What is community policing?
Community policing is not a program, it’s a way of doing business, a philosophy and an integral part of daily operations. In the early 1970’s, it was defined as “foot patrol, zone policing and stand alone crime prevention programs”. Today we know that there is much more to this concept. one size does not fit all, police/community interactive programs must be tailored to the unique needs of each individual community if they are to be successful. Successful community policing requires a fundamental change in organizational structure, management styles and relationships between the community and police service members. Working as Partners for a Safe & Healthy Community, the community and the police can be effective at problem solving.
Why is community policing so important?
- There is an ever increasing demand from communities to have a greater input into the delivery of tax funded services.
- The recognition that policing services are but one of a variety of agencies and organizations in the community which can have an effective role in dealing with crime and public order issue. Everyone has a role to play.
- Economic pressures demand that public sector organizations operate effectively and efficiently, evaluating outcomes against key performance indicators.
- Highly skilled and knowledgeable members of the police service who expect to be active participants in their organization and its decision making processes to be more effective in dealing with complex issues and challenges on a daily basis.
How is Community Policing Achieved?
- Information is gathered and analyzed to assess what is occurring within our police service and in the community.
- Processes for direct involvement in determining objectives and priorities for the police service are established.
- Operational policies and strategies are focused on problem identification and solving.
- Management policies support empowerment of members and encourage creativity, discretion, innovation and risk taking.
- Police officer training and performance evaluations are directly linked to the skills needed for community policing.
- Results are measured and strategies are adjusted to meet ongoing community needs.