Essay: What is Community Policing
Community policing has been defined as a philosophy, organizational design and management style that promotes proactive police-community partnership and problem solving techniques to address the causes of crime, social disorder and fear among other community
Issues; (Linda, 2005). The collaborative community partnerships with the law enforcement agencies serve to develop solutions to the problems encountered in the community and thus increase trust in the police institution. The community partnerships that enable community policing to operate include: community and the media, among community members, with non profit making organizations, private enterprises, government agencies and among the community groups.
The major premise on which community policing is based the partnerships between the police and the citizens will help in crime reduction and thus improve public safety. It is not however as simple such. The police department’s culture and structure have to be changed so as to accommodate the citizens who form the backbone of community policing. The changes need comprehensive combination with innovative approaches in preventing or fighting crime that may require a lot of planning, community cooperation and outreach activities (Linda, 2005).
The philosophy of community policing encompasses three key issues (Gerald, 2000): organizational change, problem solving and external partnerships. In terms of organizational change, community policing should be adopted in across the organization and therefore reflected in various departments and at all the levels of the departments. The organization has to have missions, goals, performance evaluations, training and other issues that re-define its culture and activities. Community policing works best in less hierarchical departmentation whereby the lowest level of organization should have those in it directly responsible for the outcomes of their actions (Linda, 2005).