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Community policing

Health Factors: Community Safety
Decision Makers: Community Members Local Government State Government Federal Government Nonprofit Leaders
Evidence Rating: Scientifically Supported
Population Reach: 100% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: No impact on disparities likely

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Description

Community policing, also called community-oriented policing, is a policing philosophy based on community partnership, organizational transformation, and problem solving techniques. This approach requires partnerships between local law enforcement and community members to proactively address immediate public safety issues. Law enforcement uses a team approach rather than special units and officers have long-term assignments to specific geographic areas (US DOJ-COPS 2014). Community policing includes various strategies such as neighborhood newsletters, bike and foot patrols, educational programs in schools, and neighborhood watches set up with police assistance; strategies depend on the needs of each law enforcement agency and community (US DOJ-COPS 2016, Gill 2014).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Increased satisfaction with law enforcement
Improved neighborhood safety
Reduced crime
Increased problem solving skills

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is strong evidence that community policing increases residents’ satisfaction with police (Campbell-Mazerolle 2013, Gill 2014). However, additional research is needed to confirm effects on other outcomes, especially crime rates (Campbell-Mazerolle 2013, Gill 2014, Braga 2015).

Community policing may reduce residents’ fear of crime, and increase feelings of safety and perceptions of police legitimacy (Gill 2014). An evaluation of a partnership between police and local businesses in Westminster, California suggests such efforts can also promote business-friendly environments by decreasing concerns about crime and gang activity (Jim 2006). A study of a Chicago-based community policing program suggests that participating police officers have more favorable perspectives on relationships with residents and participating residents have improved confidence in their ability to solve local problems when community policing meetings use and discuss feedback on their practices (Graziano 2014). Some studies suggest that community policing reduces crime rates, especially property crime, but other studies do not find such reductions, perhaps due to variability in interventions (Gill 2014, Braga 2015, Sozer 2013).

Researchers suggest that transparent decision making processes, resources that support problem solving processes, trust between police and residents, and both structural (e.g., decentralized authority) and philosophical (e.g., culture, attitude) organizational change in law enforcement may be important elements for successful community policing (Graziano 2014, Yilmaz 2013, Glaser 2010).

Implementation

United States

The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services in the US Department of Justice supports community policing practices through its Community Policing Development program (COPS-CPD) and the Minority Youth Violence Prevention: Integrating Public Health and Community Policing Approaches (MYVP) program.

Wisconsin

The TRIAD community policing initiative in Two Rivers is one example of community policing efforts in Wisconsin. This program builds a partnership between law enforcement, community seniors, and service providers (TRIAD).

Implementation Resources

COPS-Tribal practice - International Association of Chiefs of Police. Promising practices in tribal community policing. Washington, DC: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). 2016. Accessed on March 13, 2017
CP examples - Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board. Examples of community-police engagement. Accessed on March 13, 2017
ICMA-Community policing guide - International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Community policing explained: A guide for local government. Washington DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services; 2007. Accessed on March 13, 2017

Citations - Description

Gill 2014* - Gill C, Weisburd D, Telep CW, Vitter Z, Bennett T. Community-oriented policing to reduce crime, disorder and fear and increase satisfaction and legitimacy among citizens: A systematic review. Journal of Experimental Criminology. 2014;10(4):399–428. Accessed on March 13, 2017
US DOJ-COPS 2014 - Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). Community policing defined. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice (US DOJ); 2014. Accessed on March 13, 2017
US DOJ-COPS 2016 - Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). The State of Policing in the United States, Volume 1. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice (US DOJ); 2016. Accessed on March 13, 2017

Citations - Evidence

Braga 2015* - Braga AA, Welsh BC, Schnell C. Can policing disorder reduce crime? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. 2015;52(4):567–588. Accessed on March 13, 2017
Campbell-Mazerolle 2013 - Mazerolle L, Bennett S, Davis J, Sargeant E, Manning M. Legitimacy in policing: A systematic review. Campbell Systematic Reviews. 2013:1. Accessed on March 13, 2017
Gill 2014* - Gill C, Weisburd D, Telep CW, Vitter Z, Bennett T. Community-oriented policing to reduce crime, disorder and fear and increase satisfaction and legitimacy among citizens: A systematic review. Journal of Experimental Criminology. 2014;10(4):399–428. Accessed on March 13, 2017
Glaser 2010* - Glaser MA, Denhardt J. Community policing and community building: A case study of officer perceptions. The American Review of Public Administration. 2010;40(3):309–325. Accessed on March 13, 2017
Graziano 2014* - Graziano LM, Rosenbaum DP, Schuck AM. Building group capacity for problem solving and police-community partnerships through survey feedback and training: A randomized control trial within Chicago’s community policing program. Journal of Experimental Criminology. 2014;10(1):79–103. Accessed on March 13, 2017
Jim 2006* - Jim J, Mitchell FN, Kent DR. Community-oriented policing in a retail shopping center. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management. 2006;29(1):146–157. Accessed on March 13, 2017
Sozer 2013* - Sozer MA, Merlo AV. The impact of community policing on crime rates: does the effect of community policing differ in large and small law enforcement agencies? Police Practice and Research. 2013:14(6);506-521. Accessed on March 13, 2017
Yilmaz 2013* - Yilmaz S. Tailoring model in reforming police organizations towards community policing. Journal of Organizational Change Management. 2013;26(5):897–924. Accessed on March 13, 2017

Citations - Implementation

COPS-CPD - Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). The Community Policing Development (CPD) program. Accessed on March 13, 2017
MYVP - Office of Minority Health. HHS and DOJ Award $3M to support innovative approaches to curb youth violence - The Minority Youth Violence Prevention: Integrating Public Health and Community Policing Approaches (MYVP) program. September 30, 2014. Accessed on March 13, 2017
TRIAD - City of Two Rivers. Police Department’s TRIAD committee. Accessed on March 13, 2017

Page Last Updated

March 13, 2017

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