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Community Policing: Elements and Effects

NCJ Number
Police Forum Volume: 5 Issue: 3 Dated: (July 1995) Pages: 1-8
Date Published
8 pages

In little more than a decade, community policing has evolved from a few foot patrol experiments to a comprehensive organizational strategy guiding modern police departments; community policing is almost universally accepted as the most effective method available for improving police-community relations, and proponents also believe it will ultimately be an effective crime control strategy.


Indicative of its stature in the 1990s, community policing is required of the 100,000 new police officers funded by the 1994 Crime Bill. Evaluating the effectiveness of community policing, however, is difficult primarily due to four factors: program complexity, multiple effects, variation in program scope, and research design limitations. Programmatic, philosophical, and strategic dimensions of community policing are discussed. Research findings on the effects of community policing on crime control, fear of crime, disorder, calls for police service, community relations, and police officer attitudes and behavior are reported. The author concludes community policing produces beneficial programmatic outcomes but questions whether philosophical and strategic dimensions of community policing will become firmly rooted. 25 references and 1 note

Date Published: January 1, 1995