Essay: Community Orientated Policing Services

Pages: 5 (1496 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] (Dedel, 2007, p.17) The authorities can stop anyone where probable cause exists, mainly those who are acting suspiciously, and conduct a legal search for weapons. Roadblocks and checkpoints are also a good way for the police to stop vehicles and search for illegal weapons. By cooperating with probation agencies, the police can target specific people who have, in the past, assisted gangs in obtaining weapons. And by cooperating with parents of at-risk youths police can often obtain permission to enter and search their homes in exchange for a promise not to prosecute the parents or the youth if a guns is found.

In addition to reducing the availability of weapons, the police can also take a more proactive view toward understanding the dynamics of gang relations. Most gang-related drive-by shootings are the result of gang rivalries, disputes over territory, or personal insults that have escalated through a series of confrontations. Specialized units within police departments can gain information on specific rivalries, problems, or confrontations that could lead to drive-by shootings or other types of violence. By sharing this information with those directly affected, police can identify and intervene before violence erupts. And if there has already been violence, police can cooperate with local hospitals to identify potential victims of gang-related violence that could spark further retaliation.

Since vehicles are essential for a drive-by shooting, using probation or parole restrictions can keep those most likely to commit criminal acts from riding in cars together. Violations of these restrictions can allow the police to arrest potential drive-by shooters. But one of the most effective means by which police can deter drive-by shootings is by the redirection of traffic. Closing streets and creating one-way streets can control traffic and reduce the ability of gang members from entering the territory of rival gangs.

When a drive-by shooting does occur, the police can have specialized response teams which can save physical evidence and isolate and interview witnesses. Since witnesses are often reluctant to testify to what they saw, the police can create witness incentive programs which can minimize their risks, strengthen ties with the community, offer financial support and possible relocation. (Dedel, 2007, p.20) Finally the police can implement what is referred to as the "pulling levers" system of deterrence. In such cases targeted gang members are grouped together and forced into a system of collective responsibility. In any one member of the target group is involved in gun violence, all members of the group suffer intensified supervision by the police.

Finally, research has identified several responses by the police which may not be directly effective at limiting drive-by shootings, but still can affect the overall rate of criminal activity. This includes a comprehensive strategy to target illegal gun traffickers, the implementation of gun buyback programs, the teaching of conflict resolution skills, the restricting of entry into high-risk neighborhoods, and the impounding of cars that are not properly registered. (Dedel, 2007, pp.23-25) While not addressing the problem of drive-by shootings directly, these secondary strategies can be an effective means of both reducing crime and increasing the public's safety.

Drive-by shootings are a plague on the urban areas of the nation but they are not a problem that cannot be solved. While there are a number of reasons for such activities, the police have a number of strategies at their disposal to reduce both the number of drive-by shootings and the number of potential victims. The Community Oriented Policing Service (COPS) system can offer local police the outline by which they can create a locally specific strategy for dealing with drive-by shootings. And while the police can perform specific activities that can interfere and intervene in potential acts of violence, it is when the police act in cooperation with the local community that the most effective strategies can be implemented. Drive-by shootings rarely occur in isolation but are usually the culmination of a number of escalating incidents. By understanding the dynamics of gang relations and the potential for individual incidents to escalate, police can, in conjunction with the local community, take specific actions to reduce the possibility of drive-by shootings. And if such an incident does take place, the police can also use the COPS system to act quickly to gather evidence, interview witnesses, and possibly make arrests.

References

Dedel, Kelly. (2007). "Drive-By Shootings: Problem-Oriented Guides for Police

Problem-Specific Guides Series No.47." U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Retrieved from http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/Publications/e02072864.pdf [END OF PREVIEW]

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Community Orientated Policing Services.  (2014, May 8).  Retrieved March 23, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/community-orientated-policing-services/9630242

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"Community Orientated Policing Services."  Essaytown.com.  May 8, 2014.  Accessed March 23, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/community-orientated-policing-services/9630242.