Successful Community Problem Solving

Essay by redhenny15College, UndergraduateA-, April 2009

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An uprising is taking place in policing and it has important implications for those in city government tasked with planning. This uprising is called community policing and it brings police work into a domain traditionally inhabited by community planners. This paper will be the basis for the recommendation of a community oriented policing program. It will include a definition of what community policing is, as well as some core elements that are involved in a community oriented policing program. Community policing is really a policing philosophy. Community policing should promote and support organizational strategies to address the causes and reduce the fear of crime and social disorder (Dantzker, 2003). This is done through the use of problem-solving tactics and police community partnerships (COPS, n.d.). The community policing model should balance reactive responses to calls for service with proactive problem solving centered on the causes of crime. The goals and the methods of community policing are similar to those of community development planning.

Both activities are designed to create stable, healthy neighborhoods. Both seek to involve community residents in improvement efforts. Thus, planners and community police officers need to work together to maximize their impacts and to take advantage of the perspectives and skills that each profession brings to the task of improving living conditions in the neighborhoods. Community oriented policing can be distinguished from traditional policing by recognizing three philosophical principles. These three principles are shared responsibility, prevention, and increased officer discretion (Rohe, n.d.). There are core elements in a community oriented policing program. There are organizational elements, tactical elements, and external elements (Rohe, n.d.). Implementation of the community policing philosophy may occur incrementally and within specialized units at first, but a defined path leads toward full, department wide implementation (COPS, n.d.). There are tactical elements involved in community policing.