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To combat crime at the local level and protect the community's residents, community security is essential. (Dempsey & Forst, 2013). In order to effectively implement the community policing strategy, it is important for the police and community members to work together and build positive relationships. Therefore, by working together with the community and the police to solve and combat crime, community policing offers an efficient way to promote public safety and the standard of life. However, a dearth of community support for the police can result in ineffective crime-fighting strategies. Moreover, it can lead to the "Ferguson effect" in which the police can back off from their policing responsibilities due to the fear of their actions being questioned and even held accountable. However, establishing good relations between the police and the community is essential for successful community policing.
The police can explore various ways to build good relations with the community members. The engagement of the police in developing relations with the community members is essential for improving trust and gaining acceptance into the community. Good relationships with the community can be backed up by the behaviors of the police and being involved directly in activities that can help improve trust from the public. One example of forging good relationships with the community members entails development and implementation of policies to increase departmental transparency. When the public realizes that the police follow procedures at all times and are held accountable when they break the law, they gain trust in the police and forge good relations. Secondly, engaging in community outreach programs can help improve connections and relations with the community. Community outreach programs increase the interactions between the police and the community members and also give them the opportunity to understand each other. For instance, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program developed by the US government has improved police involvement in educating the community members on the dangers of abuse of illegal drugs and promoted good relations in many communities ((Dempsey & Forst, 2013).
On the other hand, no good relations can be developed between the police and the community without the acceptance from the community members. Accepting the police in the community improves their morale in associating with the members as well as fighting crime. The community can forge good relations through getting involved in policing and working together with the police (Kappeler & Gaines, 2012). The first example involves volunteering and maintaining an active roster in policing duties by the community members. The volunteers must spare time and attend all the meetings for favorable relations. Secondly, the community members should engage in constant communication and follow-up on policing issues as well as establish neighborhood meetings involving the police officers. Constant interactions will ensure the development of a friendly environment for engaging with the police and improve relations.
Additionally, various resources are essential for improving the community and police relationships to ensure effective community policing. The first resource involves the development of the police hotline and call center to encourage reports of crimes from the community members and increase response mechanisms. Secondly, the police departments should be well equipped with patrol equipment to enhance response and patrol activities for safer communities (Kappeler & Gaines, 2012). Lastly, the government should provide finances to build training centers in which the police can use to meet the community members as well as provide community awareness programs on crime-related issues such as drugs and drug abuse, crime and the need for community policing.
Dempsey, J. S., & Forst, L. S. (2013). An introduction to policing. Boston: Cengage Learning.
Kappeler, V. E., & Gaines, L. K. (2012). Community policing: A contemporary perspective. London: Routledge.
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