Initially, most countries were governed by a total policy where the citizens were intimidated and ruled by the national police forces that provided the laws of these countries. The police were as a result viewed as the enemy of the citizens instead of those delegated to protect the freedom of individuals. Democratically, the integrity of the police needed to be re established in order for the people to regain their trust in the police who in return were expected to fulfill their duty of “Protection and service to all” (Ferreira , 2003). The trust would enable the citizens to cooperate with the police in crime alleviation and arrest more criminals. This paper will discuss community policing systems around the world and their success rates after evaluation.
Community Policing as Practiced Around the World
In this respect community policing which is a major reform and a product of historical evolution that came into existence and brought about organizational and philosophical changes in policing by altering the way police think and act. The belief that the problems of the existing society required a form of governance that was decentralized and where the local people took part in the process with the police taking a personalized approach is what contributed to the establishment of the reform. It was put in place to enlarge their mandate from just crime fighting to impact on the community at large by motivating individuals to fear crime, social and physical disorder and prevent decay in the neighborhood. This therefore provides a philosophy that contains new way for them to solve community problems (Tillman,2000).
They are required to work together with the community people and cooperate with the average citizen who contributes into their processes in order to gain their support and participation (Trojanowicz ET. Al, 1998) resulting into a police-community relation. The members of community help to identify and solve problems through providing the police with information and assistance that lead to the arrest of criminals (Ferreira , 2003). In the course of this cooperation, the police will be able to maintain law and order and at the same time respect the rights of individual citizens who they collaborate with to solve local problems. The community will also decide the amount of power that should be possessed by the police who will in turn respect the wishes of the people.
Worldwide, community policing follow three major models that help in the role of the police in the society. These are crime prevention and peace preserving policing which indicates the important role that active cooperation between the police and the community plays in the prevention of crimes and maintenance of peace. Second is the communications policy which emphasizes the need for interaction of police with community members through communications on risk and security to allow them to provide their own security. Lastly is the community building policy which highlights the necessity for social rather than legal action by the police towards citizens through development of personal relationships.
As it is currently a new notion and technology for law enforcement (Tillman,2000), there is still a lot of discussion on the effectiveness of community policing with a number of people still skeptical and critical about the step and argue that it is rhetoric and hence cannot work in reality Klockars (1988) as illustrated in (Ferreira , 2003). On the other hand, others support the move arguing that it has real excellent results with practical applications in our society which is filled with crime and criminal activities. Since, such a concept like community policing should ultimately be effective to the society by benefitting those involved that is the police, citizens and government, the debates are necessary to establish and explain the concepts involved so as to avoid wastage of funds.
The debate continues despite the fact that where community policing has been tried and used such as in Madison, Wisconsin, New York City and Singapore, it has been evaluated and has produces satisfactory results hence a success. I would in conclusion say that community policing is an effective strategy for police agencies. This is because the government and the police have an excellent opportunity to cater for the needs of the society they serve considered as their “customers”. Furthermore, due to the dramatic improvement in the lives of citizens and a decrease in crime rates, as suggested by crime statistics the initiative has received a great amount of support. Therefore, it would be more appropriate to consider community projects a philosophy rather than a program or project because of the lack of ability of the police to prevent crime on their own and the optimism it provides for the future if those involved change their attitudes and approaches.
List of References
Ferreira, R., Bertus, 2003, The Use and Effectiveness of Community Policing in a Democracy.
17 March, 2011< http://www.ncjrs.gov/policing/use139.htm>
Tillman, J., Rhonda, 2000., The effectiveness of Community policing. 17 March 2011
Trojanowicz, R., Kappeler, V., E., Gaines, L., K., Bucqueroux, B., and Sluder ,1998,
Community Policing: A Contemporary Perspective(2nd Ed.), Cincinnati: Anderson Publishing Co.
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