Problem-Oriented Policing Many believe in an ideal justice system in which fairness and equality are guiding principles, truth and justice prevail, and the accused is innocent until proven guilty. Law enforcements are part of this idealized vision; many view them as unselfish, fearless, compassionate protectors of the weak and defenseless, who can uncover the truth, bring the guilty to justice and make things “right”.
Others see a criminal justice system that is neither fair nor just. Some point out that the system primarily employs officers who are white, middle-class males. Also that some officers abuse their power and abuse those with whom they come into contact in the line of duty. The media can greatly affect public opinion – the police image is affected by the manner in which television and newspaper stories present crime and law enforcement activities. The average citizens hold many mistaken beliefs about police work because of the proliferation of movies and television shows that “play fast and loose” with the truth, resulting in the CSI effect. The police culture has been painted in such a negative light due in part to researchers, many of whom have described a monolithic police culture focused on widely shared attitudes, values and norms that help manage the strains created by the nature of police work and the punitive practices of police management and supervision. This includes a distrust and suspiciousness of citizens and a tendency to assess people and situations in terms of their potential threat, a lay-low or “cover-your-butt” orientation to police work, a strong emphasis on the law enforcement elements of the police role, a we-versus-them attitude toward citizens, and a norm of loyalty to their peer group. American policing has grown from a range of political, economic, and societal forces.
Policing has been categorized into three eras which are: Political Era, Reform Era, and Community Problem-Solving Era which is the present form of policing. The police role in society has always been an authority role. The role of the police in today’s society is to sustain law and order, give community assistance, and investigate crimes. The police are put into place to protect citizens, prevent crime before it happens, and solve crime that has already taken place. Police are there to know the law, understand the law, enforce the law, bring peace to the community, and have a strong presence in the community. Impact of Sir Robert Peel on American Policing The impact Sir Robert Peel had on American policing is significant and is used in policing today, the elements that Peel develop are used to provide safety, and service to all citizens and communities throughout the world.
Sir Robert Peel served as Home Secretary in1891and created the metropolitan police in 1829. According to Peel the key to policing is that”the police are the people and the people are the police.”Walker and Katz (2011) stated Robert Peel believed that you can contain crime without invading the lives of citizens. In developing the Metropolitan police, he developed nine principles in police theory.
The nine principles created by Robert Peel are still used today in the United States. The history of policing dates back several thousand years, to when there was no peace and order. Inhumane acts upon citizens was normal with religious,political, or military police acting as the law. Policing was unstable and unorganized. Citizens took the law into their own hands and served as judge, jury,and executioner. There was no such thing as being “innocent until proven guilty.”If the community believed an individual was guilty of a crime then the community would handle the offense themselves. Early English colonists brought with them to America many familiar concepts of policing based on their own policing systems.
These policing systems evolved as time progressed, resulting in major differences in responsibilities and credentials within the legal system. Now, as the U.S. Policing is based on historic English policing, the more modern roles of such officials such as the sheriff, have little in common with their historic ancestors. (CJi) The civil rights movement; migration of minorities into cities; the changing age of the population (more youths and teenagers); increases in crime and fear; increased oversight of police actions by courts; and the decriminalization and deinstitutionalization movements” (Kelling, 1988).To combat these new issues police organizations had to readjust their approach on crime and crime control. From the 80’s-present day policing focused more on a community strategy which consisted of quality of life in neighborhood, problem solution, reduction of fear, increased order, citizen satisfaction with police services, and crime control. Authorization was based on community support and law professionalism.
Their functions were primarily on crime control,crime prevention, and problem solving. Police organizational design was decentralized, task forces were created, and matrices as well. Future trends policing will look to expand on is using new strategies and technologies in a proactive outcome in order to achieve success. In order for future trends to work or be successful police agencies must keep up with the times in order to serve justice. A suggested technological advance is that police are using social media to their advantages such as,”Police departments are using social media for a variety of reasons for two basic purposes: disseminating their own messages to the public, and gathering information from social media platforms to prevent and investigate crimes. Many agencies are using social media or expect to do so in the future in order to facilitate criminal investigations (e.
g., observing suspects’ postings on Facebook for self-incriminating comments), be aware of the mood of the public during major demonstrations, share important information with the public during times of crisis as well as about everyday news and events, receive crime tips, and receive crime reports” (Police Executive Research Forum,2014). Trust is formed in a community through police involvement in the community. Problem oriented policing shifted from crime fighting to crime prevention. Instead of dealing with crime as it happens it is smart to tackle it at the root, before it happens.
