Insecurity and crime are some of the problems affecting many societies across the globe. Such challenges have informed the development of criminal justice systems. Such frameworks are designed in such a way that they can detect criminals and crimes. Culprits are usually arrested, tried, and charged by their offenses. Criminal justice systems are characterized by different concepts and issues that must be embraced by different stakeholders such as law enforcers, legislators, attorneys, and members of the public. Community policing has emerged as a powerful model through which members of the public and the police collaborate to tackle the problem of crime. This research paper gives a detailed analysis, background, and implementation of community policing within the realm of the criminal justice system.
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Police officers and community members interact continuously in an attempt to improve the level of coexistence. Although the prime role of police officers is to enforce the law, they can go a step further to engage in a wide range of community services. It should be observed that the concept of community-policy interaction is not something new. In the United States, the idea of community policing emerged in the 19th century when different departments began to engage with various communities to ensure that there was seamless enforcement of the law (Miller, Hess, & Orthmann, 2018).
Initially, police officers could patrol through different communities to ensure that peace, coexistence, and law were maintained. The process made it easier for members of the community to offer timely updates and information to the police. Consequently, the strategy made it possible for different communities to reduce the level of violence and minimize criminal engagements.
Throughout the 20th century, new approaches emerged whereby different police officers were able to offer community services. They did so by providing adequate support and assistance to every individual in need. They also coordinated several community-based activities or campaigns. They also offered adequate education to different groups such as the youth (Lamin & Teboh, 2016). Such teaching activities focused on issues such as drug abuse and empowerment. These practices played a critical role in catalyzing the development of the community policing concept.
In the 1960s, different communities in the United States recorded increased levels of gang activities and urban riots (Olusegun, 2016). Police were observed to use brute force to deal with such activities. This approach affected the image and reputation of the police in the country. As a result, members of the pubic lost trust in every policy organization or department. Such individuals were no longer willing to offer appropriate information to the police and ensure that the activities were dealt with. The increasing level of mistrust compelled different police department leaders to come up with better models for dealing with members of the public. This understanding resulted in a new policing strategy whereby more officers were present in every community.
This new development resulted in a process whereby more police offers began to interact with and engage more community members. Additionally, different non-profit agencies and businesses were involved throughout the process. These stakeholders began to work jointly in an attempt to solve most of the problems affecting the targeted communities (Wolfe & Nix, 2016). This concept continued to be emulated and implemented in different communities across the United States and beyond.
Towards the end of the 20th century, many scholars and criminologists presented adequate insights in an attempt to revolutionize how policing was done. For instance, some analysts indicated that police officers could go a step further to establish positive relationships with different community members. By so doing, the officers would identify the major sources of insecurity and understand how emerging challenges could be addressed (Miller et al., 2018).
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Consequently, many communities were willing to liaise and collaborate with the police. The initiative led to reduced levels of crime. Lamin and Teboh (2016) acknowledge that a proper community-oriented policing strategy has the potential to address the leading causes of crime in different societies. When these two groups work together, it can be easier for them to solve problems, support each other, and achieve the intended security goals.
In the recent past, the idea of policing has been expanded in such a way that different law enforcers are willing to liaise with members of the community. The ultimate goal has been to reduce every form of criminal activity and make it possible for more people to achieve their economic goals (Wolfe & Nix, 2016). Reduced levels of crime encourage members of the community to focus on their personal and economic aims.
The emergence of modern technological applications such as the Internet has supported this concept of community policing. For instance, social media networks such as Facebook.com and Whatsapp are being embraced by different police departments to share timely updates with members of the public (Wolfe & Nix, 2016). This is also the same concept behind the use of hotline numbers and mobile phones.
Different community policing approaches or models have emerged in the recent past. For instance, civilian education is being used by different police departments to sensitize more people about the best ways to deal with crime. A neighborhood watch is another concept that empowers individuals to inform the police about emerging security concerns or achievements. Proactive techniques are also being used instead of relying on emergency responses.
Proactive approaches such as foot patrols have gained popularity because they make it easier for different stakeholders to share ideas (Olusegun, 2016). The accountability of police offers has increased since the concept makes it easier for them to serve communities much better and efficiently. Experts have gone further to acknowledge that the concept of community policing will develop and eventually support the security needs of many neighborhoods.
