Research a program in community policing or proactive policing that you support.
Policing over the last two presidential election cycles has become a very contentious and polarizing issue. For one, the issue of police brutality as it relates to minorities has been well publicized after the killing of George Floyd at the hands Derek Chauvin on video. Since this incident a string of high-profile incidents have erupted throughout the county. As a result, many community leaders, civil rights activists, corporations, and politicians have called for police reform. Once element of this police reform is that of community policing. Here, expects believe that the alignment of interest between the police and the community will help to mitigate the general fear many residents have of law enforcement. It also helps to provide more readily available information that both parties can leverage to lower the incidents of crime within the respective communities. Most importantly, community policing helps to facilitate a genuine dialogue between communities and the law enforcement officers charged with protecting them. In order for community policing to be effective, it must rely on the collection of relevant data. This data must first be reliable and accurate. It also must be timely to allow for both the community and the police to act swiftly to avert or mitigate crime. Finally, the information must be protected and secure to allow relevant parties to reference it over time. This will allow both the community and law enforcement to conduct predictively analysis or other forms of trend analysis to mitigate future crimes (Brown, 1986).
Explain the issues surrounding the collection of data of the selected program.
The Atlanta police department has created a very innovative yet simple community policing program that has been utilized for the past 3 years. Here, their community policing program uses a variety of smaller programs designed to address specific needs within specific at-risk communities. Here the plan leverages specific liaisons for specific community segments. For example, the plan utilizes a unit specifically to address the community needs od the LGBTQ community. This includes specific phones numbers, contacts, personnel, and budget dollars allocated to this segment. The program as has the Atlanta Police Exploders program designed to help teenage within difficult African American communities to grow into future leaders and the H.O.P.E program designed to help communities with large proportions of residents with homeless and mentally ill residents (Cordner, 1997).
The issues surround the collection of data related to these initiatives are heavily related to privacy and security. Here, due in part to cyber threats, the collection of data can be stolen and misused for nefarious reasons. As result data collection should limit the number of individuals and personnel who have access to it. In addition, strict security protocols must be leverage to mitigate the influence of hacking and other cyber security threats. Another issue related to data collection is the willingness of communities to provide it in a timely manner. This issue is exacerbated by the general distrust certain communities have for law enforcement. Unfortunately, in order for community policing to work properly, information must be exchanges timely and accurately. Elements such as names, license plate numbers, drivers license numbers, addresses, places of employment are all vital within the community policing arena. Here, trust must be established between all parties such community members can feel comfortable providing this information to the police in the event of a crime occurring (Eck, 1987).
Share an example of the analysis of that data and explain if you feel it is reliable. Why or why not?
An example of the analysis of the data could be related to crimes that occur within a specific area, within a specific neighborhood, at a specific time. Community residents, who are often the first to recognized suspicious behavior or may even recognize the individual, have the data necessary to aid law enforcement. In this instance, by having community members provide constant feedback and updates related to suspicious behavior, law enforcement has more data points to use in their systems in which to predict crime and its occurrence. Much like any other data or statistical mechanism, the more data points providing the more powerful the analysis becomes. From a statistic perceptive, a higher number of accurate inputs can make an analysis statistically significant allowing for much higher predictive power. Through the community programs, individuals can provide the data points necessarily for the data analysis to occur and for it to be accurate. Leveraging this information, the police force will be able to leverage data that is statistically significant to help predict when, where, and what time a crime will occur. Using this data, the police and int this case the community policing unit can then allocate resources to help community members discourage the criminal activity from occurring.
Describe how the use of that data matters as it relates to the interpretation of the data. Explain how that relates to the policy you selected.
As noted earlier, the use of data matters from both an analytical and interpretation perceptive. First, the use of data allows more data points to be collected, observed and analyzed. Through analysis police resources can be allocated to there highest and best use. This ultimately improve the overall effectiveness of not only law enforcement but of community policing. Seeing how effective it is at deterring crime, residents will also be more apt to communicate with law enforcement thus establishing a circle of trust and influence. The use of data also matters as it can be used in the event of national security or more pressing concerns. For example, the killing of George Floyd resulting in a large amount of violent protests that threatened the security of many law-abiding citizens and businesses. With crime data, law enforcement will be better able to pinpoint areas with a large likelihood of criminal activity and help to bolster resources to that specific area.
Explain how statistical data be utilized in criminal justice policy making.
This too was already discussed in detail above. To reiterate, statistical data can used from a preventative standpoint to help predict likely criminal targets. In order for this analysis to be successful however, it will need to rely on a large amount of data points to fuel the statistical simulations. Once the data is provided however, law enforcement through community policing efforts can help predict when a crime will occur and the area in which it will occur at. Law enforcement can then use this data to allocate resources more effectively.
1. Brown, Lee P., and Wycoff, Mary Ann. “Policing Houston: Reducing Fear and Improving Service.” Crime and Delinquency 33 (1986): 7189
2. Cordner, Gary W. “Community Policing: Elements and Effects.” In Community Policing: Contemporary Readings. Edited by Geoffrey P. Alpert and Alex Piquero. Prospect Heights, Ill.: Waveland Press, 1997. Pages 4562.
3. Eck, John E., and Spelman, William. Problem-Solving: Problem-Oriented Policing in Newport News. Washington, D.C.: Police Executive Research Forum, 1987.
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