Preserving peace and order in the community is a massive task for law enforcement. It is a big responsibility for police departments to find answers on how to solve community problems and craft preventive measures. In most instances, keeping the community safe has become the sole burden of law enforcement. Community members are the best partner of police departments to solve and prevent crimes. Hence, it is crucial for police departments to always involve everyone in community-based policing programs.
Defining Community-Based Policing
Community-based policing has become a buzzword among law enforcement agencies around the world. As it suggests, the term has something to do with the community and the police. Otherwise known as community policing, it is the partnership between citizens and law enforcement to fight crimes in their area.
This community-led policing is both a strategy and a philosophy. It is a philosophy everyone is expected to adopt a mindset that all stakeholders are partly accountable for solving crimes in their community.
Community-based policing is also a strategy because implementing community policing programs involve tactics. It is forging a partnership between police departments and the community, wherein both will play a vital role in addressing public safety.
A study published in a 2019 peer-reviewed journal revealed that community-based policing in New Haven enhanced the community’s attitudes toward law enforcement. Community policing was significant in increasing people’s trust in the law enforcement agency. The study also found out that community-led policing made the community more willing to cooperate with law enforcement.
How It Works
In general, community policing programs involve both law enforcement and community members. They work together and learn how to solve community problems and to keep everyone safe. However, the community policing approach does not always revolve around law enforcement and the community.
In most cases, community-based policing can also involve other community stakeholders. Police departments can also work with the business sector, non-government organizations, and other state-run institutions. Community-based policing allows the community not to rely solely on police patrols to prevent crimes. But also banks on community-initiated programs such as neighborhood watch and civilian education including citizens academy.
Community-based policing emphasizes that crime prevention is not an exclusive function of law enforcement. It shows everyone that crime prevention is a collective effort between the police and community stakeholders. Involving the public in solving community problems allows the police department to gain the public’s trust and better serve their community.
One way to get community participation is a Good Law Enforcement Survey, learn more about it here.