Call Today or Enroll Online!

Are Our Police Agencies Making Wise Choices with Their Funding?

Posted By CSI Academy of Florida || 20-Dec-2016

With recent events causing tensions to grow between officers and the communities they serve, police agencies and officers are under tough scrutiny and surveillance. As more and more people are asking for solutions to resolve tensions, many feel as if police are not investing their resources into constructive training and would rather invest in new cars and things.

By the 1990s, community policing was widely accepted in law enforcement. From 1997 to 2000, the number of police departments using dedicated community policing officers increased from 34% to 66%. However, with the turn of the century, many departments began to shift towards militarization practices. With tactics like stop-and-frisk and “broken windows” policing, police used aggressive procedures to fight low-level crimes. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, federal funds that were used for community policing were redirected to counterterrorism efforts.

But is the shift from community policing to stricter, more aggressive policing more effective?

Scott Nadeau, police chief of Columbia Heights, Minnesota and supporter of community policing, took control of his police department in 2008. There, he pushed the focus towards community approach. With his community policing transition, his department hit a 25-year low crime rate and won an International award for community policing.

Under the new department requirements, officers had to complete 10 hours of community policing activities per year. These activities included CPR training, answering immigrant questions during special classes, participating in schools and with youth, and more. Not only did overall crime hit a 25-year low, but juvenile arrests dropped by more than 50%.

Mike Scott, director and founder of the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, advises against strict policing, claiming that aggressive and forceful tactics only create distrust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. For the public to successfully trust law enforcement, agencies should be urged to invest in community policing and proper training, such as de-escalation practices. It might be a natural reaction for police agencies to want to invest in instruments and tools during times of high tension, but by investing elsewhere, law enforcement will be able to see real benefits.

For more information about law enforcement programming and training, contact CSI Academy of Florida today.