How Combining Policing Strategies Benefit Communities

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How do they work together to create a safer community for everyone involved?

When it comes to crime prevention, community-and problem-oriented policing are two complementary approaches to law enforcement with the common goal of making communities safer.

Community policing emphasizes building trust and cooperation between police and the community. This relationship-building can take many forms, such as community meetings, ride-along programs, and neighborhood patrols. The goal of community policing is to create an environment where police and the community can work together to identify and solve problems.

Problem-oriented policing builds on information from the community to focus on specific problems and concerns. POP uses a data-driven approach to understand the problem and develop targeted strategies to address the underlying causes.

While community policing and problem-oriented policing are two distinct approaches, when working together these two strategies can create a more effective and cohesive law enforcement effort that benefits both the police and the community. By combining the strategy and analysis used to determine problem areas and root causes through community and problem-oriented policing, agencies can create a plan for the best possible outcome.

What are the benefits of community policing and problem-oriented policing?

The benefits of community policing for law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve include improved communication and relationships between police and community members, increased transparency of police operations, and greater cooperation between police and community members to solve crime and disorder problems. 

Problem-oriented policing also has benefits for both law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. These benefits include a more systematic and comprehensive approach to addressing crime and disorder problems, improved information-sharing between police and community members, and more effective and efficient use of resources.

A combination of community policing and intelligence-led techniques caused a particularly significant change for the Fayetteville Police Department. With a history of high tensions between law enforcement and minority communities, Fayetteville PD was searching for methods that could produce concrete results in improving police-community relations. The IDEA Diagnostic Center played an important part in creating stronger ties between the two by evaluating quantitative and qualitative data to develop strategies for strengthening the relationship. Read the full case study here to get a better look at how the Diagnostic Center and Community Policing were able to make a difference in Fayetteville.

IDEA also partnered with Salisbury P.D. to develop a more systematic policing approach that was designed to prevent crimes before they occurred. Salisbury is positioned between multiple major cities and is located along a busy interstate, which makes it a hub for crime. IDEA supported the agency in the establishment of a crime analytics center, provided guidance on how to implement an action plan, and offered expertise on the right technology and storage for the department. The ultimate goal was to protect the Salisbury community from the big city crime that its location attracted.The result was a more problem-oriented strategy that pushed the agency to evolve in a positive way – addressing the root of the problem, not just the symptoms, for a safer environment in the city. 

A brief overview of benefits includes:

  • Community policing helps build trust between the police and the community, which is essential for effective problem-oriented policing
  • It can also provide valuable intelligence about potential problems and help identify possible solutions by engaging with residents regularly.
  • This method can help reduce fear and improve cooperation between the police and the public, which is essential for effective problem-oriented policing.
  • Finally, community policing helps build goodwill and support for the police by emphasizing their commitment to the community, which is essential for maintaining public safety.

There are many advantages to using community policing and problem-oriented policing approaches in combination to effectively prevent crime and improve community safety.  By building trust, providing intelligence, reducing fear, and improving cooperation between the police and the public, community policing helps make problem-oriented policing more effective, and in turn, helps make our communities safer places to live. 

How can law enforcement agencies implement community policing and problem-oriented policing?

Implementing these approaches can be accomplished through collaboration and focus. It’s also important to partner with experienced teams that can help your organization understand how to carry out the necessary steps to achieving your goal.

Opening channels of communication allows greater collaboration and ensures time, energy, and other resources are not wasted. If two internal departments are not coordinating effectively or the community is not aware of changes being made within their police department, confusion will likely ensue and create a barrier to implementing the method.

Focusing on the concrete steps and intelligence provided by data analysts is also integral to applying these strategies. Both community and problem-oriented policing can be introduced to a department without overextending its budget and resources – but keeping within a specific frame requires a set plan with actionable steps. This type of assistance can be provided by expert data analyst teams who simplify the process by translating hard data into intelligence.

IDEA Analytics provided this type of strategic partnership to the Albuquerque police department when a breakdown in community-police collaboration revealed that there was a need for tactical action to remedy the issue. IDEA delivered real solutions to the department for developing by-laws, engaging the public through communication strategies, and organizing the community so citizens had a greater say in public law enforcement affairs. To read more about how IDEA’s partnership with Albuquerque PD, click here

Closing Thoughts

Community policing and problem-oriented policing are two effective methods for reducing crime and improving relations between police and their communities. Collaboration, focus, and strategic partnerships are key to implementing these solutions effectively.

Introducing these methods into your policing practices has a wide range of benefits. Ensuring that your community and department can enjoy the full advantages of these methods requires a partnership with experienced professionals in the data science field. Schedule a call with our team of experts here for more information.