U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Community Policing and Organization Change (From Community Policing: Can it Work, P 30-53, 2004, Wesley G. Skogan, ed. -- See NCJ-201829)

NCJ Number
Jack R. Greene
Date Published
24 pages
This chapter discusses how law enforcement has changed with the advent of community and problem-oriented policing.
Many if not most police agencies have publicly embraced the broad tenets of community policing. It is hard not to embrace these concepts because they have political capital and have been key to increasing local access to Federal funding. But they remain broad philosophic statements; and a wide array of techniques, orientations, programs, and individual efforts loosely tied to this philosophy. The institutional premise of policing has not shifted as dramatically as expected by advocates. The police still cling to the institutional definition of crime control and not prevention. Part of the problem is associated with mixed messages they receive from the public. The community wants decisive and forceful police action and limited involvement in public safety affairs. It is not clear that the police can or desire to broaden their organizational set. The relations they have with other agencies are typically characterized as episodic. It is also unclear what capacities or willingness resides in other agencies to actually work with the police. The police have modestly incorporated communities and others into discussions about public safety, if not into actual policy and decisionmaking. The police collect considerable information from the community; how that information shapes decisionmaking is not clear. It appears that police organizations, such as their structures and division of labor, have not been significantly altered with community and problem-oriented policing. 75 citations