In recent years the movement for community policing has gained great momentum; as police and community leaders search for ways to promote public safety and to enhance the quality of life in their neighborhoods. Chiefs, sheriffs, and other policing officials are assessing what changes in orientation, organization, and operations will allow them to benefit the communities they serve by improving the quality of the services they provide. Community policing is a variety of philosophical and practical approaches that are evolving quite rapidly. Strategies for community policing vary depending on the needs and responses of the community; although certain basic principles and considerations are common to all policing efforts.
The growing trend with people in a community participating in the fight against crime and disorder has a parallel effect of growing recognition by police. The close, mutually beneficial ties between police and community members are the foundations of a successful community policing strategy.
Community policing consists of two complementary core components, community partnership and problem solving. To develop community partnership, police must develop positive relationships with the community, must involve the community in the quest for better crime control and prevention, and must use their resources with those of the community to address the most urgent concerns of community members. Problem solving is the process through which the specific concerns of communities are identified and through which the most appropriate remedies to abate these problems are found.
Community policing is ultimately about the change in values that is needed to adapt policing to these changing times. These values must be ingrained in the very culture of the organization and must be reflected in its objectives, policies, and in the actions of its personnel. To help ensure values are transformed into appropriate actions and behaviors there must be a clear statement of...