Protecting Police & Engaging Citizens Term Paper

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[. . .] These names should not be construed as flippant or in any way diminishing the significance of strategies to keep policemen safe in the community.

Friendly cop, aloof cop. One out of every pair or every group of officers on duty must maintain a high level of alertness and must resist casual engagement by community members and distractions of any kind that would diminish his or her acute watchful state. It simply is not possible to alert fellow officers to potential harm or to protect them in an escalating situation while completing paperwork or stirring half-and-half into a Venti.

Bond, James Bond. Officers should assume, like every 007 worth his salt, that the environment they are presently in can quickly sour, or the next environment they enter will be set with dangerous traps of all kinds. The article on the Hemet police (Watkins, 2010), reported that someone "attempted to booby trap" an officer's unmarked car while he was inside a convenience store. Bond would know that his vehicle would draw an attempt on his life. He wouldn't get into the car without checking it over. It's doubtful that he would have left the car unattended. But even if he had, he would not assume that the setting was innocuous. Perhaps a police officer's regular issue can include mirrors on telescoping sticks to check out the undercarriage of their cars.

Roy and Dale and Trigger. In all good Westerns, somebody waits behind the rock or by the corner of the saloon or at the watering trough. Surveillance by a sidekick saved many a sheriff from being blindsided. Both the Helmet gang attacks (Watkins) and the Monfort Seattle (McNerthney, 2009) attacks point to an increased need for improved watch over police property that is vulnerable to attack or tampering. Jurisdictions are now asked to provide supervision and protection to schools and events and malls. The demand on police time is great while available resources are decreasing due to budget cuts. Perhaps campaigns to increase public awareness of the issue would help maintain a higher level of vigilance in the community. Airport security has taken this tack by encouraging travelers to keep an eye on the next guy, and report anything suspicious.

The Inherent Tension of Community Policing

There is an inherent tension between a retreat from the tenets of community policing and policing strategies intended to keep a safety buffer between the police and the community they serve and protect. The research includes work from authors who believe that a shift toward policing that could be characterized by paramilitarism occurred prior to September 11 (McCulloch, 2001a, Weber, 1999, p.2). Describing how community policing works in the Australian environment, McCulloch (2001b, p. 4) referred to an "iron fist" covered by a "velvet glove." Murray (2005) presented a comparison between the transitions that have occurred with regard to traditional policing and community policing. His work also includes a comparison of the cultures of both approaches to policing. Murray's conclusion is that the two orientations to policing are not incompatible; he proposes a hybrid model of policing that would enable both approaches to coexist.

Murray suggests that community policing continues to be the best way to prevent crime and to prevent acts of terrorism. He bases this conclusion on the enhanced capacity of a community to effectively communicate concerns and observations when there is a basic level of trust between citizens and the police in the community. The issue is that it is increasingly difficult to distinguish those with malevolent intent from those who must be protected from malevolence. When community members see themselves as partners in the efforts of the police to keep them safe in their own communities, the efficacy of community policing is both possible and enhanced.

The pressure on a police force that currently operates in a community policing mode to transition back to a traditional policing model is substantive. This pressure comes from the citizens -- who desire to see evidence that the country is taking effective steps to fight the war on terror, and from politicians for whom crime fighting and homeland security issues are "election sensitive." Paramilitary approaches to national security can readily be seen in other countries, as discussed, and it may be difficult for the [END OF PREVIEW]

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Protecting Police & Engaging Citizens.  (2011, March 15).  Retrieved February 22, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/protecting-police-engaging-citizens/3859542

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"Protecting Police & Engaging Citizens."  15 March 2011.  Web.  22 February 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/protecting-police-engaging-citizens/3859542>.

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"Protecting Police & Engaging Citizens."  Essaytown.com.  March 15, 2011.  Accessed February 22, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/protecting-police-engaging-citizens/3859542.