Basically, community policing is an approach to society security concern whereby a police officer or a group of police officers is assigned to a particular neighborhood for a long period or on a permanent basis. The concept involves the police officers integrating into the community and working in close connection with members of the public to combat instances of insecurity (Brogden & Nijhar, 2013). This approach is gaining root in the society since community leaders and law enforcement officers are constantly working out the means of ensuring the community and its every member is safe. Studies have established that the centralization of police units and the current composition of the law enforcement in addition to the criminal systems is segregating the police from the community (Brogden & Nijhar, 2013). Evidently, this segregation is becoming a challenge to the process of enforcing law and order in the respective communities. Therefore, it calls for change in the approach to community concern if safety and security are to be maintained. Further, studies have shown that the members of the community have vital and helpful information about instances of insecurity. At the same time, they keep it to themselves because they are not involved in the security system. Such course of actions has led to the increase of runaway crimes as the police do not have significant links to combat the situation. As a result, the introduction of community policing is intended to bridge the gap that exists between the community and the law enforcement agencies. Correct and monitored implementation of the concept of community policing will work a long way in eliminating petty crimes and runaway crimes in the community. Additionally, it will help in solving security concern at the community level hence improving the quality of life and the relationship between members of that particular community. This paper seeks to analyze the feasibility of implementation of the concept of community policing in a bid to determine if it is beneficial to the concern parties.
Feasibility of Community Policing
The objective of the concept of community policing is to reduce the acrimony existing between the police and the community. This step will ensure that cooperation between the two groups is realized. In fact, the feasibility of the implementation of the concept is based on factors that are of a paramount importance which include trust, the efficiency of the criminal system, and the rate of crime in the particular neighborhood (Boettke Lemke, & Palagashvili, 2016). All these factors can be fostered by posting police officer to a particular community for a long time enabling them to interact with its members proactively and to learn the general trends inside the group. However, having police officers working in one location for a long time brings a risk of them getting used to the society which may negatively impact the objectives of community policing. Since community policing is a system that involves the input of three vital parts namely, the community, the law enforcement officer, and the criminal system, the success of the procedure is anchored on the interaction of these components.
Basically, community preparedness and the general perception about police is vital in determining the success of the system since the members are to play the central part in ensuring the system will work (Brogden & Nijhar, 2013). Over the year police do not have a good reputation emanating from brutality and the violent nature that is associated with officers during arrests and the general association with the public. This will pose a challenge to the implementation of the program, precisely to the victims of police brutality. Obviously, these individuals will oppose the system since they are negative about any interaction with officers. However, due to the need for security and amicable solutions to the community concern, many members of the community require police presence in their neighborhood. During the implementation process, it is vital to ensure the public is enlightened about the importance of the concept and about the methods for the implementation process will be monitored.
The second component of concern is the police officers, their role in the entire process, and their ability to handle the pressure and come up with satisfactory solutions. Since community policing does not only entail arresting of individuals but also the solving of problems that may arise at the community level, the roles and personality of officers shouldn’t be underestimated. Generally, an officer just, like any other human, should not necessarily be a natural problem solver. Thus, it is important to equip them with problem-solving skills (Brogden & Nijhar, 2013). The skills will help to increase community appreciation of the system hence ensuring its sustainability, taking into consideration that the community is made up of people with different culture backgrounds and beliefs. Therefore, for the philosophy to be successful officers must be trained and a clear outline of their roles should be described in order to ensure they do not offend the members of the community.
The criminal system is an integral part of the community policing philosophy. Incidentally, the system has the mandate to overlook the whole process and make adjustments when there is a need. The system must provide the mechanisms in which the community member can report instances where they feel the officers are compromising with criminals or cases where they overstep their mandate. Consequently, such measures will help to build the confidence of community members and help in ensuring that officers are not compromised by criminals.
Boettke, P. J., Lemke, J. S., & Palagashvili, L. (2016). Re-evaluating community policing in a polycentric system. Journal of Institutional Economics, vol. 12, no. 02, pp. 305-325.
Brogden, M., & Nijhar, P. (2013). Community policing. London: Routledge.