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Community's Role in Community Policing

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 1996
4 pages
This article examines the potential and the limitations of community involvement and partnership with the police in community policing.
Discussions about community policing often assume that citizens will be eager to become involved, that police and residents will engage in joint as well as coordinated efforts to address neighborhood problems, and that crime prevention depends more on the community than on the police. A study of community policing in eight cities revealed many problems in sustaining community involvement in policing. These included difficulties in police-citizen cooperation due to histories of antagonistic relationships, similar difficulties in involving community organizations, misunderstanding of community policing's goals and tactics, a lack of victim services, and fragmentation due to community diversity. Nevertheless, an ongoing evaluation of a community policing program in Chicago suggests the potential for involving citizens. Crucial elements are to win rather than assume public support, to train citizens about what to expect from the police and what they can contribute, and to involve organizations. Photograph and reference notes

Date Published: August 1, 1996