Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy
October 22, 2012
A police officer’s duty is to keep the peace, maintain order, and solve problems within the community. Their role as officers is selfless and demanding. Duties of a police officer include patrol, answering calls, conducting interviews, investigations, traffic, make arrests, and report writing. Each officer is sworn to serve and protect a national average of 1,000 citizens per officer (Barnard, 2008). In big cities or in high crime areas, the job is more daunting.
With a large ratio of police to citizen, crime prevention can be a challenge. Police departments looked to the community for help in reporting and preventing crime. ...view middle of the document...
These are called “beat” meetings. There are 285 beats in Chicago and each beat meets at least once a month. The community becomes familiar with the beat officers and develops strategies. CAPS allowed more than reporting crime, also neighborhood signs of decay such as graffiti removal, traffic signs, and abandoned buildings (Katz, Walker).
The top reported problems were drug dealing, youth problems, traffic enforcement, and ironically, police disregard for citizens (Katz, Walker). Police made themselves more visible in areas where drug dealing was apparent. Citizens conducted “positive loitering” events to deter criminal activity. The community became increasingly aware of the program and reported seeing police officers more often (Katz, Walker).
The goal was for officers to identify problems and solve them. Eventually, the program reported significant perceived changes in the quality of life: less crime, less fear, fewer gangs, and a greater sense of police responsiveness (Katz, Walker). The success of CAPS in Chicago, it is evident that with collaborative efforts of police and the community crime can be reduced.
Most police departments use community-policing strategies to prevent crime. Police are taking partnerships with media, other government agencies, service providers, and private businesses (USDOJ). This broadens the spectrum beyond the community and the department. Police can solve other issues like agency management, organizational structure, personnel, and information systems to increase efficiency and effectiveness (USDOJ).
This community policing strategy is...