Normal City residents` attitudes towards community policing

NORMAL CITY RESIDENTS’ ATTITUDE TOWARDS COMMUNITY POLICING

Normal City residents’ attitudes towards community policing

Abstract

Communitypolicing is the philosophy that emphasizes the partnership betweenlaw enforcers and community members. This philosophy can be used toimprove the security of Normal City. This study is aimed atdetermining the perceptions of residents of Normal City aboutcommunity policing. It will be a non-experimental study. A mixedstudy design will be used. Participants will be selected usingmulti-stage random sampling. Structured questionnaires will be usedin data collection. The results of the study will be useful indeveloping community policing programs to be implemented in NormalCity.

Background

Policeofficers are responsible for maintaining law and order in acommunity. The patrol division plays an important role in thecommunity and is the largest in any general-purpose police station.The department is responsible for the response to all the primarypolice functions. The cooperation between the community and thepolice department influences how well the division fulfills itsresponsibilities. One way of promoting police-citizen relationship isthrough the implementation of community policing. It is theresponsibility of police officers to enhance the quality of life of apopulation through community policing.

Partnershipswith citizens and problem-solving are the key pillars of communitypolicing (Kappeler V. &amp Gaines L., 2015). Besides enhancing therelationship between the police and citizens, the strategy enablesthe law enforcers to assist the community with several problems andsocial conditions. The police must solicit support and activeinvolvement in finding solutions to the issues affecting thecommunity. For the police officers to effectively implement communitypolicing, they must familiarize with the people assigned to them.Cole G., Smith C. &amp DeJong C. (2015) outlines the four functionsof community policing: increasing the efforts directed towards crimeprevention diverting patrol activities to nonemergency servicesenhancing the accountability of police officers to the public andinvolving citizens in decision-making.

Asthe commander of the patrol division of Normal City PoliceDepartment, promoting community policing will be given high priority.For the division to address its responsibilities to the public, lawenforcers need to have the support of the community they are serving.The people’s perceptions on this strategy will enable thedepartment to evaluate their support in implementing it. Therefore,knowing how citizens perceive community policing is important indeveloping strategies focused on promoting order and safety in NormalCity. The objective of this paper is to investigate the perceptionsof the residents of Normal City about community policing.

Research questions

What is the attitude of residents of Normal City towards communitypolicing?

What percentage of the Normal City population support communitypolicing?

Do the Normal City residents agree with their inclusion in theproblem-solving process for the security issues affecting them?

Research design

Bothquantitative and qualitative research methods will be employed toinvestigate Normal City resident’s perceptions about communitypolicing. Descriptive quantitative research design will be employedin determining the percentage of the people in the city who supportthe strategy. Qualitative methods will be used to investigate theattitude of the residents and their belief about the ability ofcommunity policing to transform police misconduct.

Literature review

Perceptionsof a population about a policing strategy determine how it performs.There are previous studies done to investigate how citizens perceivecommunity policing. Wu Y., Jiang S. &amp Lambert E. (2011) carriedout a study to examine the support for community policing by Chinesecollege students. The researchers employed ordinary least squareregression on survey results. This regression method has estimationprocedures that yield parameter estimates that are not biased. 400college students were recruited. The results of the researchindicated that large percentage of college students had positiveattitudes toward community policing programs. The support that theparticipants gave to the policing was significantly related toresponse to crimes, their attitude towards the police and their rolein the community. The study also found out that the background of thestudents did not influence their support for community policing.Therefore, this strategy can be used to fight crime collectively.Security can be easily maintained when all stakeholders worktogether.

Fosteringstrong police-public relationship is an essential part of communitypolicing. The police-public relationship has a significant influenceon how well the former delivers their functions. The researchperformed by Nalla M. &amp Madan M. (2011) aimed at examining thecitizen’s perceptions of the police-community linkages in India.Their study was exploratory and thus, provided insights on variouselements of community policing. To study the public confidence intheir relationships with the police, the investigators examinedgeneral satisfaction with community policing services, policeexpertise, security, and police conduct. It was evident in the studythat people who are contented with police officers are positivetowards working with them. When people feel that police treat themfairly irrespective of their background, their cooperation towardspolicing strategies increases. The cooperation will enhance responseto crimes and safety of members of a population.

Communitypolicing philosophy enhances the mutual partnership between thepolice and public to address security concerns. When this philosophyis successful, crime rates can be reduced by sharing ideas betweenthe police and public. Kyle W. (2013) established public exclusion inproblem-solving and police-citizen communication barriers thatinterfere with the efforts directed towards preventing, reducing andsolving security threats in a community. In a bid to so the problem,the investigator carried out a non-experimental quantitative study toanalyze the perceptions of police and citizens of community policingpractices and their success in addressing security concerns. Thecitizens expressed a positive attitude towards the philosophy. Thepositive attitude is associated with increasing the efficiency ofsecurity operations. They also indicated the need for inclusion inthe problem-solving process for the issues affecting them. In orderfor the community to effectively participate in the process, there isa need for enhancing the understanding and application of communitypolicing practices.

Thereis a need to understand the needs of a given community in order tosuccessful adopt community policing strategies. The perceptions ofthe police and residents have influenced the implementation of crimeprevention strategies. Stein R. &amp Griffth C. (2015) identifiedthe gap that the attitudes of police and residents of theirneighborhoods are usually not considered in most studies. Theirresearch examined police and resident’s attitudes of three highinsecure areas in a Midwestern city in the USA. The study findingsshowed that police and citizens interpret community policing programsdifferently. This shows that the implementation of the program wasnot effective. It is also an indication of the need for education onthe strategy. The findings indicate that what the police see in thecommunity is a driving perception and not the actual problem.Therefore, there is a need for inclusion of residents inproblem-solving to fill the gap.

