American Policing

Essay by crystalwi80University, Bachelor'sA, May 2009

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Many of us have an image of what American policing is. Television and the movies have painted a picture that all they do is fight crime. This is far from the truth. In fact, police spend very little time fighting crime. This could be one of the reasons why the criminal justice networks are ineffective (Robinson, 2005).

The basic roles for police officers are much different than people think. Their job routine is pretty much the same all the time. Most of their time is occupied by enforcing laws, preserving the peace, preventing crime, providing services and upholding rights (Robinson, 2005). "Approximately 90% of an officer's time is spent in the social function" (Robinson, 2005). These services include investigating accidents, finding lost children and handling animal calls.

Even though police may not spend much time dealing with crime, they do offer important services to the victims of crimes. Some of these services can include responding quickly to the call for help, preserving and collecting evidence, and many more.

Community policing is also another way to help with crime. Community policing is a crime prevention partnership between police and the community. In other words, it is focused on solving problems before they become crimes rather than wait and react after the crimes have been committed. Community policing is a way to have police serve residents of the neighborhoods rather than the officers just driving around.

The problem with community policing is that there are not many departments that actually have any formal policies on it, and if they do, they are not enforced and do not have many officers trained in it. So, I think the word community policing is just a word that is used rather than an approach to prevent or deter crime.

With all the good things that...