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Community Policing in Lansing, Michigan, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
109 pages
This study examined the reorganization process in the Lansing Police Department (Michigan) occasioned by the introduction of departmentwide community policing.
The research used a case-study approach to explore the areas of officer acceptance of community policing, community acceptance of the concept, political considerations, and budgetary concerns. The analysis also addressed implications for training, the functioning of the Neighborhood Network Center, community involvement and governance, specific events, and the involvement of non-police agencies. In addition to a literature search, the research methodology included interviews with relevant actors, attendance at internal planning meetings and community events where the new plan was discussed, the analysis of relevant internal and public police documents, and a collection of media accounts and informal reports on reaction to the plan. The study found that instead of reducing internal dissent, the new reorganization plan sparked protests from both the critics and fans of community policing. Various individuals and groups in the community were angered at the perceived failure of the department to include them in the decision-making process. Heated discussions dominated the public meetings of the City Council, and the local media reported on the volatile internal and external reaction to the plan. The Lansing experience highlights the depth, scope, and pace of the change required to implement community policing departmentwide. Of critical importance is how the shift in paradigm requires practicing the politics of inclusion internally and externally.

Date Published: January 1, 1996