Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, John F. Kennedy School of Government
This paper does not attempt to define community policing. Rather, it develops practical criteria which would allow one to walk into a city and say, "Yes, they are going in the direction in which good policing seems to be going." Those to whom such an assessment is important might include a newly-elected mayor, a newly-appointed city manager, a newspaper or television journalist who has moved to a new city, and, perhaps most important, a citizen distressed by the current level of police responsiveness. The name "community policing" was widely used in the late sixties and early seventies. In the minds of some, it carries the baggage of that period along with disappointments with the strategy as it was then practiced. Some are uncomfortable with the term, yet its use continues, apparently because it is based on values that people care about. Those values are captured in responses to the question, "What is the business of policing? What is policing about?" Community policing's answer is that the job of policing is to promote an interactive process through which the community and the police jointly address and solve problems.
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