Decades later, during the 1980’s and 1990’s politicians, law enforcement agencies, and citizens still continued to struggle with issues of crime, reports of police brutality, increased arrests and incarceration of people of color, high murder rates, a drug epidemic, and distrust between police and many minority citizens. Most attributed these issues to a lack of job opportunities and the explosion of a drug epidemic, which plagued many cities, minority communities, and citizens. Another factor that contributed to putting strains on police-community relations was a declaration by President Ronald Reagan in 1982 declaring a War on Drugs, which many minorities (Blacks and Hispanics) saw as an attack on their communities.
Subsequently, in 1992 the televised beating of Rodney King led to public outrage, a major riot in Los Angeles and many riots across the country, when the officers involved were acquitted of all charges. As a result of these issues, in 1994 the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), under then President Bill Clinton put together a Community Police Consortium, which was made up of law enforcement officials and community leaders from around the country. From this Community Police Consortium, the BJA put together a report titled Understanding Community Policing, A Framework for Action, which focused on developing a conceptual framework for community policing and assisting agencies in implementing community policing. The basis for this consortium was much more direct than the previous efforts set forth by Presidential Commissions during the 1960’s and 1970’s, and led to what became known as the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS, Title 1 of the Violent Crim...
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...minorities. Advancements in technology, camera phones, recording devices and police officers body-cameras, along with media, social media and news reports have put strains on police-community relations as citizens are being exposed to the inappropriateness of officer’s conduct and actions. Other challenges faced by community policing in 2015 are attributed to social issues, a collapsed housing market, economic downturn, and loss of jobs, which affected citizens of all colors and from all walks of life. Furthermore, a continued war on terror, the return of veterans, and police methods for dealing with people who suffer from mental illnesses and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), have added to challenges as well. Such issues have caused citizen protests, social unrest and riots in cities like Ferguson, Baltimore, New York, and many other cities across the country.
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