Community based policing provides hope for law enforcement.

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I. Introduction to C.B.P.

A.The roots of C.B.P.

B.So what is community?

II.The two elements of C.B.P. law enforcement philosophy are:

A. Community partnership.

B. Problem solving.

III. The reaction of police to change.

IV. The future of C.B.P.

A. A first step in C.B.P.

B. Measuring success.

C. Crime prevention.

V. Conclusion.


'In Philadelphia, a pulsating tavern juke box that has caused irate

neighbors to log 500 Police calls in six months, was moved away from a

common wall with the adjoining building.@ (Author unknown US News) The calls

stopped. Though it seems simple, such a move is at the heart of what we know

as Community-based Policing.

The movement toward C.B.P. has gained momentum in recent years. As

Police and community leaders search for more effective ways to enhance the

sense of public safety and the quality of life in their communities.

We have

accepted C.B.P in one police department after another,and we are ready now

to agree that 'C.B.P. provides hope for the future of Law enforcement.'

We can trace the seed of C.B.P. back to Sir Robert Peel, the father of the

modern Police system, who said 'the Police is the public and the public are the

Police'(Braiden). For different reasons, the Police lost sight of that principle

defining their relationship with the public. Modern historians have said that the

reform era in government, which started in the 1900's to combat corruption,

along with the move toward the professional image of police work, resulted in

the separation of Police and Community (Kelling, Moore, pg-5)

Reform style Policing emerged in the 50s and 60s with rotating shifts and

frequent movement of officers, (to prevent corruption). Random patrolling (a

reactive police technique) was also detrimental to the link between Police and

public. The police adopted a policy of centralized control to ensure

compliance with set standards, and to encourage a professional aura of

impartiality. All these policies along with the use of automobiles, telephones,

and other technological advances helped distance the Police more.

The calls for service increased as urban population and crime awareness

increased, making the police almost totally reactive. The introduction of

computers only encouraged that false idea of 'quick' reactive response and a

statistical view toward measuring success in policing(rather than analyzing the

local needs of the community.)

By the late 70's the communities had become a diverse pool of

nationalities, subcultures, and attitudes. People identified themselves as parts of

separate groups and at times the Police was not part of what they called 'us.@

During this time, a burst of new ideas and changes in the sociopolitical and

economic structure began to occur that would eventualy,bring about a new

kind of police officer.

In this changing environment, all social institutions were scrutinized. The

Police, slow and overburdened, were losing ground rapidly. Police leaders felt

the need to reflect on these problems and their overall relationship (their

image) with the public. In their attempts to understand what was going wrong,

many studies and experiments were sponsored. One of them, the 'KANSAS

STUDY' proved that, no matter how many police officers are devoted to

random patrolling, there is no effect on the actual crime rate. (Bureau of justice

asst. pg. 13-65)

The government had recognized the problems of crime fighting and the

problems of Police - Community relations, as far back as 1967.The Presidents

Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice report: The

Challenge of crime in a free society, called'for the creation of a new kind of

police officer.@

Almost thirty years later that idea of a 'new kind of police officer' has

provided a whole new model for Policing. It is an evolutionary and not

revolutionary philosophy that attempts to refocus the essence of policing to 'a

Law Enforcement (philosophy) that tries to do two things: first bring police

officers and citizens together in neighborhoods. Second give the Police

responsibility for solving problems in the community.@ (Wilson pg. 21)

As stated above the new Law enforcement philosophy

incorporates two elements: Community partnership and Problem solving. These

two elements are the cores of the policing strategy for the future of American

large communities( inner cities ) and other high crime areas. The way to

achieve the results promised by C.B.P. is through constant education and the

application of the two elements of C.B.P.

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP means adopting a policing perspective that

exceeds the standard Law enforcement emphasis. This broadened outlook

recognizes the value of activities that contribute to the orderliness and well

being of a neighborhood (community). These activities could be helping

accident or crime victims, improving emergency medical services, helping

resolve domestic and neighborhood conflicts, controlling automobile and

pedestrian traffic(Bureau of Justice assistance pg. 15)

The two major functions of the Community partnership are to keep the two

parties communicating, and to assess the level of fear ( of crime )in the

community. To avoid high level of fear in the Community Problem solving

techniques are utilized in the daily contact of Police and Public and through


PROBLEM SOLVING is the second part of C.B.P., the philosophy behind it is

based on the assumption that 'crime can be reduced by studying the individual

problems and by applying the proper resources'(ECK XVI-XVII)and that'when

people make choices based on the opportunities presented by the immediate

physical and social characteristics of an area, by manipulating these factors

people will be less inclined to act in an offensive manner'(ECK XVI-XVII)

So 'Problem Solving' involves bringing problems of the community to the

right persons attention; Hopefully, resolving that problem, so it will not get worse

or create other problems. An example of a tool used in 'Problem Solving' is what

is called the 'broken window' theory which suggests that an abandoned, or

non-maintained house (or community) will attract disorder or mischief and the

criminal element. Through 'Problem Solving' the window is fixed, deterioration is

prevented and the community is safe once more. Like any other part of C.B.P.

