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Community Intervention in Criminology Lecture Notes from February 3rd and 5th

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Kate Fletcher

February 3 , 2014 Section #2: Co-Producing Safety? Police as a Tool for the Community • Community policing: police officers working in conjunction with the community to deal with crime as a social problem • Is what we are doing in the name of community policing actually community policing? • According to one author we are doing broken windows theory policing and calling in CP • The idea of community has been commodified • In urban environments in which community has been commodified, broken windows policing makes sense for contemporary and police culture • Are we really co-producing safety? The Police Era • Officers  uneducated, underpaid member of community  corruption • Officers were members of the community in which they were working • The idea that these individuals were more prone to corruption • Sense was that if you knew everyone in the community you might be more open to looking the other way, accepting bribes, etc. • Order maintenance style: maintain order in the neighborhood is the ultimate goal • Minor violations can be overlooked or ignored depending on whether their enforcement will make a change. • Officers have a large amount of discretion • Going to have to use wisdom and knowledge of the community to make decisions. Discretionary power that will intentionally leave you open to corruption • True community policing is the policing that will have a significant emphasis on discretion and order maintenance • Pre- 1920s • “Watchmen style” The Reform Era • Professional model  police as crime fighters • J. Edgar Hoover: one of the founders of the FBI. Little crazy. Policing did not represent a profession and people’s perceptions of police officers were usually negative ones. Started to initiate emphasis on professionalizing this job and changing the perception of police by the public. Criminals seen as out-law heroes • Out-law heroes: Al Capone, John Dillinger, Bonnie & Clyde. • Public enemy era. • Police need to now be conceptualized as crime fighters • Give this job and a make-over and make it a profession • View officers as people who protect the law • Militaristic, hierarchal organization: militaristic with layers. Bureaucratic organization. Front line officers capacity to make choices is limited because they have layers of people making decisions from them • Insulated from corruption: putting officers in cars. Removing them from knowing everyone in their neighborhood. Literal and metaphorical barrier against corruption. • Crime prevention through reaction: reacting to crime will allow us to prevent future crime. Crime is not solved through reacting quickly. It is usually confessions, tips, etc. • Law enforcement model • Reminisce of this is what prevent us from really doing community policing • This idea continues to this day • “Legalistic style” Professional Model • Narrow job description  negative police personality • Less as watchmen and more as crime fighters: job description narrows. Focus is on enforcing the codified law • Not taking the time to get to know their community • Stereotypes then give another negative view of police by the community • Removal from the community, merely enforcing the law • Police personality changed in such a way that community perception became negative • Rapid response ineffective • Patrol cars are ineffective in catching perpetrators and preventing crime • Crime rates are going up not working • Routine investigations did not solve crime • Emphasis on highly skilled criminal justice workers starts to be called into question • *Rising crime rate = questions about legitimacy • Legitimacy of the police is now being called into doubt The Community Policing Era • 1960s: protestors, civil rights movements, wars • Huge golf between police and everyone else • Move into the 1980s • Reduce psychological distance • Community policing is suppose to reduce the psychological difference that people feel has developed between average person and police officer themselves • Made the police officers alienated from the community • Participation of community Need three things to change for community policing to work: • Philosophical chance • Communities as a group and citizens within those neighborhoods have to co-produce safety with police • Police can’t do it on their own • Police need to have the trust of citizens in order to actually solve crime • If crime is going to be dealt with through tips and witnesses they need to trust the police • Working hand-in-hand • Move away from police representing the “thin blue line” (thin wall protecting us) aka brotherhood: uniform representing unity and differentiating you from community. Line showing that they will go beyond a regular citizen. They represent the last barrier and barrier standing between order and chaos. Without their existence potentially in chaos in society. Watch each others’ backs and do what it takes. • Community policing conceptualize this line as thin and broad because we have to employ the help of average citizens in the place in which they live • Organizational change • Hierarchies need to