When a person who lives in a community, whether it being safe or dangerous they would know at the end of the day if they needed a Police officer, one would show up. In life or death situations since 1838 our police have constantly been there. Police have become a big part of communities and have built trust with community members and created a close bond. Using different styles of policing procedures, mainly community based policing, has proved to be the superlative way to improve the image of law enforcement.
Policing goes way back the first publicly funded, controlled police force with officers on duty full-time was created in Boston in 1838. There were multiple Eras of policing which contain of, The Political Era, The Reform Era, and The Community Problem Solving Era. Each Era is very crucial to where we are today with policing. Throughout the political era of policing, the purpose of law enforcement was to provide all of the social service to the community. “Police officers walked a beat establishing and building relationships with the shop owners and citizens who worked, lived, and played in the neighborhoods within the officer’s assigned beat”(Bond). During the reform era of American policing, a crime regulator model was established and the departments became consolidated. The police connection with the public became professional and officers were unfriendly and gave the impression they were non-approachable and did not care to build a close relationship with the citizens and industries in their jurisdictions. “The police relationship with the community deteriorated during this era with officers not as approachable as they once were when they were patrolling on foot” (Bond). The community era of American policing encompasses the approach of crime regulator along with providing community services by getting to know your community and to help provide for a safer community. “Policing efforts were in re-building relationships and demonstrating that the local police department cares about the communities they serve by improving the quality of living and encouraging the community to work with their local police department and officers”(Bond).
There are all different definitions of community policing but they appear to have three similarities: police-community partnerships, a problem-solving approach, and structural decentralization. An orderly tactic to policing with the paradigm of instilling and development of a sense of community, surrounded by a geographical neighborhood, to improve the superiority of life. It achieves this through the decentralization of the police and the implementation of a mixture of three main components, The redistribution of traditional police resources, the interaction of police and all community members to reduce crime and the fear of crime through indigenous hands-on programs, and a determined effort to take down the causes of crime issues rather than to put “Band-Aids” on the indicators. People may of herd of the Broken Window saying, which indicates that some community members appear not to care. With a broken window not being repaired, the crime will continue. When a criminal see’s that there is a nice area and it’s in tiptop shape it would be more difficult to commit a crime there. But if you go to a less fortunate area with broken window and graffiti, they may think it will be easier to get away.” The broken windows theory is a criminological theory that states that visible signs of crime, anti-social behavior, and civil disorder create an urban environment that encourages further crime and disorder, including serious crimes”(McKee). Bowling alone is similar bet yet different ” A metaphor referring to a striking decline in social, capital, and civic engagement in the United States”(McKee). Civilian review boards are very important to our communities, the review board has subpoena power and can make a police officer testify. A few jurisdictions even grant individual investigatory authority to their civilian review boards. These ultimate decisions generally continue to be the province of the chief of police. But it is very occasional for a civilian review board to have the last say as to the temperament of an investigation or punishment to be performed by an officer. However, all civilian review boards with self-governing investigatory power seem to have the power to make recommendations to the chief on temperament and correction. Citizen on Patrol is actually much benefited to communities. One who wants to become a citizen patrol has to be at least 18 years of age, be a legal U.S. resident, must be a high school graduate or possess a G.E.D., pass an oral interview, and pass a background investigation. If a person is waiting to be of age to go to the academy, they can volunteer and it may even get them a better chance of getting that dream job one day.” As the name implies, Citizens On Patrol are Citizens who, after being screened, background checked, and trained by their local law enforcement agency, patrol their communities acting as ‘Eyes and Ears’ for law enforcement”(Elmazry).
An important key to policing is that police officers with knowledge know that in many cases they are working with people just as often as they are working to apply the law with the same people, especially when the police need data. The information that leads to effectively assisting citizens most often arises from another citizen. A cop with good morals knows how to communicate in order to attain his or her ends and solve problems as well as address worries using dependable information. Sometimes policing may get difficult in a diverse community, racial diversification of police departments is authorized by the massive majority of Americans. Some departments have made progress that is jaw dropping in diversification, but many others are out of the loop with the local people. Officers of different racial backgrounds generally act similarly when they talk to the public. They are trained similarly and vary little in their performance duties. But because diversification is popular with the public, it can be beneficial to create confidence and trust in the police. A police department that reflects the conformation of the community can enhance its status among citizens. An assorted police force can also help to decline the sense that people are being stopped and interrogated solely because of their race. Police when arresting or helping a person with any sort of disability should be almost the same but may need more “care”. Police should treat everyone with respect they are all still humans whether their physical and mental disabilities. Our citizens need to grasp that one of their jobs is if they have knowledge about the directive of a crime is to serve as witnesses at the criminal trial or one of the other hearings held in piecing together with the criminal prosecution. The new Victims’’ Rights and services for the 21st century is crucial.” New Directions from the Field: Victims’ Rights and Services for the 21st Century challenges the nation to renew and refocus its efforts to improve the treatment of victims of crime” (Lord). It’s important for the victims of the crime whether they are dead or alive they get support and cared for, the community usually only hears what happened to the criminal.
Using different styles of policing procedures, mainly community based policing, has proved to be the superlative way to improve the image of law enforcement. Reflecting back it’s very important to see how far we’ve come in policing and how much information and training our officers have to constantly learn to protect us. I have learned so much information from really researching for this paper that I’ve always been curious about. This gave me a reason to look it up. But I also had a lot of good information that I’ve brought with me from high school. Being able to expand on a topic I enjoy is amazing.
- Bond, Mark. “Eras in American Policing.” e, 5 Jan. 2016, andragogytheory.com/2016/01/05/eras-in-american-policing/.
- Elmazry , Rudy. “Citizens on Patrol.” New Page 2, 2005, www.nacop.org/successstories.htm.
- McKee, Adam J. “Broken Windows Theory.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 14 Dec. 2018, www.britannica.com/topic/broken-windows-theory.
- RS, Linda. “History of Victims’ Rights.” History of Victims’ Rights – National Crime Victim Law Institute – Law School – Lewis & Clark, 2017, law.lclark.edu/centers/national_crime_victim_law_institute/about_ncvli/history_of_victims_rights/.