Essay On Community Policing

1056 Words 4 Pages
George Kelling and Mark Moore (2002) argue that American police agencies entered a new “community era” of policing over twenty years ago. Constant changes to the way police operate has been a constant theme from the beginning of policing history. Kelling and Moore (2002) examine the progression of police strategies in detail dividing them into three distinct eras: the political era, the reform era, and the community era. The community era emerged around the same time James Wilson and George Kelling (1982) proposed the “Broken Windows” theory linking disorder and incivility to subsequent occurrences of serious crime, a major implication of the community era’s organizational strategy. Wilson and Kelling’s (1982) theory influenced American policing …show more content…
In 1982 James Wilson and George Kelling published the Broken Windows theory that identified seemingly insignificant public disorder as major implications for violent crime. The theory was a metaphor to describe the concept that “if a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken (Wilson & Kelling, 1982, pg. 377).” This theory built the framework for the community era strategy and its mission to build positive relationships with the neighborhoods and their residents (Walker and Katz, 2002). Community policing renewed faith in foot patrol, and implemented other tactics including information gathering, victim counseling, education, and other community organizing. Kelling and Moore (2002) referred to community policing as a strategy, rather than a tactic, because it relied on a complete organizational overthrow of the policing institution as a whole, rather than just an add-on to the classical theory of policing. Samuel Walker (1984) criticized Kelling and Moore (2002) claiming they were clinging onto a traditional theory of police, such as that during the political era, and it would lead to nothing but corruption. Community policing still had promise, especially with its emphasis on public feelings of safety, but it would be difficult to assess the extent of which the strategy …show more content…
Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy recognized that traditional police work coupled with the help of citizens, resulted in less neighborhood problems with an improved public view of police effectiveness (Walker & Katz, 2002). Problem oriented policing also played a key role in the community era because it focused on problem solving, planning and identification and analysis of specific disorders related to crime. Community policing focused more on problem solving, where as community policing focused on strengthening the ties with the community (Skoagn & Frydl, 2004). Problem oriented policing proved successful in an experiment in Newport News, Virginia, where the strategy was initially implemented, to work on improving project housing conditions to alleviate crime related to the disorders caused by poor living conditions (Walker & Katz, 2002). Both programs were hailed as successful and led to the integration of both tactics in modern policing; tactics that are still in place today.
Like the civil rights movement, other external social factors have influenced American policing, but the core of the police as an organization remained relatively constant (Skogan & Frydl, 2004). Even in a post-September 11th society, community and problem oriented policing are still very much operational and the aspect of fear reduction is at an all time high with crime control and crime prevention

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