“The Community’s Role in Community Policing,” National Institute of Journal,
August 1996, 31-34.
Discussions about community policing often involve a number of assumptions about the role
that the community will play. These assumptions often appear on reflection to have been
arrived at too casually. It is usually anticipated that citizens will be eager to step forward to
work with police. Discussions of problem solving frequently assume that police and residents
will engage in joint as well as coordinated efforts to tackle neighborhood problems. There
even is talk about the role that police can play in fostering the development of community
organizations and mobilizing the organizations in problem solving and community-building
activities. It is also widely assumed tyhat crime prevention is probably more dependent on the
community side than on the police side of the equation and that in the final analysis, the
police play an ancillary role in maintaining social control. In this view, the police can keep their
part of the bargain by being more “customer oriented.” They will be more effective when
citizens’ priorities help shape their agenda, and the subsequent buildup of trust will rebound
in the form of greater police-citizen cooperation and mutual support.
"Community Participation and Community Policing," in Jean-Paul Brodeur (ed.), How
to Recognize Good Policing. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1998, 88-106.
This paper examines the role of the public in community policing. Every definition of
community policing shares the idea that the police and the community must work together to
define and develop solutions to problems. One rationale for public involvement is the belief
that police alone can neither create nor maintain safe communities. They can help by setting
in motion voluntary local efforts to prevent disorder and crime; in this role, they are adjuncts
to community crime prevention efforts such as neighborhood watch, target hardening, and
youth and economic development programs. A common justification for diverting resources
from responding to 911 calls is that community policing will ultimately prevent problems from
occurring in the first place, and that many which still do will be dealt with locally without police
assistance, or by agencies other than the police. Community involvement is also frequently
justified by pointing to the growing customer orientation of public service agencies. It is
argued that by opening themselves to citizen input the police will become more
knowledgeable about, and responsive to, the varying concerns of different communities.
Police already knew that even the conventional crimes that are reported vary from place to
place in mix as well as by frequency, and that many of the tactics developed downtown in
response to media or political pressures do not make sense in particular areas. However,
"one size fits all" is to frequently the way policies are tried on in police departments. Another
strand of this argument is that police have "over-professionalized" themselves and their
mission, and as a result systematically overlook many pressing community concerns because
they lie outside of their narrowly defined mandate. Because these concerns (which can
range from public drinking to building abandonment) frequently have deleterious
consequences for the communities involved, expanding the scope of the police mandate by
making them more "market driven" helps the state be more effective at its most fundamental
task, maintaining order.
“Community Partnerships and Problem Solving in Chicago.” At a conference
(“Policing in Europe and the US: Comparative Perspectives”) held at the Institut d’
Etudes Politiques, University of Grenoble, 19-20 June 2003.
This paper examines the role that public involvement and the coordinated delivery of city
services can play in community policing. Chicago’s program emphasizes both of these
components in it’s community policing program. Through public meetings and committees,
the general public has the opportunity to voice their fears and concerns. Administrative
mechanisms were created to ensure that a broad array of city service agencies, and not just
the police, would be available to respond to these concerns. This paper describes the
rationale for including these components in Chicago’s community policing program, and
describes how they operate. It then presents an analysis of the linking between public
priorities and service delivery. The data suggest that the distribution of city services has
broadly responsive to public needs, and that active citizen involvement in community policing
targets the delivery of city services. Not surprisingly, other factors–including city politics–
played a roll as well.
Chicago Community Policing (CAPS) Abstracts