Theparticipation of citizens in neighborhood-watch activities andcollaboration with law enforcers is important in protectingcommunities against crime. Community policing utilizes capabilitiesof members of a population to solve crime-related problems. Mburu L.&amp Helbich M. (2015) assessed a community policing program inNairobi, Kenya. The strategy was initiated by the government and thecommunity ensured its sustainability. The investigators employed amulti-level regression to evaluate the direct and conditionalperceptions of people and their neighborhood. They furtherinvestigated how these attitudes influence crime variations duringpre- and post-program durations of the policing. The willingness ofthe public to engage in community policing programs was associatedwith reduced crime rates. Normal City can also use these programsrestore order and peace.

Methodology

Thisstudy will examine the perceptions of the residents of Normal Cityabout community policing. It will seek to answer the followingquestions: What are the resident’s attitudes towards communitypolicing? What percentage of the city dwellers supports the strategy?Do the residents agree with their inclusion in the problem-solvingprocess?

Variables

Thequantitative variable is the number of supporters of communitypolicing. Qualitative variables are attitudes and agreement of theresidents. The number of supporters will be measured throughcounting. Attitudes and agreement will be measured as eitherpositive or negative.

Study design

Mixedresearch method will be used. The quantitative aspect of the studyinvolves the percentage of city residents who support communitypolicing. Investigating the attitude and involvement in theproblem-solving process will be carried out from a qualitativeapproach. To ensure management of the threats to internal andexternal validity, the study will employ various strategies. Randomselection of the research participants will be used to ensure theinternal and external validity of data. Statistical regression willalso be minimized. Threats resulting from lack of response by theparticipants will be addressed through education of the study purposeand taking them through the stages of the data collection process.All the participants will be treated equally to avoid the effect ofresentful demoralization.

Participant selection

TheNormal City has a large population, but the study participants mustbe representative of the population. Multi-stage random sampling willbe used to ensure every resident of the city has an equal chance ofbeing selected. The process will start by subdividing the city areageographically into clusters. In each cluster, simple random samplingwill be employed to ensure representativeness of the study sample.

Thepopulation, where data will be collected, is in an urban area on theshore of the ocean. The population is composed of Whites, Blacks,Hispanics, and tourists. The city has all the amenities any largecity could have as well as peaceful and quiet environment one couldfind in a small town.

Data collection

Surveyswith be conducted with the aid of questionnaires. Questions will bestructured to collect data to be used in answering the researchquestions. The individuals responsible for data collection will beassigned to various subsets of the population. They will then go tothe families selected for the study. They will guide the respondentsin answering the questions.

Ethical considerations

Rightsof the participants will be highly valued when conducting theresearch. Before starting the data collection, approval from aninstitutional review board will be sought. Participation in the studywill be voluntary. The selected participants will be informed thatthey have been chosen before conducting the actual data collectionand given the opportunity to choose to leave. They will be educatedabout what the study entails and its benefits. Confidentiality ofpersonal information will be maintained.

Discussion and conclusion

Discussion

Communitypolicing has been well received in many societies as shown in theprevious studies. Community members have preferred the policing dueto the benefits they believe can be achieved through the partnershipwith the police. Previous studies have indicated the need foreducation of community members to improve their understanding of thephilosophy. The results of this study can be effective in enhancingthe incorporation of the philosophy into the community’s andpolice’s security practices. Knowing the perception of the cityresidents towards community policing is important in developingstrategies directed towards the successful implementation of thisphilosophy. In order for the police department to adopt the policingstrategy, they must have support from the city residents (PalmiottoM. J. 2011). Through this study, the police department will know theproportion of the population that supports the associated programs aswell as developing methods of increasing the support of the public.There are high chances that the city residents support communitypolicing programs since it deals with the issues affecting them. Themain potential limitation of this study is about lowrepresentativeness and response rate of the participants.

Conclusion

Thestudy findings will enrich the field of criminal justice withknowledge about the effectiveness of security strategies that engagesthe community members. The effectiveness of community policing isdetermined by the citizen’s support and attitude towards it. Theresults of this study will be useful when formulating strategies forimproving the attitudes and support of the public for the policingphilosophy. Future research should focus on the ways of educatingcommunity members on community policing.

References

Cole G, Smith C. &amp DeJong C. (2015), Criminal Justice inAmerica, Cengage Learning

Kappeler V. &amp Gaines L. (2015), Community Policing: AContemporary Perspective, Routledge

Mburu, L., &amp Helbich, M. (2015). Communities as NeighborhoodGuardians: A Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Community Policing inNairobi`s Suburbs.Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, 1-22.

Nalla, M. K., &amp Madan, M. (2012). Determinants of Citizens’Perceptions of Police–Community Cooperation in India: Implicationsfor Community Policing.&nbspAsian Journal of Criminology,&nbsp7(4),277-294.

Palmiotto M. J. (2011), Community Policing: A Police-CitizenPartnership, Routledge

Stein, R. E., &amp Griffith, C. (2015). Resident and policeperceptions of the neighborhood implications for communitypolicing.&nbspCriminal Justice Policy Review,0887403415570630.

Ward, K. L. (2013).&nbspAssessing police-citizen communication byidentifying perceptions of community policing styles andeffectiveness&nbsp(Doctoral dissertation, UNIVERSITY OFPHOENIX).

Wu, Y., Jiang, S., &amp Lambert, E. (2011). Citizen support forcommunity policing in China.&nbspPolicing: An InternationalJournal of Police Strategies &amp Management,&nbsp34(2),285-303.