be flattened • Return to a more order maintenance style where officers on frontlines use their discretion in that particular situation to deal with the problem. This can’t happen with some many layers of authority • Operational change • What officers do needs to change • Conceptualized a providing and community service • “Service style” • Officers need to respond to all requests of law enforcement or order maintenance • Deal with things frequently even if they are outside of the traditional conception and deal with them in ways that are less formal • i.e.: Foot patrol • Change from a law enforcement approach to a non-problem solving approach • Obstacles: having enough officers to do this, training, “New” Role of Police • Domestic conflicts • Landlord-tenant conflicts  police a mediators • Residential neighbors • Residents and establishment • Mutual recognition of authority/legitimacy • Needs to be a mutual recognition that both citizens and authorities have an expertise and a legitimacy in solving these problems • New things officers need to get involved in, in different ways than they would have had to in the past • Often times not even doing it. Endorsing it in theory but not necessarily engaging in this model • Preventing crime rather than crime control • Negotiating these kinds of complaints and negotiating different business laws Potential Problems For individual officers: • Burnout • Interacting with citizens can be a draining experience • Dealing with them on a short term basis is best • Dealing with the same people day in and day out can be exhausting • Limited resources to help you deal with the after effects • Not just enforcing the law anymore you are trying to problem solve • Tunnel vision • Fail to see alternative ways to deal with things • People attempt to manipulate you to sway you to their side • Effect interpretation of what the problem is • Personalization • If it is now about solving problems, as an officer you become a responsible party in this. Your ego enters into this mix and you become personally invested in these situation • Personalization can lead you into a situation where you are possibly obsessed with fixing things that can lead to abuses of authority • Over-identification • Ordinate empathy for one party of the other • Can lead to abuses of authority by favoring certain people • Over-commitment • Obsessed with solving problems blind to the fact that this is a know in situation • Need to intervene in traditional way • Unintended consequences • Don’t understand the cultures, players • Doing your best with the skills you have but things get screwed up sometimes • All of these become more likely when the role of the officers becomes so less clearly defined “Innovations” in Policing “Broken windows” policing • 1980s: Wilson and Kelling • Ronal Regan- conservative idea about how best to deal with crime in the community • Who criminals are and how we should deal with them • Maintaining order • Need to maintain order in communities • Up until this point we haven’t been listening to what the community is actually concerned about • Community members feel fear because certain elements cause fear in their neighborhoods • Don’t start out about serious crime but minor instances of delinquent behavior that then make everyone feel a certain uneasiness about where they are leaving • Ex: graffiti, litter, dilapidated building, vagrancy, loitering • Not necessarily crime per se but people see these things existing around them and they fee anxiety • Responsible to community’s concerns, fear, values about disorder • Up until this point been putting too much emphasis on the rights of perpetrators and not on the rights of citizens to feel secure and safe where they live • Individual rights  community interests • Too far over to individual rights but not the rights of community • This style reignites more clearly with the community • If you have people getting away with this behavior and it starts to spread you get into situations where people will engage in more severe acts of criminality • Informal social control will be impeded because you are afraid of going outside and fear your neighbors. People retreat to private domains and no longer have natural surveillance or connections with neighbors • Criminals then recognize this and use this area to commit crime • *Discriminatory, “zero-tolerance” tactics, incompatible with partnerships • Start to see how you are creating in-groups and out-groups (good and bad) • Situations where discrimination is far more likely, govern spaces on what people look like and at the end of the day this approach in incompatible with working together • Problem with crerating diverse neighborhoods “Innovations” in Policing Compstat policing • Mid 90s to now • Computerized crime data, analysis, mapping , specified goals, accountability • Goals of police change from more abstract goals about keeping people safe to being goals that are highly specific, mandates that can be measures • As soon as you get specific you can see if they are accomplishing this with specific and can hold them accountable if not • Ex: If you see in statistics that car burglary and now there will be a big enforcement on thi
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