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Smart Policing: Addressing the Twenty-First Century Need for a New Paradigm in Policing

NCJ Number
Stephen Rickman; James Stewart; Erica Dimitrov
Date Published
11 pages
This research paper examines the need for a new strategy in policing practices in the United States called Smart Policing.
This research paper addresses the need for a new strategy to be used in today's policing practices as a result of recent fiscal and demographic changes that have occurred in American society. Current policing practices are based on Sir Robert Peele's nine policing principles that he developed in 1829. This paper discusses Peele's nine principles and how policing in the past 200 years has been based on these principles. Next, the authors posit that based on fiscal and demographic changes to society, a new paradigm is needed to improve current policing practices. This new paradigm, called Smart Policing, needs to incorporate not only aspects of current policing practices, but it also needs to recognize the changes that have occurred in the 21st century criminal environment, as well as the economic and social realities facing law enforcement and the existence of new crime-fighting tools driven by rapid technological changes. The paper examines the current strategies used in policing and discusses how Smart Policing can be used a problem-solving approach. Seven steps that law enforcement can use to develop new policing strategies are outlined in the paper. These steps are 1) bound the problem; 2) determine realistic expectations; 3) identify internal and external partners; 4) review evidence-based practices and promising innovations; 5) determine how data analysis, analytical tools, and new technology may be applied; 6) develop and implement a mitigation strategy; and 7) identify performance metrics, monitor progress in implementing the mitigation strategy and execute procedures for ongoing assessment of the impact.