A New Educational Philosophy for Law Enforcement Training Essay

A New Educational Philosophy for Law Enforcement Training Essay

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Since the mid 1980’s there has been a paradigm shift in law enforcement from the military policing model to the community oriented policing model (Breci & Erickson, 1998; Pliant, 1998; Rosenbaum & Yeh, 1994; Thayer & Reynolds, 1997; Varricchio, 1998). In the military model, police react to events in the community (Thayer & Reynolds, 1997). Community problems filter up the chain of command and solutions filter their way back down. Police respond when a crime is committed. There is little contact with the members of the community until the crime has already happened. Therefore, contact with the public tends to be through negative situations such as getting a ticket, having a house searched, or bailing a friend or family member out of jail (Thayer & Reynolds, 1997).
Over the last decade, police departments have increasingly embraced the community oriented policing model (Breci & Erickson, 1998). Community oriented policing is proactive instead of reactionary. It is “based on the philosophy that the police and the community work together to solve problems” (Breci & Erickson, 1998, p.18). “A Police department must be pro-active, reaching out to a community with whom it will work” (Thayer & Reynolds, 1997, p.2). In their 1998 article in the June edition of the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Breci and Erickson identify several principles associated with community policing. Officers must be given the discretion and authority to solve problems instead of passing them up the chain of command in the military model. The police department and community organizations must establish partnerships recognizing that the police by themselves cannot solve all problems. Officers must be relieved of other duties so that they have time to interact with...


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Elias, J.L. and Merriam, S.B. (1995). Philosophical foundations of adult education (2nd ed.). Malabar, FL.: Krieger Publishing Company.

Noddings, N. (1995). Philosophy of education. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, Inc., A division of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Pilant, L. (1998, January). Training delivery methods. The Police Chief, 29 – 36.

Ramirez, S. M. (1996, Nov). The need for a new learning culture in law enforcement. The Police Chief, 63, 24-26.

Rosenbaum, D. P. & Yeh, S. (1994). Impact of community policing on police personnel: A quasi-experimental test. Crime & Delinquency 40,(3), 331 – 354.

Thayer, R.E. & Reynolds, K. M. (1997). Community oriented policing. Journal of Planning Literature, 12(1), 93-104.

Varricchio, D. (1998, April). Continuing education: Expanding opportunities for officers. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 10 – 14.

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