Community-Oriented Policing: A Systemic Approach to Policing (4th Edition)

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9780131589872: Community-Oriented Policing: A Systemic Approach to Policing (4th Edition)

This perfect balance of the concepts and practical applications of community-oriented policing uses updated research and real case studies to detail and describe various police programs that have been implemented, their success or failure, and discusses the current issues surrounding these programs. Following a thorough discussion of the evolution of community-oriented policing, this book covers neighborhood-oriented policing, problem-oriented policing, integration, organization and management, the role of the police, the role of the community, the role of the chief, community-oriented policing implementation, the federal government's role, and the future of community-oriented policing. An excellent resource for those involved in police-community relations and in the criminal justice system.

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From the Inside Flap:

PREFACE

Greater than the tread of mighty armies is
an idea whose time has come.—Victor Hugo

Community-oriented policing is truly an idea whose time has come. Research and application over the past twenty years have moved the idea from explaining the past failures of team policing, to a method that could avoid these past pitfalls, to a viable but crude method in the 1980s, to the successful and detailed practices of the 1990s, to the institutionalization of community-oriented policing by the turn-of-the-century. There is little doubt that this paradigm in policing has captured the attention of both citizen and police, mayors and police chiefs, state government and national government officials, and has worked its way into becoming a household name. In fact, it has become so popular that one of America's leading econometricians, Anthony Downs, has called for more federal funding of community-oriented policing and placed it on his list of several actions to address his highest priority, reducing personal insecurity (Downs, Anthony. New Visions for Metropolitan America. Washington D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1994). The dilemma of understanding then arises in how community-oriented policing is defined and what the paradigm entails. It is to this end that we must now set our sights.

Perhaps one of the first debates over this approach lies in questioning if it is "old wine in a new bottle." Critics of this paradigm have thus argued it is early-twentieth-century policing glorified and that turning back the policing clock would prove detrimental to both the profession and the citizens served. These critics seem to miss the fact that it is more than just making a new case for the methods, practices, and procedures utilized by the police today, but, rather, it is argument for changing the way we think about policing, from the perspectives of both the police and the community. Abraham Lincoln perhaps said it best: "As our case is new, so we must think and act anew." We recognize that the current case for promulgating community-oriented policing is new; what we on many occasions have failed to do, from both an academic and practical standpoint, is allow ourselves to think and act anew. Although nostalgia, common in all organizations, may exist in policing, community-oriented policing is not a push backward but rather a rapid movement forward regarding the mission of the police and how they perform their duties. Yet, despite this realization, the questions continue to linger as to what specifically constitutes community-oriented policing.

A key debate within the central understanding of the systemic approach to policing is whether community-oriented policing is a philosophy or a program. The argument on the side of a philosophy is rooted in the premise that for the systemic approach to be fully functional it must grow from a conceptual framework from which all the actors can adhere to mutual principles but retain the freedom to ad-lib. The argument on the programmatic side is rooted in the understanding that methods employed by the actors must be more substantive and should therefore be put forth in a script with written parts for each actor. The argument can be further broken down into whether community-oriented policing is a concept for the way we think about the police or for actions garnering the policing. It is an argument between the theoretical and the practical.

To delineate between the importance of the two, it is important to reach an age-old method of issue resolution: compromise. Theory, often in its true form, ignores the practical application, thus negating the possible benefits derived from a theory. Practical application, in turn, often ignores theory, thus negating the benefits that can be derived from a guiding theoretical construct. The consensus lies in the commitment for both the theoretical and practical to coalesce into a synthesis that supersedes the ontological perspectives, thus creating a mutually beneficial relationship. The synthesis can then be utilized for the proposition of a conceptual framework, from which to guide the systemic application from the theoretical to the practical.