Development of Rationale and Justifications
From the 1960s, many police departments in the United States realized that the communities they served continued to face numerous challenges such as increased gang activities and riots. Most of the contemporary methods of policing such as the use of emergency response and use of brutal force did not produce meaningful results. Consequently, many citizens found it has to have faith in the departments. The decreased levels of trust and confidence resulted in new problems such as insecurity (Hamilton-Smith, Mackenzie, Henry, & Davidones, 2014). Most of the efforts and strategies used by different police officers resulted in strained relationships between the departments and community members. This gap empowered different stakeholders to identify new methods of responding to criminal activities.
Community policing emerged as a powerful practice for supporting the needs of different societies. The engagement of police officers with community members created a better environment for tackling the problem of crime. The involvement of different non-profit organizations and business organizations made it easier for the police to monitor and mitigate crime (Lamin & Teboh, 2016). The success and effectiveness of the community policing model explain why it has become common in many societies. The rationale or argument for this kind of proliferation is that community policing is a powerful framework that can be used to improve the field of the criminal justice system.
Some justifications have also been presented to explain why community policing is appropriate. For instance, Olusegun (2016) observed that appropriate community policing models or approaches were capable of increasing the satisfaction of citizens. The strategy is also associated with reduced criminal activities in a given community. When the practice is embraced in a given society, it becomes easier for more community members to promote orderly or admirable conduct. Wolfe and Nix (2016) go further to support the power of community policing because it has the potential to improve the morale of police officers and make it easier for them to meet the changing needs of every individual.
Most of the studies conducted in the recent past have revealed that community policing presents numerous benefits. For example, the perception of police officers and their roles improves whenever adequate community policing initiatives are put in place (Olusegun, 2016). Consequently, different members of the community become satisfied with the available policing services. They also find it easier to report any problem or issue associated with crime. Additionally, the participation of different members of the community increases public confidence.
Hamilton-Smith et al. (2014) acknowledge that community policing is a powerful strategy that can be embraced by police departments that want to deal with the major causes of crime. The level of social disorder reduces significantly due to the continuous use of adequate problem-solving approaches. Community members partner with different police officers to monitor the potential sources or catalysts of crime in society (Lamin & Teboh, 2016). Every stakeholder involved in the community policing strategy can identify appropriate strategies and recommendations that can support the welfare of the greatest number of people.
The implementation of adequate educational campaigns and educational programs can empower more individuals to avoid misbehaviors that can result in increased criminal activities. Pandey (2014) indicates adequate community policing models have the potential to reduce the rate of juvenile delinquency. The effectiveness of different platforms and avenues such as religious gatherings and social networks make it possible for the police to promote the idea of community policing. The initiative presents powerful problem-solving concepts to resolve the challenge of crime in every society. Such justifications explain why community policing is an idea that continues to gain popularity across the globe.
Personal Position on Community Policing
Many experts in the field of criminology believe that community policing is a powerful strategy for dealing with criminal activities in residential societies (Miller et al., 2018). The nature of the model explains why it is applied in different regions to deter crime. I support the concept because most of the contemporary initiatives that have been put in place have failed to deliver meaningful results. The use of brute force is a practice that has defined the operation and philosophy of the police for many decades. Due to its ineffectiveness, the approach has created numerous problems instead of presenting meaningful solutions (Wolfe & Nix, 2016).
For instance, America’s criminal justice system has been observed to treat members of specific racial groups negatively. More often than not, individuals from minority races do not cooperate with the police. This situation has been informed by the experiences of these members of the community. Such gaps have made it impossible for the country’s criminal justice system to achieve most of its goals.
In an attempt to deal with this problem, many police chiefs have implemented community policy strategies in their respective cities or neighborhoods. The model makes it easier for citizens to inform the police about illicit drugs or gangs affecting their neighborhoods. The collected information can be used to deal with such criminal groups and eventually improve the level of security (Olusegun, 2016). The provision of timely information is a strategy that makes it possible for police officers to achieve their goals.
