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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 83306 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Police-Community Relations - The Problem and a Response
Author(s): H Oltmann
Corporate Author: US Dept of Justice
Office of Justice Assistance, Research, and Statistics
United States of America
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 55
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The growth of tension in police-community relations is traced historically, and team policing is discussed as a major step toward reorienting and improving police-community relations.
Abstract: In attempting to correct abuses in the politically vulnerable law enforcement structure earlier in this century, reforms were implemented that insulated police from political manipulation. In the process of developing an independent professional bureaucracy, however, the police lost communication and contact with their client communities. Further, the increase in crime has brought pressure on police to manifest their professional excellence by reducing crime, which has in turn tended to fuel repressive tactics of law enforcement, particularly in high-crime inner-city communities. Inner-city areas have also tended to see themselves as victims of an unjust political, economic, and criminal justice structure that is viewed as preserved and defended by the police. The police must undergo a basic reorientation of their structure and style if tensions are to be relieved. A major step should be the decentralization of policy authority and accountablility to permit responsiveness to neighborhood as well as larger jurisdictional needs. Team policing is an appropriate form for such decentralization. Team policing emphasizes (1) increased management responsibilities by team leaders, first-line supervisors, and patrol officers; (2) an expansion of services provided by the line officer; (3) a reduction in crime in a given community through increased police flexibility of response; and (4) attention to positive interaction with citizens to facilitate crime prevention and police accountabilty for meeting expressed citizen needs. Overall, the goal of team policing is to increase the responsiveness of the police to the will and needs of the citizens, thus reducing tensions. Seventy-four footnotes and a bibliography of 32 listings are provided.
Index Term(s): Police community relations; Team policing
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