The Limits And Limitations Of Community Policing

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The research done in this paper was gathered by literature review, government reports, news articles and from in class lectures. Community policing research has had limitations and issues with validity. Research issues include the absence of long term effects, missing of control groups and not using randomization (Cordner, 1995). Since community policing varies and is different in different departments it is difficult and too broad of a concept to do empirical evaluations (Committee to Review Research, 2004). The purpose of this paper is to outline the ability of community policing to be compatible with other forms of policing, the history of community policing, the benefits and the criticism of community policing, and more.
Community policing
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In the United States this type of policing was needed because many communities were highly dissatisfied with the police and other concerns the communities had were not being addressed by the police (Braga, & Weisburd, 2006). In 1994 President Clinton created the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act, and the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). COPS defined community policing with having, the “...key three common features: police-community partnerships, a problem-solving approach and organizational decentralization.”.
Community policing goals are to reduce crime and disorder with involvement from the community. Community policing is shown to reduce crime indirectly by dealing with underlying community problems (Xu, Fielder, 2005). Community policing seems to primarily influence perception of crime and disorder (Liou, K. T., & Savage, E. G. 1996).
An important issue when it comes to evaluating community policing is that no standard definition of, “community policing” exists. Different law enforcement agencies have different ways of approaching community policing, with different operational and organizational strategies, and different levels of commitment. Some departments have a single officer commitment to community policing and others have the entire department trained for community policing, other departments may just have specialized units (Cordner,
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This can allow the police to have more resources to focus on other functions of policing like training. Police can improve community involvement with the use of citizen patrols, citizen academies, Neighborhood Watch and educational programs. Self-organization, self-policing, and self-help are all important ways that the community should be encouraged to do which supports the police in community policing and can help reduce crime and improve quality of life (Nicholl, C. G., 1999). Community support includes surveillance, supporting victims and being willing witnesses when crimes do occur (Williams, B. 2005). Neighborhood Watch is one of the most common ways people are actively involved in community crime prevention programs. Sherman conducted a study that used random assignment to evaluate community watch programs. This review showed that Neighborhood Watch was ineffective and did not reduce crime as previous studies showed (Sherman, 1997). This review used other studies that had random assignment so bias and other flaws of research could be avoided, which previous studies may have
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