It is important that as many individuals as possible understand what Community Policing is and how it can benefit the citizens of Frederick County and the members of the Frederick County Sheriff's Office.
Community Policing requires a law enforcement agency-wide philosophical commitment to involve citizens as partners in the process of reducing and controlling the problems of crime and fear of crime, drugs and neighborhood decay. Community Policing, when properly implemented, results in the improvement of the overall quality of life in the community.
What Is Community Policing?
Community Policing is a philosophy. It is a partnership between law enforcement and the community working together to identify crime related problems, determining their root causes and then applying solutions which will permanently reduce or eliminate these problems.
When members of a community and law enforcement work together to improve the quality of life in that community, the benefits of Community Policing are realized. Law Enforcement benefits by ending a recurring problem. The citizens benefit from the improvement in their quality of life. Those Police Officers and community members who participated in the solution receive the self-satisfaction which results from having addressed a problem and then arriving at a workable solution.
10 Principles of Community Policing
Community Policing is a community-based philosophy. The direction for law enforcement efforts comes more from listening to the citizens of the community about what concerns them than from law enforcement assumptions about what the community wants.
Community Policing focuses on creative problem-solving. All persons involved are encouraged to look at the bigger picture to solve pattern or chronic problems.
Community Policing promotes the development of trust. It emphasizes a direct working relationship between citizens and the Police to develop the ownership of problems.
Community Policing establishes a broader role for each law enforcement member. Each member serves as a liaison with the community and assists its citizens in solving community problems.
Community Policing stresses community involvement and emphasizes citizen participation in the problem-solving process. This means that the community must accept its responsibility to actively participate in problem-solving. Community Policing acknowledges that the Police cannot be successful without citizen assistance.
Community Policing is proactive, not reactive. Community Policing anticipates problems and prevents them from occurring or continuing.
Community Policing emphasizes providing help where it is needed most. Community Policing especially provides for closer contact with juveniles and the elderly as a means of better understanding their needs.
Community Policing enhances traditional policing through interaction with the community. Law enforcement will continue to respond to emergencies and perform in traditional capacities. They will also explore a wide range of responses to community problems and ask for citizen assistance as part of the problem-solving process.
Community Policing involves everyone within a law enforcement agency. Successful Community Policing is not limited to the patrol section; it is a change in the policing philosophy of the entire agency.
Community Policing personalizes law enforcement service. Law enforcement members work directly with the citizens they serve to identify and prioritize problems, and to devise and implement problem-solving strategies.
What Does Community Policing Mean to Me?
Since 1978, serious questions have been raised about whether conventional law enforcement strategies provide effective protection. Traditionally, the assumption has been that criminal, as well as disorderly activity, would be deterred if law enforcement were visible presence on the streets and promptly arrested people who broke the law. Community Policing doesn't question the goal of policing - just the means.
Consider that the type of crime that terrifies Americans most (muggings, rape, robbery, burglary and homicide) is rarely encountered by law enforcement on patrol. Crimes are seldom solved through criminal investigations alone. Crimes are usually solved because the perpetrator is immediately known or because a suspect is identified through information (description, tag number, etc.) provided by the citizens.
How Do I Become Involved?
Citizen involvement is a must if Community Policing is to be successful.
To become involved with improving the quality of life in your neighborhood, contact the Frederick County Sheriff's Office or your local Police. In an emergency, call 911 for law enforcement. To report suspicious activity in your community, or any other non-emergency situation, dial 301-600-2071. For more information about how Community Policing can make a difference in your community, call the Frederick County Sheriff's Office at 301-600-1046 and ask to speak with the Community Policing supervisor. Working together, we can and will improve the quality of life in Frederick County .