The use of squad cars and preventive patrol strategies was associated with a move toward police professionalism and a rejection of favoritism and corruption. After all, if the officer simply patrols the city in his or her car and reacts or responds to crimes as they occur, then there is no opportunity for the officer to indulge in corruption or to develop relationships with the citizenry that could compromise his or her objectivity and impartiality. A police officer dispatched to a dispute between neighbors or neighboring shopkeepers, neither of whom the officer has met, will presumably be able to bring a sense of objectivity to the dispute that one would expect of a neutral, non-invested third party.
Then, the community policing model was introduced. Officers were told to get out of the cars and get to know shopkeepers and residents.
Proponents of community policing argue that the rapport established with friends and acquaintances will allow the officer to resolve a dispute in a quicker, more informal, and less dramatic ways then would be the case otherwise. However, a police officer dispatched to a dispute in which the officer knows one or more of the parties may have a difficult time being neutral and objective. It may be difficult for the officer to tell a citizen who happens to be a friendly acquaintance of the officer that he or she is wrong, or worse, that he or she is going to get a citation or is going to jail.
Using the Argosy University online library resources, find at least two articles on community policing. To read more about community policing refer to the title “Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)” in the Webliography. This is a premier federally funded research organization and think tank incorporated in 1977. Some of policing’s most significant empirical studies, such as the Kansas City preventive patrol experiment and the San Diego experiment on one- vs. two-officer squad cars, were sponsored by the PERF.
In a minimum of 250 words, post to the Discussion Area your response to the following:
- Is there a possibility of corruption when officers develop working or friendly relationships with members of the public as part of a community policing strategy? Why?
- Are officers likely to treat citizens impartially when they’ve interacted informally with them on a regular basis? Or is the pursuit of an impartial, “just the facts, ma’am” kind of relationship with the public a mistake on the part of policing?
- Do impartiality and barrier-of-police professionalism result in a lack of communication with the public, resulting in inefficient problem solving and effectiveness? On the other hand, are officers who have invested time and energy into building personal relationships with people better communicators and, therefore, more effective as police officers?
Be sure to support your positions by citing your research.