FEASIBILITY OF COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING 5
The concept of community oriented policing is not a new philosophy,and it is one of the oldest strategies that the police across theworld have used to combat crime. It is vital to state that communityoriented policing seeks to enhance and improve the relationshipbetween the police force and the members of the community. A precisedefinition of community policing would be that when an officer orgroup of officers are assigned to a particular place on a long-termor permanent basis. This allows the officers to interact with themembers of the community who get used to them and feel free to shareinformation concerning their security. For many years, the policehave been viewed as enemies of the ordinary people who are out toharass and exploit the people (Rogers, 2014). Therefore, communityoriented policing was aimed at reducing the acrimony between thepolice officers and the members of the community. The feasibility ofthe implementation of this concept is widely based on various factorswhich are trust, race, and rate of crime, as well as theeffectiveness of the criminal justice system. Additionally, themulticultural nature of the communities and the police will present achallenge for the implementation of community policing. The publichas had a negative attitude towards the police due to the brutalityand violence associated with the culture of the officers.
Community oriented policing can best be implemented when an officeror a group of officers are assigned to the same locality permanently.This will give the officers ample time to interact with the localsproactively and to develop a working relationship. It is, however,critical to note that the longer anofficer stays in a locality, the more he will get used to the people(Rogers, 2014). Therefore, it is paramount to make sure that officersstay in one place for the longest time possible. This will ensurethat they develop the necessary trust with the people. Individuals ina particular community will only feel comfortable sharing informationwith the police if they believe them fully, and such trust can onlybe developed over time. Secondly, it is extremely vital to listen tothe views of the people. It is critical to state that the members ofa community will only work together with the police force if theyrealize that their views are being taken into consideration (Rogers,2014). It is extremely essential for the top management in the policeforce to make sure that the officers who do the foot patrols within aparticular locality listen to the locals. The police must identifythe criminal activities in the area in conjunction with the locals.Subsequently, it is crucial to develop solutions to the problems withthe people.
In light of the multicultural nature of communities in many parts ofthe US, it is important to ensure that the police on foot patrols arecomposed of mixed races. For instance,the police should consist of whites, blacks and Hispanic (Rogers,2014). This will give them a sense of belonging in the community, andthe community will also view them as being representative. Recently,there was acrimony between the black community and the white policeofficers in the US. This was caused by the fact that the police forceappeared to constitute only the whites, and the blacks felt left out.Therefore, the police force must consider the multicultural nature ofthe society before embarking on the implementation of this concept.Another aspect that must be put into consideration is the element ofretaliation by the criminals such as drug dealers. The police mustassure the citizens of their anonymity and security even after theyreport suspicious people.
Research has indicated that there has been resistance by policeofficers to embrace community policing. The police officers viewedthis philosophy of policing as time-consuming, resource intensive andas conferring the elite status. Police officers believe that thispolicing denies them the power that they have of enforcing the law.Therefore, it is crucial for the management of police units to offertraining to the officers who are likely to be assigned foot patrolsin specific areas (Rogers, 2014). It appears that most of the officerare unaware of the benefits associated with community orientedpolicing. The feasibility of the implementation of this program willdepend on the willingness of the police officers and communitiesinvolved. It is also important to mention that some communitiesresist the presence of police officers in their midst as they havefor long considered the officers as enemies. Therefore, it isessential to involve other agencies in preparing the community forthis concept and informing them of the benefits.
The community’s church leaders, political leaders, and elders mustbe involved in this idea. The feasibility of the implementation ofthe tenets of this philosophy will solely depend on the approach thatis used. To get the approval of the community, it is critical to gothrough the leaders. The aspect of community policing has createdmore suspicion and vigilance among the people (Rogers, 2014). Whereasthe approach may work and has worked in many places across the world,the neighborhood watch element has resulted in many unwarrantedsearches, arrests, incarcerations and even death. Therefore, as muchas community oriented policing has some benefits, its feasibility ofimplementation will depend on the balance between the pros and thecons.
Rogers, S. L. (2014). Proven strategies for effectivecommunity oriented policing. Flushing, NY: Looseleaf LawPublications.