It is also notable that community policing can deliver meaningful results if more police officers are willing to use bicycles and foot patrols (Pandey, 2014). They can also organize frequent meetings with members of the community, business people, and religious leaders. The involvement of different stakeholders will make the community policing process successful and capable of mitigating crime. The individuals can offer meaningful and timely insights that can support the goals of different police departments. Community-police partnerships can expose unknown challenges that affect different members of society. That being the case, community policing is an evidence-based approach that should be supported by every society that plans to deal with crime.
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Every police officer is expected to protect and serve members of the public. It is, therefore, appropriate for neighborhoods and police departments to implement adequate community policing models to achieve positive results. The existence of such models can ensure that the level of tension between the police and the public is minimized. This process can result in combined efforts whereby stakeholders focus on the best initiatives to deal with crises, conflicts, and crimes (Olusegun, 2016). Every person should, therefore, be willing to support the concept of community policing.
The future of community policing will be brighter if the notion is defined precisely. The strategy will make it possible for more people to understand how the idea can be implemented in different communities to produce positive results (Miller et al., 2018). Consequently, more communities will be in a position to coexist with the police, implement powerful crime mitigation processes, and eventually support the needs of every stakeholder. Despite the lack of adequate evidence or information regarding the effectiveness of community policing, I believe that the concept can transform many communities and make them safer. Additionally, more people will have confidence with the police and be ready to collaborate with different officers to address the problem of crime.
Saint Leo Core Value of Integrity
Several values can be considered to empower, guide, and encourage different stakeholders to support the needs of every community member. Saint Leo University guides its learners to embrace specific values that can make them true servants who can support God’s creations (“Mission & Values,” n.d.). The core value of integrity can be embraced by individuals and police officers who are planning to implement powerful community policing initiatives.
Saint Leo University is committed to excellence. To achieve this objective, its members should be just and honest. Such attributes amount to the concept of integrity. When police officers and community members embrace the power of integrity, it will be easier for them to support each other and implement powerful practices that support the welfare of the targeted society (“Mission & Values,” n.d.). With admirable moral principles in place, more police officers will pursue their duties or roles fairly and honestly. They will be decent and support the needs of their followers. They will also act amicably and implement powerful strategies to ensure that the level of crime in the targeted community is reduced significantly.
Members of the public should consider the value of integrity to support one another and promote the best practices that can result in crime prevention or reduction. When every person embraces this value, it will be easier to identify criminal elements and discourage them from committing offenses. The increased level of integrity will result in trust and fairness. Police departments should, therefore, consider this core value whenever planning to implement effective community policing models (Pandey, 2014). The move will ensure that every targeted goal is achieved within the shortest time possible.
Past studies reveal that community policing is a powerful strategy that has the potential to tackle various challenges such as crime. The approach is also believed to improve people’s perception of police officers. When different stakeholders such as police departments, citizens, religious leaders, and business people are involved, it becomes easier to streamline decision-making and problem-solving processes. The ultimate goal is to minimize the level of criminal activities in the targeted society. It is also necessary for different stakeholders to uphold the value of integrity if positive gains are to be realized.
Hamilton-Smith, N., Mackenzie, S., Henry, A., & Davidones, C. (2014). Community policing and reassurance: Three studies, one narrative. Criminology & Criminal Justice, 14(2), 160-178. Web.
Lamin, S. A., & Teboh, C. (2016). Police social work and community policing. Cogent Social Sciences, 2, 1-13. Web.
Miller, L. S., Hess, K. M., & Orthmann, C. H. (2018). Community policing: Partnerships for problem solving (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Mission & Values. (n.d.). Web.
Olusegun, O. J. (2016). Community policing in South-West Nigeria: Finding a nexus between the police and the people. Journal of Education and Practice, 7(23), 29-35.
Pandey, V. (2014). Community policing for conflict resolution and community resilience. International Journal of Social Work and Human Services Practice, 2(6), 228-233.
Wolfe, S. E., & Nix, J. (2016). The alleged “Ferguson Effect” and police willingness to engage in community partnership. Law and Human Behavior, 40(1), 1-10. Web.