Trust is a major issue between the police and the residents of low income neighborhoods. The low income community view the police as racist oppressors, there to keep order with no intention of focusing on justice. The police view the community as hoodlums lacking moral values. In some ways they are both correct but in many ways they are wrong.
Each side has its bad apples and it is not fair to judge a whole community/workforce by the action of some. Problem solving is one of the four general principles of community policing. Community policing is a management approach which promotes (1) community, government, and police partnerships; (2) proactive problem solving to prevent crime; and (3) community engagement to address the causes of crime, fear of crime, and other community issues. Problem that I recently had in my community is the activity that occurred across the street from my home. My community has its own park with includes a basketball court, a weightlifting area, a play area with swings and slides, many barbeque grills and a swimming pool.
This area caters to the neighborhood children of all ages and is easily accessible to the outside public,with the exception of the swimming pool which was not accessible to the public. Our neighborhood issues with the older children taking over the basketball court and bullying the younger children resulting in violence. Our street was overwhelmed with traffic and congested parking which handicapped those who lived on that street. My grandma was one of those handicapped and was unable to park in front of our own home and sometimes found herself blocked in while parked in the driveway. What we needed to do was eliminate the traffic of the older children that did not live over there. Police agencies continue to have changes to enhance their cooperation with the community in the modern policing. The force have changed from the traditional paramilitary organizational structures to shortened chain of command and focus on community focused agencies that try to make cooperation with the people in order to solve the law enforcement problems. Police training have been emphasized in order to create police agencies that are effective in solving community problems and not just focus their attention on the arrests and use of force in the policing.
Analysis of the needs of the police is also another modern milestone that helps the stakeholders to analyze the needs of resources and achieve maximum advantage through use of minimum resources and expenditure. Together with stocktaking and organizational adjustments, development of strategies and plans in the policing agencies is a necessary tactic that is employed in order to enhance the capability of the force to meet future needs and challenges of policing. These changes are effected with the use of the traditional mechanisms of identifying problems and development of methods and techniques to better offer good policing (Peter, 2008). Issues in the Partnership between Law Enforcement and Community The partnership of the modern policing agencies and the community have been effective in relation to the traditional paramilitary means of policing in that the officers usually relate better with the community that helps the identify challenges in the community and deal with it.
However, several challenges and issues arise in the partnership and the policing agencies should focus on addressing the issues. One of the main issues in the partnership is the lack of police officers to act on information provided by the public. Policing is now in the era of policing which is community oriented and also problem is solving; this strategy has been implemented across United States and indeed around the world. However, there are some important organizational considerations that should be looked at if COPPS is to be adopted within a police agency.
The traditional bureaucratic system of policing, which there was tight control and rules also enforced by rigorous disciplinary systems, has some positive contributions for today’s policing organization however, many of these same features are counterproductive under COPPS. The policing of the early and mid-1900s inculcated amilitaristic style of management and established rigid hierarchical lines of control. As a result, chief executives often placed great emphasis on their officers “going by the book” (the operations manual) and trying to avoid any chance of something going awry that would make their department look bad. Under COPPS, police leaders must also be pioneers. Conclusion Officers must choose their words carefully to make sure their message is clear and precise. If receivers pick up even one mistake (error or untruth) in the content, credibility is lost and communication breaks down voice characteristics tone: refers to the manner of speaking. It conveys the emotion or intention behind the words. Pace is the speed at which a person speak ( fast or slow).
A change in pace can signal that something is about to happen( important for officers to remember not only when they speak, but also as they listen and evaluate others)active listening involves the listeners deliberate and conscious concentration on what is being said. It also provides information to the sender that the message is being received. Restate, summarize, ask questions to clarify,and empathizingeffective lines of communication convey self confidence and professionalism, show an understanding of the situation, a caring attitude, being attentive to what is being said, use language and vocabulary that are appropriate to the situation overcoming barriers to communication policing philosophy is adaptable and will periodically change to meet the needs of the community. Chief is committed to continuous review and assessment of strategies and tactics.