Community policing (also known as neighborhood policing) is a policing strategy and philosophy. It deviates from the traditional methods of policing that were once known as "reaction based" policing.
Reaction based policing dealt with crimes or incidents after they had been committed, and Officers would be tasked with investigating and apprehending the suspects. In essence, police officers would "wait" for a crime to be committed. Once it was, police officers would then interact with people to try and solve the crime.
Neighborhood Policing differs from the traditional method because it aims to bring dialogue and interaction between community members and the Police so that they can support each other in attempts to prevent crimes from happening to begin with.
Building this type of relationship between the community and the Police can be difficult without trust.
In areas of high crime, community members may view Police as the enemy, as reaction based policing meant that officers were only around to investigate and arrest.
Individuals living in that neighborhood would very likely view the Police as "them", and neighborhood members as "us".
People, generally speaking of course, are apprehensive and nervous around things that they either don't understand, or are unfamiliar with. When officers don't speak to people in the neighborhood, or are only seen by people on an infrequent basis, there is no "connection" or trust that is developed.
Interaction between Police and the public through workshops, community events, and foot patrols can help to build this trust.
With trust developed, communication can be easier, and both parties can assist one another in identifying problems and issues within the neighborhood.
Neighborhood Policing can be broken down to 3 areas:
Each area is of importance and inadequacy in any of the areas can cause the strategy to fail.
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