'Problem Solving' requires a lot of communication, compromise and information

exchange in order to yield.


Despite the optimism of C.B.P. proponents it has not been accepted as

the mature successor to the Reform Model of the Sixties.

The Police have a difficult time dealing with the contradictions that exist within

them; this also restricts them from achieving their newfound goals. The Police

being a paramilitary organization, it is difficult to encourage flexibility and

creativity (that strict supervision stifles), and still insure that the incorrupt image is


The reactive instinct of the Police will also have to be curtailed, the so

called 'tyranny of 911' has to be controlled and although some reactive or

emergency services will be necessary they have to escape the tyranny of the

911 services in favor of reliance to the community and the new model along

with mutual trust.@ (Sparrow chapter 4)

It will take some time for the movement from 'just the fact=s ma'am' to a

more caring police officer who is a social worker, councilor and law enforcer.


A first step in C.B.P. is a plan of action or a statement of beliefs and goals that

will provide direction and make values become actions and behaviors. C.B.P. is only

a philosophy or a statement of value, nuts and bolts are worked out later by setting

goals and objectives unique for each community, aiming to achieve your value

statement. The change in values that is in the heart of C.B.P. must be pursued in

order to achieve success, because once the first excitement goes, and the first

difficulties arise, the statements of value that have been adopted will be the guiding

light that will provide the solutions.

In order for C.B.P. to be evaluated and its success determined two things

need to be done, first day to day work evaluations need to change and adapt

to c.b.p goals, second c.b.p. should be accepted and a commitment to

increase man power if necessary should be made.

There is a distinct difference between C.B.P. and other models of policing

and that is the way we can measure success, 'measures such as crime rates,

arrest rates and response times are obsolete, A(Moore 10)'these numbers have

little to do with community needs and they only represent serious committed

crimes and not the increase of public disorder (or fear) or other so called non

priorities'(Kelling pg. 21-21)

To know if C.B.P. is working, we need to know; are we solving problems instead

of reacting to them? Are police officers encouraged to leave their patrol cars

and cooperate with the public? Do we have streets free of drug dealers, rowdy

teenagers, soliciting prostitutes, predatory criminals, graffiti or drive by shootings?

In conclusion C.B.P. is striving to build stronger more self sufficient

communities, in which, crime and disorder do not thrive.

Effective C.B.P. has a positive impact on reducing neighborhood crime, helps

reduce fear of crime, and enhances the quality of life in the community; It

accomplishes this by combining the efforts and the resources of the police,

local government, and community members. Crime prevention takes on

renewed importance in C.B.P. AND the community becomes a partner to law

enforcement in order to address disorder and neglect or other problems that

can breed serious crime.

As links between the police and the community are strengthened over time, the

partnership is better able to pinpoint and mitigate the underlying causes of


Following all these principles we can at least attain a new sense of

community and at best we can make true the vision of Sir Robert Peel 'It should

be understood at the outset that the object to be attained is the prevention of

crime. To this, great and every effort, of the police is to be directed. The

security of person and property and the preservation of a police establishment

will thus be better affected than by the detection and punishment of the

offender after he has succeeded in committing the crime' . . . (Braiden 120)


Braiden, Chris. 'Enriching traditional police roles' Police management: Issues and

perspectives. Washington, DC. Police executive research forum 1992,

Pg. 108,120

Eck, John E. and William Spelman,' Problem solving: Problem oriented policing' in

Newport News. Washington, DC: Police executive research forum, 1987 Pg


Kelling, George L. and Mark H, Moore 'The evolving strategy of policing'

Perspectives on policing .Washington, DC : National Institute of Justice and John

F. Kennedy School of Government. Harvard University Pg 4-5

Kelling, L. George ' Measuring what matters :a new way of thinking about crime and

public order'.The city Journal, Spring 1992, Pg 21-22

Moore H. Mark and Geoffrey Albert ' Measuring police performance ' in John Dijulio

Sr, et al Justice System Performance measures :Princeton University Bureau of justice

discussion series (forthcoming)

Moore H. Mark and Malcolm K. Sparrow, David MacKennedy ABeyond 911: A new

era for policing.@ Chapter 4

Wilson Q. James ' Can the bureaucracy be deregulated? ' in John Dijulio Sr ed,

Deregulating the public service : Can the government be

improved?(Washington, DC. Brookings Institution Press Jan 1994 Chapter

draft pg 21,54)

Magazine : Us News and World report Aug 2 1993. Title: Beyond ' Just the facts

ma'am 'Author unknown

Presidents commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice , Title :

The challenge of crime in a free society (Washington, DC: US Government

printing office, 1967 Pg 97-103)

Bureau of justice assistance Publication: Understanding community policing ' Aug

1994 Chapter 3 Pg 13,15