Also known as community-oriented policing, community policing is a policing strategy that mainly focuses on enhancing ties within the community. Under this strategy, the police officers form relationships within the communities they serve, providing a full services policing philosophy, which is achieved by patrolling the area for a given period identifying the problems and coming up with practical solutions that generally improve the quality of life in the community.
This policing kind of has been known to reduce the crime rate in low-level crime areas due to its ability to deal with social disorders. It also facilitates intelligence-led problem-oriented policing, where the neighborhood policing teams operate outside of the larger policing teams. However, the strategy has been criticized for being ambiguous due to the word community’s broad meaning (Rukus et al., 2018).
Peyton, K., Sierra-Arévalo, M., & Rand, D. G. (2019). A field experiment on community policing and police legitimacy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(40), 19894-19898.
Peyton et al. (2019), the decline in the crime rates in communities does not seem to reflect the tension between the police and the communities they serve. This has frustrated the effort to enhance cooperation between those who have the same goal of having improved security levels within the community. In solving this problem, policymakers focus on community-oriented policing, whereby the police officers are drawn from the communities they are expected to serve to enhance police services’ legitimacy and enhance the public’s trust for the police.
Peyton et al. (2019) identify that this has not been represented in past research studies, where they ignore the fact that police officers are drawn from outside the community. Therefore, it was imperative to ask whether non-enforcement agreements between the police and the communities they serve to improve the public’s attitude towards the police, and found that just one of these enhances the public’s willingness to cooperate. Therefore, the study recommended that the police engage in more friendly interaction with the public to enhance the public’s cooperation with the police.
Williams, C. B., Fedorowicz, J., Kavanaugh, A., Mentzer, K., Thatcher, J. B., & Xu, J. (2018). Leveraging social media to achieve a community policing agenda. Government Information Quarterly, 35(2), 210-222.
Williams et al. (2020), on the other hand, investigated the bilateral use of social media, the communication and engagement between the police service and the communities they protect. The researchers grounded the study on the agenda-setting theory of mass communication, whereby the police department engages with the public through social media pages and pays close attention to the public’s feedback for this communication.
Williams et al. (2020) focused on five similar-sized police departments, analyzed the content of their Facebook and Twitter accounts, performed machine clustering analysis and manual coding on the conversation, and conducted interviews to note how the thoughts online person were alike or differed. The study found that social media engagement between the police and the public was focused on the public’s safety.
It was also found out that the police department used social media accounts to interact with the public, something that can be leveraged by policymakers. Therefore, the police departments must implement agenda-setting in their interaction with the public to create a discussion that enhances these two groups’ relationship.
Rukus, J., Warner, M. E., & Zhang, X. (2018). Community policing: Least effective where need is greatest. Crime & Delinquency, 64(14), 1858-1881.
Rukus et al. (2018) noted that there was limited research into community policing’s impact on rural and suburban communities. The researchers surveyed 1300 cities and counties, asking the city managers about community policing variables, collective efficacy, and social cohesion. The study found out that community policing did not impact public participation in its safety.
In rural and suburban communities, community policing is equivalent to youth services. The communities’ participation in its safety is independent of whether the police departments engage in community policing activities or not. The study shows that community policing is not effective in high crime areas in the rural and suburban communities.
Kearns, E. M. (2017). Why are some officers more supportive of community policing with minorities than others?. Justice quarterly, 34(7), 1213-1245.
Kearns (2017) noted that police officers are unequally supportive of the communities they serve, and this variation exists on a racial basis. The researchers used the roll-call survey on 741 police officers from three police departments and were required to address a disparity between the supports of the police services. It was clear that police officers are less supportive of the minority than white communities.
To enhance community policing among minority groups, the police department must reduce the police department’s social distance and the communities they are assigned. It is imperative the police training enhances their objectivity so that their effectiveness in delivering their mandate to the communities they swore to serve is not compromised by something a simple as ethnicity. They also highlighted the importance of conducting comparative research studies in order to get the full picture of the issue of policing.
Stein, R. E., & Griffith, C. (2017). Resident and police perceptions of the neighborhood: Implications for community policing. Criminal justice policy review, 28(2), 139-154.
Stein & Griffith (2017) noted that community policing involves the successful implementation of community policing depends on whether both the police and the public involve having an adequate understanding of the community’s needs. Any misunderstanding between the two groups occurs due to the difference in perception of the community. This was examined by analyzing the police perception of their relationship with the public in three neighborhoods.
It was found out that the police had worse relationships with the members of the public insecure black community than a White community with problems of insecurity. This was a problem that prevalent across departments, something that should be a priority to policymakers. It was observed that the police officer’s perception of the neighborhood was more determinant of how they treat the community members that the problems facing the communities.
Annotated Bibliography on Policing References
- Kearns, E. M. (2017). Why are some officers more supportive of community policing with minorities than others?. Justice quarterly, 34(7), 1213-1245.
- Peyton, K., Sierra-Arévalo, M., & Rand, D. G. (2019). A field experiment on community policing and police legitimacy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(40), 19894-19898.
- Rukus, J., Warner, M. E., & Zhang, X. (2018). Community policing: Least effective where need is greatest. Crime & Delinquency, 64(14), 1858-1881.
- Stein, R. E., & Griffith, C. (2017). Resident and police perceptions of the neighborhood: Implications for community policing. Criminal justice policy review, 28(2), 139-154.
- Williams, C. B., Fedorowicz, J., Kavanaugh, A., Mentzer, K., Thatcher, J. B., & Xu, J. (2018). Leveraging social media to achieve a community policing agenda. Government Information Quarterly, 35(2), 210-222.