Community Policing

Community Police officers become part of the neighborhood. They join forces with residents to:

  • get to know each other as partners
  • discuss community concerns
  • create a safer neighborhood

Community policing involves teamwork and commitment: Community police officers and citizens depend on each other. Each takes responsibility for the neighborhood. This helps give citizens more control over the quality of life in their community.

Community policing puts cops back "on the beat" It gets officers out on the streets and involved in the neighborhood

A community police officer works directly with residents to solve neighborhood problems. The officer may:

  • teach residents how to help prevent crime
  • put people in touch with social service agencies that can help with problems
  • work with young people to help them avoid violence, gangs, and drug use
  • work with community groups to help identify and resolve residents' concerns

Community Policing Benefits Everyone. When residents and officers are partners, the result is more effective policing. This includes:

Better communication and understanding:

  • With community policing, citizens can more easily voice concerns and officers are dedicated to listening
  • Residents get a clearer idea of the pressures and issues officers deal with every day
  • Officers and residents can work together in deciding law-enforcement goals

Improved quality of life.

  • Community policing helps break the pattern of deterioration and fear. As residents "take back the streets," they feel more confident and are more willing to get involved. They also feel a sense of pride that they have worked with community police officers and each other to create a safer neighborhood.

How Do Officers Benefit from Community Policing?

Community policing promotes creativity.

  • It allows officers to work with residents and community workers to find new solutions to old problems

Community police officers have many "partners".

  • This is a great advantage, as residents and community workers often have information that can help officers solve and prevent crimes

Some Questions and Answers

Does community policing replace standard police work?

  • No, Officers in patrol cars can still respond quickly to calls for assistance, when necessary

Is community policing "soft" on crime?

  • Not at all. Officers uphold the law just as before. But community policing enables officers to better prevent crime and address other problems before they get out of hand. 

Do officers receive special training?

  • Yes, Community police officers are usually trained in such areas as problem solving, violence prevention, handling complaints and group leadership. Residents and officers in some areas jointly participate in community training sessions.

How will we know if community policing is working?

  • Success is measured by how much you feel your neighborhood is a better, safer place to live.

Community policing is good for communities!

Everyone in your community shares responsibility for making community policing work. There's a lot you can do:

  • Hold community meetings to talk about concerns and agree on solutions
  • Help organize healthy activities for children in your neighborhood
  • Join or start a neighborhood crime watch program. It's your neighborhood-help keep an eye on it
  • Talk to your community police officers and share information and concerns. They need your support to do their job properly.