The 1990s saw major changes in the philosophy of policing. No longer were we going to be “putting out the fires” of a neighborhood; we were going to “prevent the fires from starting” through relatively new concepts surrounding “Community Policing.” Our new directives, supporting these groundbreaking strategies were to “get out of the squad” and patrol neighborhoods in a more personal manner. Getting to know residents and their needs and working with them to solve their problems has become the new mantra of policing since.
Recently, it would appear, there has been some “push back” on this strategy. Over-policing, over-patrolling and over-reaching, has been the cry of some neighborhood residents due to the last 25 years of proactive policing efforts. It is no wonder that policing has become a contentious and sometimes confusing profession.
In 1829, Sir Robert Peel stated as one of his nine Principles of Law Enforcement, that “the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder…” which has helped us define what the ultimate goal is for police agencies. He also stated that we need to public’s approval of our actions, tactics and behavior. The confusion lies in which methods of policing the communities we serve wishes us to employ, which problems we’re supposed to solve, and which ones we are supposed to ignore.
Please view the following videos and discuss the questions as provided.
Video: Former Dallas Police Chief David Brown (1:19
Video: Has Policing in America Gone too Far? (8:53)
Discuss the following in detail:
Given the steady drop in the crime rate over the last few decades, one could argue that we have found a method of suppressing crime in this country. Should that be the primary goal for policing, regardless of the societal impact?
Which methods of policing or police strategies will be implemented in the future which could accomplish multiple goals, to include suppressing crime and satisfying the needs of all community members?
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