Community-oriented policing, as a systemic approach to policing, is in fact the realization of this synthesis. It incorporates both tie theoretical and the practical into the overall framework, thus allowing for the maximization of benefits. It must start as a new philosophy, a new way of thinking about the role of the police in society, and it must be enacted through new and various programs that adhere to the philosophical premise. This, then, is the primary emphasis of this book. It is an attempt to weave together both the theoretical and the practical, as well as combine the various interpretations of the systemic approach, into one concept under the banner of community-oriented policing. OVERVIEW OF THE BOOK'S CONTENTS

New to the second edition of the textbook are two chapters (Chapters 13 and 14) detailing the comparative approach to community-oriented policing and the federal (U.S.) role under the systemic approach. In addition, the latest research on community-oriented policing, which has continued to expand exponentially, has been added to the main text where appropriate. Finally, new charts, photographs, and boxes providing specific examples of community-oriented policing have been included to provide a more contemporary understanding of the systemic approach to policing.

The first chapter is a historical review of police and community relations since the formation of the United States. Although other authors have attempted to analyze the eras of policing from a strict police perspective, in this chapter I analyze the relationship between the two parties and place them into eras indicative of the type of relationship occurring at the time. A review of history from this perspective, it is largely historical, and that is acceptable, because it allows the reader a better understanding of the different relationships we are now entering into under the auspices of community-oriented policing.

Chapter 2 is the guiding chapter for the rest of the book in that it attempts to provide a clear understanding of what community-oriented policing is and how it is defined, in both theoretical and practical terms. The construct of the chapter shares a three-pronged process that was assembled to reach a definition of community-oriented policing. It reflects the multitude of definitions and explanations that have surfaced in the academic literature for the past twenty years, which covers both theoretical constructs and research methodologies. It reflects the practical applications covered in various journals and magazines and synthesizes the definitions and actions implemented by police departments across the United States under the auspices of community-oriented policing. And, finally, the third prong is the inclusion of my understanding and definition of the systemic approach based on my experiences as a police officer and the community-oriented policing programs I have had the fortune to witness. The culmination of this three-pronged approach has revealed many consistent themes throughout the academic literature, the practical literature, and my own experiences. Community-oriented policing can then be defined as

a systemic approach to policing with the paradigm of instilling and fostering a sense
of community, within a geographical neighborhood, to improve the quality of life. It
achieves this through the decentralization of the police and the implementation of a
synthesis of three key components: (1) strategic-oriented policing—the redistribution
of traditional police resources; (2) neighborhood-oriented policing—the .interaction of
police and all community members to reduce crime and the fear of crime through
indigenous proactive programs; and (3) problem-oriented policing-a concerted effort
to resolve the causes of crime rather than the symptoms.

The next four chapters concentrate on expanding the definition, by breaking down each component into its own chapter, along with one additional chapter that explains how the three become synthesized into one framework: community-oriented policing. Chapter 3 is a more detailed explanation of strategic-oriented policing and all of the potential methods the police can employ to successfully adopt this component. Chapter 4 is an overview of the many types of police and community programs that can promote interaction and communication between the two actors to understand the quality-of-life benefits that can be derived from this cooperation. Chapter 5 defines the component of problem-oriented policing and draws heavily from the works of Herman Goldstein (academic) and John E. Eck and William Spelman (practical). Chapter 6 is an overview of how the three components are integrated into the systemic approach of community-oriented policing. Chapter 6 also includes three case studies of a large-, medium-, and small-sized police department and demonstrates how they have implemented the three components as they relate to the systemic approach.

Chapter 7 provides an understanding of how the systemic approach to policing will mandate systemic changes to both the organization of the police department and the management methods employed. It specifically details how the police department must decentralize by geography, personnel, and structure to achieve the true benefits of community-oriented policing, and it reviews the varying types of management practices that complement the systemic approach, specifically total quality management (TQM).

The next three chapters detail the role of the three key actors involved in ensuring the success of community-oriented policing: the police, the community, and the police chief. Chapter 8, on the role of the police, gives wide coverage to the changes that must be made to transform traditional police officers to community-oriented police officers. Because the police are the street-level implementors of the philosophy and programs under the systemic approach, they are a key link to the overall success of community-oriented policing. However, because the systemic approach is geared toward the community, it is readily apparent that the community's role in community-oriented policing is equally important. Its role is detailed in Chapter 9, which provides an understanding of what is meant by community and how past attitudes of not getting involved in police matters can be overcome. Chapter 10 then provides the key link to the relationship between the police and the community: the role of the police chief in community-oriented policing. This role, as a result of changes in the police, community, and organizational and management structures, must also change to accommodate the synthesis of philosophy and practical applications. It is important that the chief become a dynamic member of the community and that the chief's office provide the impetus for the systemic approach.

