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Community and problem solving

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    Introduction

    Communities in each and every part of the world find themselves faced by numerous problems and challenges ranging from environmental, political, economical and security problems. It is always important for each community to establish the problems it is facing and come up with objectives. The community should also as much as possible try to include each and every stakeholder while tackling a certain problem. This greatly minimizes conflicts of interest as every member of the society feels that he or she is a party to solving such problems. Each community should as much as possible try to adopt the best strategy in tackling each problem. While dealing with problem solving at community level in the modern world which is filled with so many differences, it is always wise to look for a common ground without fearing a disagreement. This will ensure that problems are solved both effectively and democratically (Braga, 2001).  

    Community policing and federal government integration

    A major tool that is being used in several countries in solving community problems, especially those related to crime and security issues is the community policing. It has proved to be very effective in curbing crime and restoring law and order. Community policing basically, is a mode of policing where the police work together with the society in their role of maintaining of law and order. Community policing recognizes the shared responsibility between the police force and the community and also the independence of the police force. It is aimed at ensuring a secure and safe environment for every member of the society. Through this mode of policing an equal and active partnership is established and developed between the police and the community. It has proved to be very efficient and effective in addressing public safety and crime, since it provides a forum in which the safety issues of the society are discussed jointly and solutions to the problems identified and implemented (Farlex, 2009).

    While employing the community oriented policing, the police power usually extends to cover all aspects of a community that is the police influence covers all aspects in a community. Under this policing strategy, the police officers are regarded as being an extension of the larger community. Community oriented policing aims at restoring informal controls that could encourage individuals to police themselves. This form of policing also aims at ensuring that people in the society become disciplined by following the morals and virtues held important to the community. Community oriented approach have been termed as an effective method especially due to the fact that it unites the society and the police. Under this policing approach, the police and the citizens in a community work as a team which may help in ensuring civilization in a community and also in guaranteeing the company with safety. Community policing helps in ensuring that the gap between the police and the communities is breached. This is major advantage of this policing approach (Farlex, 2009).

                 Another major advantage of this approach is that it helps in creation of bonds between the society and the police. These bonds are usually based on trust which is an important tool of fighting crime. Under the traditional policing approaches, there was no connection between the police and the communities which made it difficult for the police to solicit information concerning crime. By making police part of the community, the police are in a position to carry out their duties effectively of providing securities. Also, the society is more cooperative in fighting crime thus this approach helps in reducing criminal activities while at the same time deterring criminal activities in the society. In societies where community policing is practiced, people are usually afraid to commit crimes since they know they might be caught easily since the police work together with the individuals in a society. This acts as an effective tool for crime deterrence and reduction (Farlex, 2009).

                            Apart from being concerned with fighting crime, police officers are also involved in improving the quality of live for the communities in which they work with. Police officers are in a position to obtain funds from major business people and government departments to aid the communities where they are situated. Employing a community oriented policing approach would thus help in ensuring that the economic status of the society and especially the youths is improved. This approach also enables the officers to know of any resources which could be vital for the growth of a community and also in discovering other resources which could enhance the living standards of a community (Farlex, 2009).

    In the past policing have been very traditional, repressive, reactive and mainly focused on the priorities of the federal authorities and their priorities. But in the wake of rising cases of crime it has become more important for the federal authorities to involve the communities for them to be able to achieve their goals. This has led to a shift, where the law enforcement agencies can now involve establishment of external partnerships, involvement of citizens, organization transformation and problem solving. The adoption of federal agencies to work with the communities has served as a very solid foundation in the achievement of their major objectives which are the maintenance of law and order. For community policing to be effective it should also include interagency and intergovernmental collaborations with the federal agencies and the state. These co-operations play a vital role in the collection and intelligence exchange, identification of vulnerabilities and threats and also aids in mobilization and resource sharing when need arises (Philippaerts,  & Phahlane, 1997).

    Problem solving policing

    Problem solving policing approach involves the identification of certain crimes and other problem disorders which help the police to formulate responsive strategies. Unlike in community policing, this approach emphasizes more on research and analysis with an aim of preventing crime. This approach involves both the private and public organization in solving community problems which makes it’s to be confused with the community oriented approach. While analyzing crime happenings, this approach analysis all the incidents which have been re occurred in a community and also looks for any similarities between such occurrences which may be of any concern to both the police force and the communities. Unlike in traditional policing approaches whereby similar incidences were treated individually, the problem oriented policing aims at identifying the root cause of such incidences thus helping in rooting out criminal activities in a community. This is one of the major advantages of this approach of policing. Also, this approach works together with the affected communities in trying to identify the problems and in formulating solutions. As such, this approach is efficient in not only ensuring that criminals are convicted but also in ensuring that possibilities of the crime being repeated are eliminated. This policing approach is efficient in rooting out crime in a community (Braga, 2001).

    Problem oriented policing usually involves the police and the communities in identifying and formulation of alternatives to fight particular recurrent crimes in a community. This helps in fostering cooperation and trust between the police and the society which is vital in fighting crime (Goldstein, n. d).

    Conclusion

    Despite their differences, the community oriented policing, problem solving policing and federal government’s integration into community policing approaches are similar in that they aim at reducing crime through the cooperation with the communities. Their only difference is that their influence on the communities differ and also the intensity of interaction between the police and the communities.  Though community based policing seems to be advantageous and ideal, it is more costly and highly complicated than the problem oriented policing approach. The latter is more practical and achievable than the other two and thus more applicable.

    Reference:

    Braga, A. A. et al (2001): Problem-Oriented Policing, Deterrence, And Youth Violence: An Evaluation Of Boston’s Operation Ceasefire. Retrieved on 14th April 2009 from,

    Farlex, Inc. (2009): Community-oriented policing: a blend of strategies. Retrieved on 14th April 2009 from,

    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Community-oriented+policing:+a+blend+of+strategies-a015139856.

    Goldstein, H. (n. d): Improving Policing: A Problem-Oriented Approach. Retrieved on 14th April 2009 from,

    http://cad.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/25/2/236?ck=nck

    Philippaerts, J. & Phahlane, J. (1997): Implementing Community Policing in the Belgian Federal Police and in the South African Police Service. Retrieved on 14th April from,

    http://www.cpsb.com/research/communique/creative-problem-solving-business/implementing-community-policing.pdf.

     

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