This is an essay critique based on the topic of community policing. The essay will critically analyse an article by Anil Anand. This essay will highlight the main issues concerning community policing as covered by Anand (2008). The essay will as well examine the strength and weaknesses of the author in his presentation of this article.
Anand (2008) has presented his views concerning community policing on as 72 page article. The author has basically divided the article into four sections: the main body taking two sections and the rest being the introduction and the conclusion. The two sections of the main body are: defining community policing (Anand, 2008, p.3) and challenges to collaboration (Anand, 2008, p.3). A quick calculation of the pages shows that the author has just used half of the total pages on the main body.
The author starts his introduction by defining the terms participatory justice and restorative justice. The author carefully brings on board the relationship between these terms and community policing. Reading through the introduction helps you clearly to understand the between restorative justice, participatory justice and collaborative policing (Anand, 2008, p.8).
Defining Community Policing
Anand (2008) starts by dividing community policing existence into three historical periods: with the 1980s representing the modern day community policing (p. 9). The author defines community policing as “a philosophy and an organization strategy which emphasizes effective partnership with the community in order to identify, prioritize and solve conflict, by drawing on the principles of community based dispute resolution” (p. 9). The author is quick to add that the definition of community has been quite elusive.
The author argues that despite the definition being elusive there are common characteristics which ought to be reflected in any definition. Under this, he lists the Shonholtz principles which pertain to ‘neighborhood justice systems’ making it quite clear to have a picture of community policing (Anand, 2008, p.10). Generally the author does a good ground work in showing what community policing entails and how it has evolved over time. The author moves on to examine the challenges of community policing.
Challenges of Collaboration
The author introduces this section by examining the three categories of community policing programs. All the programs as explained are seen to have a tendency of associating the police incorporating the community in policing activities. The author heartily argues against these programs by first noting that as much as they invite the other stakeholders to solve the communal issues they do not equally pass on the power required to effectively deal with such situations. Another challenge the author puts across is that of the communal bodies undertaking these activities on a voluntary basis. Working on a voluntary basis means only participating when one is free to (Anand, 2008, p. 19).
The author continues to argue but takes a different dimension and examines legitimacy and mobilization, ethics of care, measurement of collaborative practices, and specialization.
Legitimacy and Mobilization
Under this the author argues that the culture of the citizens in a given neighborhood is of much significance as it can largely contribute to how the citizens perceive the operations of the police activities. The author argues that they are times when the citizens are predisposed to view the police in a negative way due perceptions they might be having due to past experiences with the police. This will act as a barrier for the police efforts to mobilize the citizens to participate in carrying out communal policing. People who perceive the police in a negative way will not be eligible, in the eyes of the police, to take part in communal policing (Anand, 2008, p. 31).
Under this the author fiercely presents arguments for the police to be all rounded when tackling criminal activities. He argues that the causes of crime are many and all rounded and as a result there is a need for the police officers to coordinate with all the relevant authorities. In general the author is calling for all the police officer not just to get involved in the business of responding to crime but also getting to involve them to knowing the roots of crimes (Anand, 2008, p. 41).
Measurement of Collaborative Process
The author simply presents an argument on the means of measuring the effectiveness of the collaborative policing. He argues that if it is not possible to measure the success of the collaborative policing measures, it will not be possible to know whether there is any progress made. He wrote, “Many of the evaluative processes presently used by police services do not meet the needs of the emerging collaborative paradigm” (Anand, 2008, p. 43). He believes that the effectiveness of communal policing should be determined in terms of the police force using the communal facilities to curb communal crimes and solve communal related activities.
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The author has presented the topic of communal policing in a very comprehensive way. His work is well referenced and heavily footnoted to help the reader understand the flow of the argument. The author also has given a very rich back ground to communal policing which makes it possible for the author to fully understand what communal policing is about. The author has examined the views of many experts in this field. One weakness that can be noted from this article is that it is too voluminous.