This paper evaluates a community policing program in Racine, Wisconsin.
Community policing, as a concept, has very different meanings across the United States and its implementation varies with city size, philosophy of police department and perceived community needs, as well as other factors. Within each city, service providers and recipients have various needs from community policing as well, and those needs may coincide or conflict. Thus, community policing means something very different to citizens and community leaders in Racine and to police officers there. In addition, services provided by the Building and Health Department are dependent upon their relationship with the Racine Police Department and thus their perception of community policing takes on a special meaning. Finally, while crime declined markedly in the areas of Racine that were part of the community policing effort, there were many concurrent social and crime prevention programs, so crime reduction cannot be attributed solely to community policing. Thus, successes for the city must be viewed in terms of many programs, one of which was community policing. With that caveat in mind, the paper summarizes major findings from each aspect of the study and examines outcomes on the basis of community needs and implications for criminal justice operations.
Date Published: January 1, 1999