the police are put under close and detailed examinations with the hope that each problem examined will yield a new and effective way of handling such problem. In problem-oriented policing, the aim is to find new ways of solving the problem. These strategies are preventive in their making and are not usually dependent on the use of the conventional system of criminal justice. It aims at involving other stakeholders in the community in solving the problems. These could involve the public agencies and other players in the private sector.
Relationship between COP and POP
The two approaches are seen to relate in various aspects. These include in their basic aim of fighting crime in the community. Both are seen to incorporate the community in their operations. Both community-oriented policing and problem-oriented policing g aims at associating the members of the community in their operations. These include other government t agencies as well as public and private sectors. It is notable that both the pop and cop deals with community problems that are not always criminal. Their operations do not always involve arrest because in implementing these strategies a realization is made that this does not always solve the problem. Only officers who have a great understanding of the community problems are used (Forester, 2009).
If the physical structure of the organization is not structured in a way that the community will feel at ease and as part of both community-oriented policing and problem-oriented policing by for instance being involved in the decision making and implementation of the same. Such strategies in policing cannot succeed in a dynamic society.
Challenges Facing Community Oriented Policing
Though it has been seen that a community-oriented approach is an effective strategy in fighting crime, it is worth noting that this success does not come without challenges. As such, communities are made of dynamic elements and as such, it is always difficult to harmonize their interest to get their cooperation in fighting crime. In fighting crime, the community needs local resources e.g. of energetic men who act as volunteers. This is most of the time is absent. The community, members are not always ready to engage in community-oriented policing for the fear of being the victim of the same crime they are fighting. Most of the time the police are associated with rights violations instead of promoting the rights of the people. As such, the public has grown to fear the police officers, and restoring public confidence in the police is hard.
Conducting civic education on the working and benefits of community-oriented policing is expensive and this acts as a challenge to effective implementation of the approach in fighting crime. There is a general sentiment among the community members. They will ask, what is the work of the police? What are they paid to do if we will be involved in community policing? In conclusion, therefore, we find that the two approaches –cop and pop are revolutionary in fighting crime. If effectively planned and implemented, the approaches will help our communities get rid of the rampant crimes in the neighborhoods.
Barker, T. et al. (2008). Police-Community Relations and the Administration of Justice. New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.
Forester, T. (2009). U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services: Community Policing Defined. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
Gaines, K. et al. (2000). Criminal Justice in Action. Belmont, CA: Wiley.
Linda, R.B. (1999). Leadership Effectiveness in Community Policing. Bristol, Indiana: Wyndham Hall Press.