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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 150169 Find in a Library
Title: Walking the Minefields of Community-Oriented Policing
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:63  Issue:9  Dated:(September 1994)  Pages:8-12
Author(s): T M Joseph
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
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United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After a brief description of community-oriented policing (COP), this article identifies some potential obstacles that must be addressed if COP is to be effective.
Abstract: The primary objective of COP is to obtain citizen input and participation in police-citizen efforts to prevent and respond to crime. This approach presumes that police, working with community groups and individual citizens, can attack the root causes of crime instead of merely responding to recurring problems. Although supporters of COP are convinced it is the most effective policing philosophy and structure, there are some weaknesses that must be addressed if COP is to succeed. One potential impediment to effective COP occurs when a department makes it just one specialized function within the organization, distinct from other agency activities. COP must be fully integrated into the overall structure of departmental goals and strategies. The greatest potential problem of COP is the failure to develop appropriate evaluation criteria and mechanisms commensurate with COP goals. Evaluation criteria should include citizen and officer perceptions, crime-rate data, and officer performance. Two other important issues -- training and tactics -- must be reviewed in any commitment to a COP philosophy. Officers must be adequately trained in community policing methods. Another potential problem that must be addressed is the perception that COP is "soft on crime." Because COP focuses on community problems, municipalities risk creating the impression that offenders should not be held accountable for their behavior. To counter this impression, departments that have a strong COP effort must be equally strong in the operation of traditional and specialized units. 10 notes
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Community involvement; Community policing; Problem-Oriented Policing
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