With a better understanding of neighborhood problems, utilization of special preventative techniques can reduce future opportunities for criminal activity.Police programs designed specifically to reduce gun carrying in “hot spots” of violent crime, for instance, have been effective in reducing violence in those locations.Empirical research studies conducted during the 1960s and 1970s demonstrated that the preferred police patrol and investigative tactics of the time had little impact on crime prevention or on arrest rates. Finally, tensions between police and minority communities—often the result of unfair or heavy-handed practices on the part of police—escalated to the point of rioting in several major U. Building on the results of foot patrol experiments, for example, analysts criticized the remoteness of police officers and suggested that citizens desired more intimate contacts with police.
In addition, they were critical of the reactive nature of police work, arguing that police can control crime through more proactive, problem-solving techniques.
Although community policing is difficult to define, most agree that the strategy involves a combination of enhanced partnerships between police and citizens as well as a more proactive approach to solving community problems.
They attempted to accomplish this goal by shifting the police strategy from one that addressed a broad array of community issues to one that focused on “law enforcement”—especially the enforcement of serious felonies.
Police agencies essentially removed officers from neighborhood beats and instead organized around centralized dispatch systems, whereby officers could respond quickly to calls for service.
Another popular technique calls for officers to pay more attention to minor offenses, such as prostitution and public alcohol and drug use.
The idea behind this tactic suggests that a linkage between minor disorders and serious felonies exists.
Strategic policing refers to proactive measures that police take to prevent crime, control disorder, improve citizens’ quality of life, and resolve community problems. police departments in the second half of the 19th century, and officers served largely at the discretion of ward politicians.
To achieve these goals, the police employ tactics within a general, community-oriented strategy commonly known as “community policing.” While community policing is the dominant paradigm of policing, police strategies have evolved since the origin of modern police departments in the United States. Officers then provided a variety of community services to the public and generally had an intimate knowledge of the beats they patrolled.
More innovative methods draw upon the resources of the community or other government agencies.
It is not unusual, for example, for police to partner with prosecutors to enhance civil penalties for violators or to work with environmental engineers and architects to “design out” opportunities for crime in public places.