COPS Office: What is Community Policing?
Community policing is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies, which support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques, to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.
Community Policing is comprised of three key components:
- Community Partnerships
Collaborative partnerships between the law enforcement agency and the individuals and organizations they serve to develop solutions to problems and increase trust in police.
- Other Government Agencies
- Community Members/Groups
- Nonprofits/Service Providers
- Private Businesses
- Organizational Transformation
The alignment of organizational management, structure, personnel, and information systems to support community partnerships and proactive problem solving.
Geographic assignment of officers
- Climate and culture
- Labor relations
- Strategic planning
- Organizational evaluations
- Organizational Structure
- Resources and finances
Information Systems (Technology)
- Recruitment, hiring, and selection
- Personnel supervision/evaluations
- Communication/access to data
- Quality and accuracy of data
- Problem Solving
The process of engaging in the proactive and systematic examination of identified problems to develop and rigorously evaluate effective responses.
- Scanning: Identifying and prioritizing problems
- Analysis: Researching what is known about the problem
- Response: Developing solutions to bring about lasting reductions in the number and extent of problems
- Assessment: Evaluating the success of the responses
- Using the crime triangle to focus on immediate conditions (victim/offender/location)
To learn more about Community Policing, please refer to our Community Policing Defined publication.
CommunityPolicing.org exists as a resource for those interested in protecting the safety of their communities. This site offers many useful resources that will help you find out about what police officers do in your community and the education and training that would be required of you if you pursued a career in law enforcement.
We welcome your feedback as we seek to improve the services we provide on our site. Please contact us with any comments or suggestions you may have.
And remember, whether you're pursuing a career in law enforcement or considering organizing a neighboorhood watch program, your efforts to ensure the safety of others are appreciated.
This site was created to serve as an information portal for people interested in how law enforcement professionals work with and for our communities to keep us safe. Browse our resource archive to find information about law enforcement and better understand how you can help keep your community safe as a civilian.
Crime is an issue in communities, and always has been. And as the population increases and the economy continues to experience change, crime will remain an issue. This article helpfully details things you can look for in your neighborhood which may help you prevent crime. Read More
There are different policing organizations present in every community that keep that community safe. Check out this resource to learn more about the difference organizations that work together to protect the populace. Read More
Being a police officer requires a level head and the ability to think on your feet. As a police officer, you will be in a position of some authority and will need to posses the ability to work well under pressure. Read on to learn more about the skills and personality traits that may help you succeed in your career as a police officer. Read More
Understanding Community Policing
(72 page pdf file)
A Framework for Action
Historic document, 1994 - from the Bureau of Justice Assistance
Community policing is, in essence, a collaboration between the police and
the community that identifies and solves community problems. With the
police no longer the sole guardians of law and order, all members of the
community become active allies in the effort to enhance the safety and
quality of neighborhoods. Community policing has far-reaching implications. The expanded outlook on crime control and prevention, the new emphasis on making community members active participants in the process of
problem solving, and the patrol officers’ pivotal role in community policing
require profound changes within the police organization. The neighborhood patrol officer, backed by the police organization, helps community
members mobilize support and resources to solve problems and enhance
their quality of life. Community members voice their concerns, contribute
advice, and take action to address these concerns. Creating a constructive
partnership will require the energy, creativity, understanding, and patience
of all involved.
Reinvigorating communities is essential if we are to deter crime and create
more vital neighborhoods. In some communities, it will take time to break
down barriers of apathy and mistrust so that meaningful partnerships can
be forged. Trust is the value that underlies and links the components of
community partnership and problem solving. A foundation of trust will
allow police to form close relationships with the community that will
produce solid achievements. Without trust between police and citizens,
effective policing is impossible.
This monograph is a product of the Community Policing Consortium,
which is made up of the International Association of Chiefs of Police,
the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Police Executive Research Forum, and
the Police Foundation. Reflecting the Consortium’s perspective, the document describes the historical evolution of community policing and its potential for the future, and it will provide the basis for the Consortium’s work
with demonstration sites and law enforcement organizations as they implement community policing. The knowledge gained from this sitework will
be reflected in future Consortium publications.