Essay on Community Policing and Problem-Oriented Policing

1408 Words May 9th, 2008 6 Pages
Although many may find community policing and problem-oriented policing to fall in the same category, there is (surprisingly) a difference between the two. For one, community policing has many definitions. For some, it means instituting foot and bicycle patrols and doing acts pertaining to the ideal bond between police officers and their community. While for others it means maintaining order and cleaning up neighborhoods in desperate need of repair (Dunham & Alpert, 2005). However, an idyllic definition of community policing is altering the traditional definition of crime control to community problem-solving and promising to transform the way police do their job. Within the past two decades, there has been much research on community …show more content…
Plus, the concept of problem-oriented policing involves interaction with the public just as community policing does. So where is the difference? POP emphasizes on research more than any other aspect of policing. Not only is it a strategy, but it is also an approach to policing in which distinct parts of police business are subject to “microscopic examination” in hopes that what is learned about each problem will lead to discovering a new and more effective strategy for dealing with it (Goldstein, 2001). This all started in the late 1970’s (circa the beginning of community policing) when researchers, police professionals, and policymakers became interested in improving the efficiency of policing. Their research uncovered these findings: “(1) police deal with a range of community problems, many of which are not strictly criminal in nature, (2) arrest and prosecution alone—the traditional functions of the criminal justice system—do not always effectively resolve problems, (3) giving the officers, who have great insight into community problems, the discretion to design solutions is extremely valuable to solving the problems, (4) police can use a variety of methods to redress recurrent problems, and (5) the community values police involvement in non-criminal problems and recognizes the contribution the