As in other communities across the United States,

As a society, community policing is presented as a community
working together, officials and citizens alike, to make a certain area crime
free. Community policing has implemented itself into society, instilling
strategies into the criminal justice system that has changed the way police
interact with the public. While community police can be productive, it can also
be abused in order to fulfill their distinct quota. Medial actions have shown
these abused actions and increased the fear and distrust in other communities
across the United States, defeating the original purpose of community-oriented
policing. Community policing is an process that was created to reestablish the
trust between a community and the police system.

History of Policing

Before the implementation of community policing, it is vital
to know the history of policing and what lead to the making of it. Due to the
growing population in the United States, it was essential that the creation of
a system was set up to help control the disorder and crime that was steadily
rising. Based on England’s development of policing, the first-night watch
system was created in Boston in 1636, and later New York and Philadelphia. The
origin of police officers began as a watch system entirely composed of
community volunteers or more specifically, white men. Many of whom joined as a
punishment, or to avoid joining the military. The
watchman’s duties during this time consisted of preventing crime from
occurring. The watchmen neglected their duties, often preferring to sleep or
drink while they were on the job. Philadelphia continued to pave the way by
introducing the first-day watch to their community, with New York following 11
years later. Although the effort was there, the night watch system was not a efficient
or effective method of crime control.

Often referred to as the “father of modern policing”, Sir
Robert Peel introduced the Peelian principles to London in the early 19th
century to gain credibility in the eye of the public. The Peelian principles were
general instructions police officers were given to follow. These principles set
the guidelines for the future of law enforcement and in turn, ushered in a new
era of policing. By introducing these guidelines, Peel set a specific mission
that the police were to follow and at the same time, reduced the uncertainty
the public had of the part the police were to play in society. The United
States adopted Peel’s policies and adapted them to better fit their specific
vision they had for policing while considering the environment they were
introducing it in. He created the first uniformed police officers, assigned
them a code to follow, and broadened the duties they were to perform. The
police officers’ new duties consisted of watching for fires, detecting, and preventing
crime, keeping the public safe, and recovering stolen items. These principles
lay the foundation for the development and future of law enforcement, with many
agencies today applying the Peelian principles to use in their personal
statements.

Corruption within Police

After World War I, The United States rose to a state of
economic prosperity due to the fast-industrial expansion and advancements in
technology. Thanks to this, criminal activity increased significantly in the
1920’s. This was due to the increase in immigration and the prohibition era,
which gave rise to gangs, organized crime, and large cities. Corruption was
rampant in the police system in all the agencies, but was more common in the
local and state agencies that the federal level. “Critics also questioned
whether professionalism really was being practiced at the local level”
(Patterson, J. 1995). For example, the New York Police Department was caught in
the middle of a mob war, often focusing on the murders the mobs were committing
rather than the illegal and prohibited distribution of alcohol.

Community Policing

What exactly is community policing? Community policing is
“often also called community-oriented policing; is a cooperative relationship
between the police and the community where they operate in tandem to diagnose
and address crime issues” (Prono, 2013). Community policing came into existence
in the 1980s due to the distrust and dissatisfaction the public had with law
enforcement along with. It appeared in society by the government and law
enforcement as a way to improve the relationship between the public and the
police force. By providing simple services, this, in turn, helps to increase
the people’s trust in local and national law enforcement offices and
simultaneously deter crime from occurring. To enact this, the police station
assigns several law enforcement officers to their specific beat, or area, to
familiarize themselves with the community and to simultaneously decrease crime.
Subsequently, the implementation of community policing allowed for new
approaches in the policing task force.

Pros and Cons

While community policing advocates argue for its ability to
help the community, opponents point to the possibility of lack of caring and
harming the relationship between the officer and the community. Lack of caring
occurs when the citizens in the community might not want to be responsive to
questions from a police officer. Communities with bad relationships and
histories with law enforcement agencies can disregard the possibility that
community policing could help the relationships. Citizens in the community
could be hostile and uncooperative with the police officers. These cons of
community policing can end up doing more harm than good to the community and
law enforcement, and as a result, make it less effective.

Community policing advocates argue that it serves as a crime
deterrent, educates the community, and helps to find problems. One of the
beneficial aspects of community policing is that it deters crime, allowing the
members of the community and police officers to work together. Because the
offenders know they are being watched, they are less likely to commit a crime.
Another positive aspect of community-oriented policing is educating the public.
This means that the people in the community are more likely to approach the
police officers because they are more comfortable trusting with their
protectors. This informs and educates the public on their part in reporting and
stopping crime. Community policing has influenced the perspective of the public
by aiding in the identification of problems within the neighborhood.

Types of Community Policing

Community policing is composed of several different aspects,
including both positive and negative aspects. Positive community events that
the police officers can take part in cleaning up a garbage-filled area of the
community, offering people a ride to their house, and giving advice to the
public. The negative aspects consist of miscommunication between the police and
the community.

The media, however, has written several stories based on the
negative effects of police departments, and in turn, the public creates a
negative outlook on police officers. There will always be a negative opinion on
every situation. For example, the broken windows theory is another negative
aspect of community policing. It is the “general disorder in a particular place
and local crime rates” (Greene, J. 2016). When police practice the broken
windows theory, they issue citations for minor and petty offenses to try to
deter further criminal activity. Cleaning up communities, to act on the windows
effect will anger some individuals because they may believe it is against their
rights to their privacy, along with their rights to own property. In the long
run, these changes will be positive for the community, but the change must be
accepted by the individuals that live in the community to create a positive
influence for the well-being of the next generation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, community policing is a system that was
created to join citizens and police officers to stop crime within a certain
area. The pros of community policing outweigh the cons to ensure safety and
stability for generations in the future. The media have also ensured the safety
of citizens by introducing the abusive actions that a small selection of
officer’s use to enforce rules that could otherwise be handled in a less,
violent action. Therefore, community policing is made to stop crime and ensure
the safety of the citizens within a designated area.