Sample Criminal Justice Paper on Community Oriented Policing (COP)

Trends in Policing

Community Oriented Policing (COP)

Community Oriented Policing (COP) is a philosophy that inspires and upholds organizational strategies to focus on the causes and reduce the fear of crime rates and other social disorders through problem solving strategies and community oriented policing. The fundamental aspect about community oriented policing is the approach of the police to establish and build ties of working together with members of the community. The progress of the initiative has been positive with members of the force as well the community attesting to its effectiveness in crime reduction and enhancing the sense of security among members of the community (Community Policing, 2015)). According to community policing, there is a partnership that is created between the law administration agencies and other entities and organizations, community members, nonprofit entities, and private businesses. Through the media, communication between these different entities is easier. One of the fundamental aspects that saw the creation of this initiative was the realization that police alone cannot solve all safety related problems, thereby necessitating the need for an interactive forum to address security concerns.

Pros and cons of COP

Community policing is seen as an effective way of enhancing public safety through police community relations and problem solving mechanism. This is crucial in expanding the goals of the police and transforming the traditional organization of the police in their execution of duties. Community policing thus enlarges the roles of the police and alters the community perception about the police. Traditionally, it was perceived that societal problems are not police concerns, which now is no longer the case. Police plays an important role in building and strengthening the community. This policy has also eased police work in unfolding criminal incidents and characters through effective crime prevention.

Community policing has also played a major role in reducing the fear among members of the community. This is attributed to the presence of friendly police within community neighborhoods, creating a peaceful sense and environment. As citizens mingle with the police every day, they understand their roles, and thus, develop relations that are beneficial to the community wellbeing and the work of the police. Community policing is effective because of its flexibility with regards to change. Different places have different approaches to security concerns. Through this collaboration, the system allows for the community and police to establish solutions that work effectively within the neighborhood through a number of ways to improve the lives of lives around.

One of the major disadvantages of community development is that there must be a community involvement in the partnering, an aspect that is costly and time consuming. Without these two elements, trust and involvement of the community, the policy is futile. These partnerships are always hard to establish due to several differences, thereby consuming a lot of energy and time to realize them.

 Cited examples of COP

Drug Abuse and Resistance Program (DARE).

This is a policing community oriented program designed to make the youth appreciate the police in hope that they will be instrumental in providing useful information about crimes (DARE, 1996). Furthermore, the program is aimed at equipping the youths with required skills to make well informed decisions and empower them to say no to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. The program also helps the youth to resist peer pressure that leads to drug testing and later use. Thecollaboration between the Spokane police departments and Spokane schools has been in operation since 1990.

Weed and Seed Programs.

This program entails a strategy that is two way oriented in crime prevention.The law implementation agencies and courts work in collaboration in weeding out ferociousoffenders and drug users.The community based organizations collaborate in seeding services like prevention, treatment, intervention, and neighborhood restoration programs. Weed and seed programsaredriven by four major strategies:deterrence, involvement, treatment, and neighboring reestablishment. The programs reduce crime and the fear of crime. This policy involves a more hardline stance and enforcement oriented approach in the community policing (U.S Department of Justice, 2007).

Problem-oriented policing (POP)

Problem Oriented Policing (POP) is an analytical approach used by the police in establishing strategies aimed at preventing and reducing crimes in communities. Through problem oriented policing, police agencies methodically analyzes different problems within the community and search for effective resolutions to the problems.The police agencies also evaluate the impacts of the efforts (National Research Council, 2004). POP’s main objective is to spearhead efforts in transforming the existing conditions in the hot spots that lead to frequent problematic criminal activities. This approach also calls for the police to look beyond the customary approach towards crime and deliberate on other methods in dealing with crime and disorder.

Pros and cons of POP

POP is significant in helping law enforcement agencies to split the issue of maintaining law and order into manageable aspects that can be solved effectively. Through this process, law enforces are also in position not only to deal with criminal activities but also their root causes and negate them. Problem oriented policing is also disadvantageous because it assists in controlling criminal activities through diffusion. According to the Centre of for Problem Oriented Policing (2012), diffusion refers to negative side effects that are initially unintended in the implementation plan. This is because as the problem is realized and dealt with in one place, the criminals end up being displaced to new areas and target any particular moment (Centre for Problem-Oriented Policing, 2012).

Examples of POP

Enforcement against Street workers in Ypsilanti (EASY).

This program was initially began with the idea of addressing the root cause of prostitution in Michigan avenue corridor. The police had been working well in arresting and locking up prostitutes. The problem was that the prostitutes, after being released, would go back to the streets thus they realized the need of dealing with the root cause. This made the police through Washtenaw County Sheriff Office to come up with the POP project in addressing the real reasons why they engaged in prostitution rather than arresting them from time to time (Sampson, 2014).

Rental Property Form.

This was also another POP in Washtenaw County that was created by the Farst and Crain through a rental property form. This was created with an intention of ending problems and crimes in the rental properties. It was able to make sure that all rental or property owners’ are aware of any problems that all tenants have (Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, 2012).

Challenges of Implementation

Community-Oriented Policing

COP faces a greater challenge in terms of willingness of community involvement in the process. This makes the word of law enforcing agencies and the objectives hard to attain. Another challenge facing the COP is lack of the ability of officers to understand the duties and responsibilities of the model, as many times they regard it as time wasting and resource consuming. This makes its implementation difficult.

Problem-Oriented Policing

POP faces a challenge because it addresses limited problems on the ground with regards to the number of issues that the society go through. Its effectiveness is therefore less evaluated. Furthermore, the size of the policing department is small in relation to the community it serves. This requires several other entities to be incorporated like counselling centers to match the requirements of the problems people face that lead them to commit crime.



“Community Policing” (2015). Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved 18 Mar 2016.

DARE America. (1996). About D.A.R.E. Available at:

U.S. Department of Justice. (2007). Weed and Seed. Available at

Center for Problem-Oriented Policing. (2012). Analyzing Crime Displacement and Diffusion. Available at

Sampson, R. (2014). Center for Problem-Oriented Policing. Center for Problem-Oriented Policing. Center for Problem-Oriented Policing. Web, 19.