Policing Practices And Operations Paper Research Paper Samples
The police authorities are responsible for maintaining peace and order and Travis (2012) cited them as the most visible representatives of the presence of the government in the community. Being the legitimate authority in imposing the law, research literature provides that the current role of the police are not mainly devoted in imposing criminal law and crime control activities. They spend more time interacting with the community members than attending on criminal matters. Some of the non-law enforcement activities of the police authorities involve crowd control during major events or parades and providing assistance in road accidents. These situations are now contrary to the traditional police organizational structures that used to insulate the police from the community, that which Reisig and Kane (2014) describe as mechanistic, paramilitary organizational forms of police agencies where its primary interest is mainly on law enforcement. The trend in the policing community organization today deviated from this traditional police organizational structures, where the police are encouraged by the reformers to decentralize and deformalize in order to allow them to interact better with the community and offer more liberal solutions to community problems. As a result of this change in the police organizational structure, the police authorities execute varying roles from crime prevention, peacekeeping and maintenance of order in the community. The basic principle of community policing liberalizes the extent by which the law enforcers communicate with the community members where an approach of utilizing partnership between the community and the police authorities is established.
Police agencies now embrace the principle of community policing where the agency adopts the principle of community partnership in preventing crimes and maintaining law and order. The community policing efforts encourage the decentralization process of policing where the storefront police stations in the community exercise discretion in prioritizing community problems and helping find the most viable solutions (Pollock, 2012). Through the process, the police authorities help empower the neighborhood in responding to crimes and problems occurring in the community, such as responding to accidents, fixing broken streetlights, and tending to abandoned cars. The process helps build a trusting relationship between the police authorities and the community members and imparting to the latter the sense of responsibility of being useful members of their communities.
One of the challenges in policing leadership is to define a more concrete organizational management and the extent of community involvement of the agency. Among the major concerns in the organizational management in policing agencies is the establishment of communication process within and outside of the organization. The pattern of communication from within the policing agency takes a downward pattern. The system of communication from the inside of the policing agency is designed to transmit intelligence and information from the executive decision making level down to the street cops and management cops (Henry, 2003). The pattern of communication from the outside of the policing agency, on the other hand, takes an upward pattern where the police exposed in the community facilitate the communication process regarding their operational information coming from the streets. They provide high profile executives with operational intelligence that is necessary in establishing a feedback loop within the policing agency.
Because of the information that are sourced from outside the policing agency comes from the community, the relationship between the police authorities and the community members therefore must be strengthened and reinforced. When the community members collaborate efforts with the police authorities, better outcomes in crime prevention and the maintenance of public order becomes attainable. The members of the community have a vested interest in solving problems within their community and they can help the police authorities in crime prevention as well as in responding to common problems that may occur in their neighborhood. Despite the recognition of the benefits of community policing, there are issues arising between the law enforcement and the community. Among these include racial profiling and bias-based policies that may discriminate the community members according to their race, sexual orientation, gender and religion. This can widen the gap on the collaborative efforts between law enforcement and the community.
In order to improve the partnership between the community members and the law enforcement agencies, it is necessary to implement a strong policy statement that clearly provides an agreement between the community and the police agencies that are flexible enough to meet the changing needs of their environment as new issues emerge. To strengthen their partnership, the law enforcement agency should become exposed in the community activities, such as attending homeowner’s association meetings or business association meetings and other community programs or activities. This will help the police officers understand the community environment and become aware of the common issues and security needs that are present in the community. It is also important to keep the members of the community informed about the police initiatives that are implemented in order to receive maximized cooperation from them and to solicit for citizen volunteers when needed. An open communication between the community police and the community members will expedite the enforcement of law and order in the neighborhood and reinforces the crime prevention initiatives through their coordinated partnership for a more peaceful and orderly community for all.
Henry, V.E. (2003). The COMP STAT Paradigm: Management Accountability in Policing, Business and the Public Sector. New York: Looseleaf Law Publication.
Pollock, J.M. (2012). Crime and Justice in America. An Introduction to Criminal Justice. Second Ed. Oxford: Elsevier.
Reisig, M.D. and Kane, R.J. (2014). The Oxford Handbook of Police and Policing. New York: Oxford University Press.
Travis, L. F. III (2012). Introduction to Criminal Justice. Seventh Ed. New York: Elsevier.
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