Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management,Vol. 25 No. 4, 2002, pp. 709-725.
MCB UP Limited, 1363-951XDOI 10.1108/13639510210450640
Community policing:training, definitions and policyimplications
Department of Sociology, Geography and Anthropology, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia, USA
Police, Community relations, Training
This study surveyed 198 police officers of a single police department in Texasregarding their attitudes about the practice of community-oriented policing (COP) and itscharacteristics. Training on COP, rather than training duration, was found to affect officers’ attitudes toward accepting COP programs. Using Cordner’s four definitive dimensions of community policing (i.e. philosophical, strategic, tactical, and organizational) as a model, findingsindicate that officers have familiarized themselves with the tactical dimension the most, especiallythe police-citizen partnership and problem-solving elements, while giving lowest priority to theinformation element of the organizational dimension. Others including the broader police function, personal service, and positive interaction elements are also less emphasized. The studyreveals several problems the officers see as setbacks in implementing community policing and concludes that all of the COP characteristics must be looked at in the context of a whole systemrather than as separate individual elements.
Despitethe increasing popularity of community-oriented policing (COP)amonglaw enforcement agencies in the USA, one of the basic challenges lawenforcement officials have confronted is that of defining the term. A well-known definition of COP was given by Trojanowicz and Buequeroux (1990,p.5):
Community policing is a new philosophy of policing, which emphasizes the workingpartnershipbetween police officers and citizens in creativeways in orderto solve communityproblemsrelating to crime,fearof crime,andneighborhooddisorders.
Maybe it is the term ``philosophy’’ that makes COP remain many things tomany people. The term philosophy, among other things, is defined as the set of values of an individual or culture (Davies, 1979, p. 532) or as personal attitude(Morehead and Morehead, 1981, p. 397). Therefore, the attempts by many lawenforcement officials to define the term COP and develop its programs producea number of nonuniform programs, which vary in terms of both the name andthecontent ofthe programs.One of the remedies to bring all law enforcement officials to familiarizethemselves with COP is through training. Training and education is an
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This paper was presented at the 2000 annual meeting of the Southwestern Association of Criminal Justice (SWACJ) in El Paso, Texas. The author would like to thank the editor and thereferees for their helpful and constructive comments on the earlier draft of this article.