Community Policing

An overview of community policing and how it helps law enforcement agencies.

Community policing is a law enforcement strategy employed by police departments in an effort to strengthen relationships between police officers and the citizens they serve. The goal of community policing is to improve communication and collaboration between police and the community in order to identify and solve problems together. There are a variety of community policing strategies that law enforcement agencies can use, depending on the needs of their community. Some common community policing strategies include:

  • foot patrols
  • problem-oriented policing
  • and community outreach.

In this guide, we will give a brief overview of community policing and how it can help your law enforcement agency.

What is Community Policing?

Community policing is a law enforcement strategy that emphasizes building relationships between police officers and members of the community. The goal of community policing is to improve public safety by working with community members to identify and solve problems.

Community policing requires police officers to spend time getting to know the people who live and work in their community. They attend community events, get to know local business owners, and build relationships with residents. This approach helps to build trust between police and the community, which can make it easier for residents to report crime and provide information about criminal activity.

Community policing can be an effective way to reduce crime and improve public safety. However, it requires a commitment from both police officers and community members. Police officers must be willing to take the time to get to know the people they serve, and community members must be willing to work with police to identify and solve problems.

Four Key Elements of Community Policing

The four key elements of community policing are:

  1. the organization of community-based crime prevention
  2. the reorientation of patrol activities to emphasize non-emergency servicing
  3. increased police accountability to local communities
  4. and the decentralization of command.

Benefits of Community Policing

Community policing is a decentralized form of law enforcement in which police officers work closely with members of the community to prevent crime and solve crimes that have already been committed. This type of policing has several advantages over traditional policing methods. According to the OJP, these are the benefits of community policing:

  • reduce citizen fear of crime
  • improve citizens' views of crime and disorder problems in their neighborhoods
  • and improve citizens' evaluations of the police.

Is community policing an effective law enforcement strategy?

Community policing is defined as a collaborative effort between the police and the community that identifies and solves community problems (Fagan, 2006). There is evidence that suggests that community policing is an effective law enforcement strategy. A study by the National Institute of Justice found that crime rates were lower in areas where community policing was implemented (Weisburd, Telep, Hinkle, & Eck, 2011).

There are several reasons why community policing may be effective in reducing crime. First, community policing builds trust between the police and the community. When the police work with the community to identify and solve problems, it builds mutual respect and trust. Second, community policing allows the police to get to know the people in their beats and develop relationships with them. This helps to build rapport and makes it more likely that people will report crimes or provide information about criminal activity.

How can law enforcement agencies employ community policing strategies?

There are many ways in which law enforcement agencies can employ community policing strategies. One way is by increasing the number of officers who are assigned to patrol specific neighborhoods. This allows the officers to get to know the residents and build relationships with them. Another way is for agencies to host community events such as block parties, BBQs, and youth sports leagues. These events provide an opportunity for residents to interact with officers in a positive setting. Finally, agencies can create citizen advisory committees that meet on a regular basis to discuss public safety concerns. By involving the community in these decision-making processes, law enforcement agencies can show that they are committed to working collaboratively with residents to keep their neighborhoods safe.

Conclusion

In conclusion, community policing is a law enforcement strategy employed by police departments and law enforcement agencies in an effort to strengthen relationships between police officers and the citizens they serve. The goal of community policing is to improve communication and collaboration between police officers and the community in order to identify and solve problems together. There are a variety of community policing strategies that law enforcement agencies can use, depending on the needs of their community. Some common community policing strategies include foot patrols, problem-oriented policing, and community outreach.

About the Author

John Carter
Community and Engagement Manager

Community and Engagement Manager at Apex Officer