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Evolution of Community Policing

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I need help on writing a critical essay on the evolution of community policing and how it may assist in crime detection or protection.

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Focus on those who believe community policing does assist in crime detection or protection and those who believe it does not. I have included articles from people who oppose community policing. Being that the professor wants a critical essay from you, you have to assess both positions on this subject matter and develop your own objective opinion and the reasons for it. I have included in my response general guidelines on how to write a critical essay. If you need my help in editing your essay, that is a separate request as that is posted in a totally separate section of Brainmass. Good luck in your essay and thank you again for requesting me.

I. In order to help you submit a critique of community policing, let me summarize below what a critical essay is versus the informational essay you most probably submitted to your professor.

Writing a critical essay pertains to your objection opinion regarding a subject matter, in this case, community policing. You do not share your personal or subjective opinion.
You will have to objectively evaluate the data or information regarding community policing and decide how you feel about it objectively, whether you agree with those who support it or those who are critiquing it, or you have an independent opinion about the matter.
Develop an outline listing all the main points from supporters of community policing. State your sources where you got these main points.
Develop an outline listing all the main points from critics of community policing. State your sources where you got these main points.
State your opinion or viewpoint as to whether you agree with the supporters, the opponents, or an independent opinion encompassing both aspects of the issue.
State why you hold that opinion or viewpoint. You can rely on the data to support your reasons for support or opposing community policing.

Note: What the professor wants is for the students to critically review the objective facts at hand, develop their own opinions, and defend why they have that opinion based on the facts/data at hand (objective reasons).

For more information regarding writing a critical essay see: http://personal.ecu.edu/tedescol/responsetips.htm

For an example of a critical essay see:


II. Statistics on the success of community policing involved the relationship of the police departments with the community and improvements in the problem solving skills of police officers regarding the root causes of the social problems that cause criminal activity. The impact of community policing on decreasing crime was not as significant.

Below are some notes and sections from an article laying out the opinions of those who support and oppose community policing:

A. Professor of Criminal Justice, Jack R. Green, who is also the Dean of College of Criminal Justice at Northeastern University writes about community policing in this comprehensive article found in this website:


In this article, Professor Green points out that the critics of community policing view community policing as being more rhetorical than real (citing Manning 1988; Weatheritt 1988) or "whose purpose is to conceal, mystify, and legitimate police distribution of nonnegotiable coercive force." (Citing Klockars 1988, 240.)

B. The Cliff Notes on community policing describe what the critics have to say:

Community policing does not prevent crime
Critics of community policing attack this approach to crime-fighting from different angles.
1. No one knows what community policing is, according to criminal justice professor Carl Klockars. Even though a majority of police departments in America claim to be doing community policing, the differences between the actual operations may be significant. Community policing as it is organized in New York is different from its practice in Chicago, Washington, and Philadelphia. The lack of precision in defining community policing makes it impossible to say with any certainty that community policing is causing crime rates to decrease.
2. The evidence from particular communities used to demonstrate that community policing reduces crime is suspect. By appealing to anecdotal evidence to support the claim that community policing reduces crime, proponents make a hasty generalization on the basis of a very few and possibly unrepresentative cases.
3. The correlation between falling crime rates and the establishment of community policing may be coincidental. The fact is that over the past few years crime has been declining and has done so in communities where there is no community policing.
4. Police brutality can be an unintended outgrowth of aggressive policing. There is a thin line between law enforcement that is aptly forceful and law enforcement that is unduly brutal or abusive. The New York police stepped over the line in the 1997 sodomizing torture of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima in a Brooklyn station house and in the 1999 killing of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed African immigrant, in a fusillade of police fire in the Bronx. Underlying this problem is the recurring tension between public safety and civil liberties. If the police become more aggressive, the streets may become safer, but innocent people's rights may be compromised as a result.

See CliffsNotes.com. Does Community Policing Prevent Crime?. 28 Oct 2010

C. Below is a section from an article about community policing. All the arguments supporting community policing is laid out in response to the various arguments by David Bayley who opposes community policing. In addition to the arguments opposing community policing above, this article can also be the resource you need to describe the arguments supporting and opposing community policing in your critical essay. Rather than reporting on the arguments, I went ahead and quoted it verbatim. However, I highlighted in yellow, to assist you as you read this section, all of Bayley's opposing arguments. This article can be found at http://www.cj.msu.edu/~people/cp/cpphil.html.
Eleven myths continue to cloud community policing's true role:
Community policing is not a technique--Police ...

Solution Summary

This is a 24,750 (approximately 10 pages) document designed to assist a student write a critical essay on community policing and how it has assisted in crime detection and protection. The solution starts out with a description of how to write a critical essay to assist the student on this method of essay writing. The rest of the document uses several resources to describe the evolution of community policing.

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Evolution of Policing - Political, Reform, and Community Eras

The evolution of policing in the U.S. is divided into three eras—political, reform, and community. Though clear-cut boundaries do not exist between these eras, they are distinct from one another in terms of the noticeable prevalence of particular policies, strategies, and concepts that were more dominant, widespread, and better understood during a particular period of time. The period from 1840 to 1930 in the history of policing in the U.S. is referred to as the political era. During this era, the police had close ties with the political groups of that time. The period from 1930 to 1980 in the history of policing in the U.S. is referred to as the Reform Era. During this era, the emphasis was on separating policing from politics, and introducing major changes in the organization and function of the police. A more impartial method of law enforcement came into being, and there were major modifications in the relations between the police and the citizens. The period from 1980 to present in the history of policing in the U.S. is referred to as the community era. During this era, consistent efforts have been made to restore a close relationship between the police and the community.

Based on the information above, discuss and analyze the Reform Era and the Political Era and their impact on the community:

- Why did the police mandate change from one era to another?
- What were the patrol tactics in each of the three eras?
- How far do you think were they effective? Can you state a reason?
- What were the roles played by the community and community relations in each of the three eras?
- Policing has always been information-intensive, and community policing is even more so, particularly in its focus on problem-solving. The new information-based technologies help to free up personnel resources. These technologies include police callboxes, hidden cameras, and usage of e-mails, mobile phones, and fax machines. Field officers use these technologies to get information, which is used for problem solving, as the officers can perform a variety of tasks more quickly and easily. Finally, new information technologies open additional ways of communicating with the public. Clearly, community policing and the new technologies are natural allies.

- Explain how community policing and the new technologies are natural allies? Cite an example to substantiate your response?
What has been the role of technology in fostering community policing?

- Analyze and illustrate in what ways the development of technology has created social distance between the police and the public? Describe how has the advent of technology increased civil liability?

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