Chapter 11 sketches a rough outline for implementing the systemic approach to policing. Community-oriented policing is a profound change to police practices of the past; therefore, it is not a "program" that can be implemented overnight but one that must see a gradual and incremental form of implementation to ensure its success. Each department will see variations on its community-oriented policing methods as a result of endogenous variables, exogenous variables, and the differences that account for both space (location of the police department) and time (the current development of the police department); each department will then see a different time line for implementation of the systemic approach.

Chapter 12 proves to be the most daunting of the chapters, but it highlights the fact that evaluations under community-oriented policing are crucial to the success of this paradigm. The evaluation process must not be limited to one actor but made a part of the everyday duties of the police and can include surveys of local citizens, police officers, and local government employees. As the systemic approach is implemented in an incremental fashion, these surveys become part of the evaluation process and provide the necessary information for the police, citizens, and police chief to make the determination as to whether a particular program or policing method should be continued, deleted, or altered in some way.

Chapter 13 details the comparative approach to community-oriented policing by first raising the awareness of comparative studies and then articulating the comparative approach as it applies to the systemic approach to policing. The community-oriented policing programs of Canada, Britain, and Japan are explored in depth, followed by a brief review of other community-oriented policing endeavors worldwide.

Chapter 14 explores the ever-expanding federal role in community-oriented policing as a result of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which created the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) under the U.S. Department of Justice. The chapter reviews the politics behind the "100,000 cops" initiative, how it included the concepts of community-oriented policing, and the methods by which the federal government chose to become involved in the systemic approach. It specifically details the various grants for personnel and equipment, describes the training initiatives, and provides a critical assessment of the COPS program to date.

Chapter 15 covers many of the caveats that go with implementing community-oriented policing. These caveats are based on the various failures of past policing experiments and recent failures with community-oriented policing. This information provides an insight into why certain programs have failed in the hopes that these methods will not be repeated in future implementations of the systemic approach. Hence, these are not in actuality problems for the implementation process but rather caveats to make the police department that decides to shift to this new paradigm aware of the many possibilities for failure.

Finally Chapter 16 speaks of the future benefits that police departments may receive when implementing community-oriented policing, as well as the overall benefits that have already been achieved. It also delves further into the future to discuss many of the potential benefits and provides some discussion for how police departments can plan for the future, today.

From the Back Cover:

4th Edition

 

Community-Oriented Policing:  A Systemic Approach to Policing

 

Building on the strength of previous editions:

 

            The fourth edition of Oliver’s community-oriented policing textbook presents an expanded and slightly reformatted textbook in order to clearly present the current state of community-oriented policing in America and across the globe.  The results of over 50 peer-review studies in community-oriented policing are included in the latest edition, as well as the numerous writings on community-oriented policing over the previous three years.  The book has been reformatted by eliminating the synthesis chapter from the previous editions in order to bring the expanded book back into a more acceptable format and size of 15 chapters without losing the comprehensive scope as seen in previous editions.  In addition, current material related to the discussion of community-oriented policing in an era of Homeland Security is addressed, as well as the recent federal budget cuts to community-oriented policing programs. 

 

Also New to the Fourth Edition:

           

            *New photos from police department community-oriented policing programs across the United States

            *Updated box material presenting examples of community-oriented policing in action

            *The latest research and debate on the systemic approach to policing

 

“I think Oliver does an excellent job of organizing the book around specific topics or subjects — and then covers each in an appropriate manner.  The chapter flow and the level of rigor are both consistent and appropriate.”                        

 

“The material in the text is current . . . and the author is positive about community-oriented policing, which is understandable, [but] I think the author is also aware of the real issues about community-oriented policing and the possibility that some things might not work.  I would definitely use the text by Oliver”                 

 

“The content of the text is excellent.  The completeness and diligence of the research, and the compilation and interpretation of the information discovered, is obvious.  The utilization of tables, figures, photographs, etc., is well done and appropriate for a text of this type.  In my opinion Professor Oliver has done an outstanding job in combining this collective wisdom into a readable text.”

                       

 

Willard M. Oliver

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