Community oriented approach has been employed by the police globally in delivering its services. Community Oriented Policing (COP) is a policing approach to the society which involves co-working of police and the community with the idea to solve the community based evils. The policy is believed to have emerged as a result of a weak relationship which existed between the police and the minority community (Mirsky, 2009. p.2). In addition to this, the increased crime rate and the inability of the conventional police means was also a reason behind introduction of the COP. Its major aims has been to create a running link with the community by use of new and old strategy which includes foot and bike patrol, beat meetings, mini-stations and many other resident and police corporation. Moreover, COP entails organizational and external changes like geographic association or community team division.
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Since the community residents are in a position to give the first hand information that concerns their surrounding environment, their participation in identifying and seeking the solution is crucial in misdeed reduction in the society. In reference to Samaha (2005), the community inhabitants are the main line of protection against wear and tear of the quality of life in the society (p.200).
Crime management is not only the main focused objective by the COP, but also a satisfied community living in accord. Note that, freedom and democratic values are promoted from the interaction of the police and the community. Communities require a police service which is flexible and open to their wishes. This does not mean that the police have to react according to the community’s desires but have to defend the rights of the crime associated individual. Reyneckel (2001) asserts that, for community policing to be successful, the police services will have to operate like entrepreneurial institution which will be in a better position to serve the community needs (p.156). This means that these institutions will be generating something related to the individuals which will be adding significance to the society in terms of innovations, acquiring and creation of new insight.
Subsequently, the implementation of community oriented policing is based on the attitude that crime can be attached to problems like racial and cultural oppression, lack of schooling, economic inequality and health resources. Likewise, the program implementation can also be based on the public housing. When the police perform survey, they identify the hot spots and get information about the area and its related features in terms of drug dealers and their escape routes. Geographic decentralized authority is essential measures in the program implementation. It involves setting up mini stations in the community hence creating close police society interface through persistent officer assignment to the community. This emphasizes an authority with sharing in decision making between police and the people.
Besides this, establishing and enhancement of the community initiatives is a strategy which includes beautification, repair and development activities of those areas of the community which have been left out and undermined by the illegal operations of crime. This strategy is a community based plan intended to widen crime control level in the neighborhod and at the same time bringing back those elements which had been lost due to the crime. Formation of Community organizations and youth projects in an area initially crowded with violence can aid in policing strategy to restore community’s positive aspects. Similarly, the Police also form effective bonds with the community dwellers hence promoting effective way to fight and control crime. Since each community is different from the other, individualized link with the police is necessary to give potential approaches in combating the neighborhood crime.
As part of community policing, many programs meet the criteria. Just to mention a few externally focused programs in COP aimed at controlling crime; increasing the number of officers on foot, bicycle or horse patrol, use of task units for addressing particular problems in an area of interest, constantly raising the number of civilians hired for non law enforcement tasks, use of citizen analysis to keep in touch with local troubles and locality watch. The two most important concepts embraced by community policing are community participation and problem solving. This calls for the sense of responsibility within the society for dealing with the crime problems. Overall community satisfaction with local ruling enforcement is the element of a thriving community including decreased neighborhood crime rates and decreased panic of crime levels among community occupants.
Problem Oriented Policing (POP) is a hands-on strategy which is closely associated with community policing. It is a police administration style that pressurizes proactive problem work out instead of hasty crime combating. In this policy, police agencies are required to spot and eradicate community problems which have been standing for long time for example; prostitution, street drug dealers, and illegal groups. The police are required to get information about the crimes from the local residents and secretive resources. As a result, it is important that police become skilled at how to build up community resources. They are also obliged to define competent and inexpensive solutions to the problems and become the agents of change in the community. In problem oriented policing, models are supported by the reality that a small number of the city crimes is more pronounced in specific hot spots and if police takes the necessary measures, crime could be appreciably reduced (Siegel,2009, p. 258)
Remarkably, problem-oriented policing resulted from a number of reasons. Since police compact range of community issues some of which are not criminal as such, the research findings proved the urge for a better methods to deal with the problem. More still, detaining and prosecution alone do not seem to efficiently solve problems. Under this circumstance, the use of variety of ways to solve criminal problems is essential. The aspects of Community Oriented Policing are crucial for the continued existence of Problem oriented policy. POP is narrowly related to COP but it is independent in away that it stresses on learning more about a problem and as a result focus on developing an effective strategy towards solving this problem.
There are various issues which facilitated the successful implementation of Community Oriented Policing and Problem Oriented Policing among them the physical sstructure of the organization. Note that the physical structure of the organization could help or hinder COP and POP in a particular community. In reference to Lee (2008), the geographical and organizational placement was found to be essential components of an effective crime analysis unit. In line with this, the physical structure of the organization could assist or hinder COP and POP in the sense that its accessibility remained as an important factor in executing effective COP and POP strategies. Following this point, it was important for the organization to be placed at a strategic place which could allow for easy accessibility. On the other hand, the exchange of important information and data could also be facilitated by a centralized organization as opposed to a decentralized organization in terms of physical structures.
The challenges associated with community-oriented policy are many. Possibly the police are likely to have misconduct and misuse of the office. In this sense, their mode of conduct with the society may induce negative implications in terms of exposure to the corruption. Legal responsibility may lack rendering to the court case. In most cases, a lack of restrictions attached to community oriented policy (COP) exposes officers to more chances of police individual conduct. With this contacts between the community and the police going unmonitored, lack of accountability results in the work.
Accordingly, Residents in marginal neighborhoods usually see police presence as a crackdown on their area. This has been so as a result of the notion in their mind from the initial mistreatment they experienced. These people have lost trust in police and they view them in poor perspective. Community policy is different in every state and the national government may sustain programs with funding which may vary from mini stations of service. As a result, this may raise alarm since each neighborhood has its own needs. The officers in these areas may lack motivation and end up providing inappropriate services.
Moreover, in COP there is need for policing agencies to constantly examine changing norms, values and altitudes of the community they serve. This requires extra commitment which the police may not be in a position to deliver. Defining roles is another challenge the policy can face. These results incase of few police officers in a large community to serve. Regrettably, more challenges arises when police officers are the exclusively problem identifiers with less community participation. Furthermore, retraining and reorienting police from their habitual roles into a more communal service direction may not be easy. Similarly, the individual or group reorienting, recruitment and selection of people who find these values attracting may not be easy task.
In summation, Community Oriented Policing and Problem Oriented Policing are important approaches which are utilized in fighting crime in the United States and across the globe. Notably, these methods of fighting crime have deviated from the traditional way of fighting crime in the society and created new approaches under which crime can be examined from a different approach. With this in mind, the police organization and the community as a whole have been able to enter into collaboration with the sole aim of making the community a safer place.
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