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NCJ Number: 182957 Find in a Library
Title: In Search of Community-Oriented Policing
Journal: Police Chief  Volume:67  Issue:3  Dated:March 2000  Pages:38-41
Author(s): Merle Switzer
Editor(s): Charles E. Higginbotham
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 4
Publisher: http://www.theiacp.org 
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: To implement community policing successfully, it is important to have a strategic plan that identifies where the police department stands in the implementation process, where the police department wants to be, and how the police department intends to get there.
Abstract: By definition, community policing strategic plans address the needs of a specific community and police department. The process of strategic plan development is complex but critical to the successful implementation of community policing. In Sacramento, California, the development of a strategic plan began when a former sheriff prepared a white paper on the police department's community policing effort. The white paper discussed the implementation of community policing from a programmatic perspective, recommended that a task force identify the steps necessary to make a transition, and concluded that the police department needed to embrace the community policing philosophy. A 6-month task force known as START 21 was given the responsibility for developing a strategic plan to implement community policing. The task force conducted research on community policing and gathered information, especially with respect to police service delivery, communication, employee participation, geographic responsibility and accountability, the need to make the police department an identifiable part of the community, and the development of trust between the police department and the community. The task force concurrently developed a survey and convened focus groups to assess perceptions about community policing and to collect information from police department personnel. Site visits were also made to police departments in California and other States. Interviews conducted as part of site visits identified common themes that aided the task force in formulating recommendations. The task force recommended a new organizational structure to implement community policing. Key aspects of this structure included moving communications and records under patrol, having station house commanders report directly to an assistant sheriff, establishing a central watch commander instead of assigning watch commanders to each station house, and decentralizing most of the detective bureaus and then combining the remaining detectives into one centralized investigative division. 1 photograph
Main Term(s): Police effectiveness
Index Term(s): California; Community policing; Municipal police; Police community relations; Police organizational structure; Police planning; Program evaluation; Program planning
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