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Successful Community Problem Solving Essay Sample

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Successful Community Problem Solving Essay Sample

An uprising is taking place in policing and it has important implications for those in city government tasked with planning. This uprising is called community policing and it brings police work into a domain traditionally inhabited by community planners. This paper will be the basis for the recommendation of a community oriented policing program. It will include a definition of what community policing is, as well as some core elements that are involved in a community oriented policing program. Community policing is really a policing philosophy. Community policing should promote and support organizational strategies to address the causes and reduce the fear of crime and social disorder (Dantzker, 2003). This is done through the use of problem-solving tactics and police community partnerships (COPS, n.d.). The community policing model should balance reactive responses to calls for service with proactive problem solving centered on the causes of crime. The goals and the methods of community policing are similar to those of community development planning.

Both activities are designed to create stable, healthy neighborhoods. Both seek to involve community residents in improvement efforts. Thus, planners and community police officers need to work together to maximize their impacts and to take advantage of the perspectives and skills that each profession brings to the task of improving living conditions in the neighborhoods. Community oriented policing can be distinguished from traditional policing by recognizing three philosophical principles. These three principles are shared responsibility, prevention, and increased officer discretion (Rohe, n.d.). There are core elements in a community oriented policing program. There are organizational elements, tactical elements, and external elements (Rohe, n.d.).

Implementation of the community policing philosophy may occur incrementally and within specialized units at first, but a defined path leads toward full, department wide implementation (COPS, n.d.). There are tactical elements involved in community policing. The use of proven and established enforcement strategies are just some of the many tools available to officers. The use of proactive, crime prevention strategies is another tactical element. Another tactical element is problem solving. This is accomplished when community members and other public entities work together to address underlying problems. There are external elements involved in a community policing program. There has to be public involvement and community partnerships. In this program, citizens are viewed by the police as partners who share responsibility for identifying priorities, and developing and implementing responses. There also must be government and other agency partnerships.

The police are just one of the many local government agencies responsible for dealing with community problems. There are ways to evaluate community oriented policing programs. One factor to measure is the fiscal impact or success of a program. There has to be an established fiscal tracking system. All funds utilized in the community policing program should be assigned as such. This will make it possible for specific reports to be ordered and it will be possible to examine the benefits or problems regarding budgetary matters. Another way to effectively evaluate the program would be through an activities tracking system. This is a way to summarize the activities of specific areas, specific individuals, and specific issues plaguing the community. Council members and other city officials can request information and be provided with reports and statistics to report back to the community. Additionally, the community officers can be provided with this data and measure the effectiveness of their efforts.

Community policing requires that the same officers work in the same area on a semi-permanent basis. This means that citizens will see the same officers often. Seeing the same officers all the time gives them an identity to the citizens. A police officer is no longer just a badge number, instead he is the person seen standing outside the McDonalds or the guy who someone may talk to while on a walk through the park. Officers become friends to the people. This trust that is built can be very useful to an officer when he has questions about a crime. Conclusion Community policing can be an effective way to improve the quality of life in the community. This is accomplished by involving local residents and other community organizations. By working together, planners, community police officers, and community members can be more effective in accomplishing this mission.


COPS. (n.d.). Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved January 27, 2009, from http://www.cops.usdoj.gov Dantzker, M. (2003). Understanding Today’s Police, Third Edition. Prentice-Hall, Inc. Rohe, W. (n.d.). Community Policing and Planning. Chapel Hill, N.C.: The Center for Urban and Regional Studies. Successful Community Problem 5

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