n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Evaluating the implementation of community policing globally : transitioning from community partnership to crime mapping and strategic deployment in the new millenium

Special Edition 3
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



In the 1980s, police administrators in the USA implemented community policing initiatives based on research conducted by Herman Goldstein and Robert Trojanowicz. Quickly becoming the buzz word of educated law enforcement executives, and aided by federal funding under the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program of the US Department of Justice, community policing became a recognized program in almost every local American police agency. Police commanders routinely boasted of their strong ties and cooperation with their communities. However, in the late 1990s, the success of the more proactive 'zero tolerance' philosophy and computerized crime analysis in some large municipalities drew attention away from community policing, as crime rates declined nationally. Law enforcement agency funding moved to enhanced technology and crime mapping. Ultimately the tragic events of 11 September 2001 brought an end to community policing as the predominant emphasis of law enforcement agency deployment in the United States. The contemporary need for counter-terrorism measures and the ready availability of federal grants to undertake these new responsibilities has brought community policing to the brink of extinction within the USA. While no police commander would openly note any decline in their police-community partnership, the reality is that these endeavors have dramatically declined, at a time when many constituents, particularly those from minority communities, allege police abuse and racial bias. However, community policing and the problem solving concept have brought increased vigor to law enforcement practices in other nations. Community policing programs implemented in South Africa, Israel and Europe will be examined in this article, but these evaluations appear to reflect the trend within the USA (specific reference in this article is made to the case of and implementation by the New York City Police Department (NYPD)). Widespread use of technology has superceded the 'personal touch' of community policing and actually has moved local law enforcement officials away from direct contact with the public that they serve.

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