Title: Community Policing and the Police Officer

Citation: Meese, Edwin III. (1993). Department of Justice, Washington, D. C. National Inst. of Justice.; Harvard University., Cambridge, Mass. Kennedy School of Government.

Keywords: Police Community Relationship, Police Education, Innovations in Policing

The author describes the philosophy of community policing as a term that includes problem-solving techniques, strategic use of resources, and increasingly sophisticated investigative capabilities. The success of new policing strategies depends on the ability to recruit, develop, and field a group of officers who understand their roles in peacekeeping, community service, and crime fighting. The author suggests that a more fundamental than necessary change in skills is the change in the basic position of the police officer. The military system has been called into question as a proper model for the new vision of police professionalism. The author proposes a way to improve the quality of professionalism is to change the titles and rank structure. There is also a need to change the management structure, since community policing envisions the empowerment of officers. Police departments must select innovative, self-disciplined, and self-motivated individuals. A college education appears to be necessary or at least desirable. Training concepts must reflect community policing throughout recruiting and the training program. Altering the supervisory style to reflect the values and techniques of community policing is of critical importance. Other important points of the community policing officer’s success and personal satisfaction are field support, relationships with the police department, and effective systems for monitoring, evaluating, and when necessary, disciplining.