Community Policing: a Partnership in Law Enforcement
Since the creation of the first modern American city police force in New York City in 1844, law enforcement agencies throughout the country have been charged with the responsibility of maintaining order within society and protecting the citizens within their jurisdiction from the criminal element. Over the years since then, the law-enforcement model has changed and evolved in response to the changing demands of society. The current trend in the policing model, community policing, has proven thus far to be one of the most successful and widely used models throughout the history of law enforcement.
Community policing can be defined as a "philosophy that promotes organizational strategies, which support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques, to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime" (US Department of Justice, 2008). In essence, the concept of community policing is to create a partnership between formal law enforcement and the community of citizens it is charged with protecting in an effort to reduce crime, decrease fear in the community, and to solve crime related problems within society. The philosophy of community policing recognizes that law enforcement agencies cannot solve the problems of crime and social disorder alone, and each citizen of society has the responsibility to work with law enforcement for a stronger, safer community for all.
Because the goals of community policing are much broader than traditional reactive crime-fighting, many new initiatives and programs have been implemented to address issues such as crime prevention, education, youth mentoring, and community resources. One example of this type of program is D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), a police officer-led program, which educates school-aged children on the dangers and consequences of drug use...