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Ideas & Insights: Community Policing Revisited

NCJ Number
Police Chief Volume: 83 Dated: March 2016 Pages: 44-46
Date Published
March 2016
3 pages
Noting recent high-profile encounters between the police and community residents in a number of jurisdictions, this article reviews the history, principles, and implementation of community policing as a strategy for building trust and cooperation between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.
Under the concept of community policing, the police and community are "co-producers" of both public safety and quality of life. It is envisioned that if these collaborative partnerships between police and community constituencies are established and managed creatively and effectively by law enforcement and community leaders, trust and confidence in the ideals, policies, and practices of the police among all community groups could increase. This vision for community policing, however, carries some ambiguity as to whether it is a policing strategy with defined tactics or an organizational philosophy. Although evaluations of community policing practices have been inconclusive, anecdotal and empirical evidence to date indicate that practices of police-community cooperation reflective of community policing principles do promote police-community partnerships. The future of community policing as a model for improving police-community cooperation will depend on its translation as a policing philosophy into well-developed strategies of police-community cooperative actions. These strategies must have performance measures for which data can be collected and analyzed with rigorous evaluations. This will determine which forms of police-community partnerships and practices are effective in improving police-community interactions and cooperation. This process in itself promotes a police culture of accountability, transparency, and problemsolving that reflects the core ideals of community policing.

Date Published: March 1, 2016