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