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Community policing tactics

part 1
Detective work only originated in America in the twentieth century. Before this, private investigators were
responsible for criminal investigations. However, through policing reforms, criminal investigators were adopted
into the police departments. Over time, the perception of detectives’ status has evolved both in the eye of the
public and among their police counterparts. Detectives are viewed as more critical in crime deterrence by the
public and crucial to crime control within the policing profession.
During their inception into the policing profession, the public viewed detectives as low-status operators
responsible for bringing trouble and corruption to police departments. In the United States, detectives were
critically faulted in corruption syndicates and crimes (Braga, 2011). However, after Hoover’s administration in
the FBI, the status of detectives in public began to evolve. They were named incorruptible and proficient
(Braga, 2011). Detectives were now capable of conducting ad-hoc investigations and hold the offenders
accountable. This changed their status among the public, who viewed them as crucial to deterring crime as
they continued to make arrests.The New York Police Department has developed a Crime-Control model driven
by crime statistics. This model is commonly referred to as CompStat. Though the NYPD has touted the model
as a game-changer, public perception has been turned against it. Journalists and theorists have focused on
one or two elements of the model, thus creating misperception and false assumptions that this system’s use
will revert the NYPD to the brutal force period of the 1950s (Mesloh, 2002). However, in this article, Phyliss
Parshall McDonald focuses on eliminating the misperceptions and misconceptions about CompStat (Mesloh,
2011). He focuses on postulating the principles of the CompStat technology. According to McDonald, the
CompStat model guarantees that the NYPD states specific objectives, allowing the department to have a
focused aim (Mesloh, 2002). Therefore, for the NYPD to achieve these set objectives, it must have timely and
accurate intelligence, implement tactics, and effectively counter crime while focusing on the rapid deployment
of personnel and resources to counter crime (Mesloh, 2002). After all, this is done, the NYPD will, in turn, focus
on follow-up and assessment of the true status of crime in the community.
part two
Due to an increase in community policing tactics which focused on utilizing patrol resources to solve crime and
disorder problems and rarely included detectives, the public perception of investigators has been slowly
diminishing since the 1970’s. However, the emergence of made for TV crime dramas in the 2000’s has
renewed the public’s interest in detective work and shifted public perception of the position into a positive light.
Unfortunately, this shift has also created unreasonable expectations for detectives, as the much of the public
now believes it is possible to complete an entire investigation, including the arrest of the offender, within an
hour. The emergence of DNA as an evidentiary tool in solving crime has also been challenged by this lack of
understanding by the general public, as most people believe DNA analysis and results are instantaneous. We
have discussed at length different methods that have assisted police departments in their efforts to lower crime
and disorder, but have yet to look at how these methods, like community policing and Compstat, can help
police develop favorable judgement of their organization within the community. There is nothing more critical to
the operation of a police department than the perception by the public that their authority is perceived as
legitimate. After all, we exist as a government entity responsible for the well being and safety of the general
public. When legitimacy occurs, citizens are “more likely to obey the law, voluntarily comply with police officers’
requests rather than challenge them, assist the police by providing information that helps with identification,
arrest, and conviction of offenders, proactively participate in community crime prevention programs, and grant
broad discretion to police leaders to fight crime in ways they consider to be most effective (Willis, 2011).” Wills’
recommendations to enhance legitimacy through both community policing and Compstat are to include
systematic reporting of community problems, not just crime problems, at Compstat meetings, involve the
community in problem-solving efforts, and using Compstat and problem-solving data to strengthen perceptions
of non-bias in police decision making regarding implementation of solutions (Wills, 2011). In conclusion, the
more involved a community is in the police problem solving process, the more likely they will assist the police in
their overarching goal of crime reduction and crime prevention.