And quite simply dear friend, community policing has been around for a very long time but it has only been recently given the proper name. For way back when we had Sheriffs in small towns of horses and carriage, the Sheriff and his deputies were doing community policing by going from one ranch to another , and one business to another to interact with the people who were at such places and establishing a relationship with them.
And in this day and age, community policing is still viewed in the same way. As it is about interacting with the public at large so they can get to know all they can, about what takes place and who is coming and going, as well as who are their trouble makers. And so today, I will share with you what is expected of the police and what you can do as a community member in dealing with them so that they can help you by better protecting and serving you. And exactly what makes a community?. A community is simply a group of people who have and share the same common interest, who are living in the same area. Be it a large apartment complex, an enclosed community of homeowners, or it could even be anyone who comes into contact with the police within their “ Beat Zone “.
In community policing, the police officer or peace officer is looked at as the whole of the police department, in other words as the one, and only representative of their respective department. And whenever the police officer starts to speak, he or she is being looked at as the entire police department in what that person says or does. And you as the public will look at and critique every word, every movement and every step that police officer takes. And you will even judge the police department by the very appearance of the police officer.
The police officer is expected to listen and to be in tune with the community that he or she is assigned to protect and serve. And so his or her body language and the ways people are treated are big determining factors in establishing trust and respect, so in this regard each person who interacts with the officer must be treated with respect and dignity. As well, the officer has a dual job in that, he or she must look at things from the police department's perspective and from the community's as well. And in doing this dual task, the police must control their actions and ensure that they administer the law within it's guideline and while at the same time be able to follow their departmental policies and procedures.
And once again, the entire police department is being represented at all times by the police officer. So he or she must ensure that all actions: body language, speech, anger, enthusiasm, facial expressions, mannerism, equipment used etc., are all in steps with what the police department believes. And in this regard, the community does expect the police to listen to their concern, to be respectful to every member of that community, and they also expect the police to keep their word, as well as to be kept informed of progress being made in the illegal activities that the community has reported..
Also in community policing, the police officer must have good ethics and professionalism and effectively use interpersonal communication as well. And the police is expected to properly handle aggressive behaviors by perpetrators of crimes, and also handle in a calm manner the response to abusive language and prejudices among other things. All because again, the entire police department is on stage and being recorded at all times.
And so in closing, the community police officer is expected to stop and question people, to stand around and socialize, respond to 911 calls, to do presentations during community meetings, to chase down all leads, as well as be the hero who rescues the cat from the tree or help change the tire on the elderly ' s vehicle. So as you can see it is a very encompassing task, and you as part of the make up of the community is expected to cooperate with the police, provide information on illegal activities, allow the police to do their job, and give respect to the officer as he or she is protecting and serving you. By James Dazouloute
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