Community policing calls for decentralization both in command structure and decision-making. Decentralized decision making permits officers on the front line to take responsibility for their job. When an officer is given more power to create solutions to problems and take risks, they feels more accountable for those solutions and assumes a greater responsibility for the well being of everyone in the community. "Decentralized decision making involves flattening the hierarchy of the agency, increasing tolerance for risk taking in problem solving efforts, and allowing officers discretion in handling calls" (Community Policing Defined, 2008).
I think that even with the availability of more real time information that managers will continue to follow the Community Policing Model. I feel this way because I believe that the Community Policing Model is a good idea. It allows for the officers on the street to have more control over the decisions that they make. It empowers them to do their job and so they feel as if what they are doing really makes a difference, which makes them much more accountable for their actions. If they feel that what they are doing makes a difference then they are also more likely to do a good job.
If the managers where to try and exercise more control of the officers then it becomes a lot like micro managing. No one like to be micro managed because you feel as if every move that you make is put under a microscope. This will only cause officers to want to do less so that they are not being looked at all the time. They will have no confidence in what they do on a daily basis and will feel no real connection to their jobs. The trick is to be able to use the technology to the best of everyone's advantage. All the officers to make decisions and yet use the real time information to help them enhance their abilities job functions not hinder them.
3) Throughout the professional era, the implementation of police technology was primarily concerned with enhancing the model by speeding up the response times to calls and improving communications and technologies for criminal investigations. How can technology be used to enhance the community-based model?
"The goal of community policing is to bring the police and the public it serves closer together to identify and address crime issues" (Community-Oriented Policing, n.d.). Instead of simply responding to emergency calls as quickly as possible and arresting criminals, the police officers need to get involved in finding out what causes crime. And then develop ways in which to prevent this crime from happening in the neighborhoods. A key factor in making this happen is the use of technology.
Modern technology has come a long way in allowing officers to have more up to the minute information along with just plain more access to information. Having computers in street officer's cars allows them to have instant access to just about any information regarding a criminal of suspect that they could possible want. Being able to investigate things that the officer sees or hunches that he or she might have in real time allows these officers to increase their risk taking in their problem solving efforts.
Having these tools available makes an officer's job not only easier to do but more rewarding as well. They become more accountable for the neighborhoods that they are assigned to and thus feel more responsible for keeping them safe and crime free. This goes a long was in enhancing the Community-Based Policing Model that calls for the officers on the front line to be more connected to their communities and neighborhoods in order to identify and address crimes and criminals. The more connected and empowered that an officer feels to their job and those people that they are serving the better performance of their duties you will see.
Community-Oriented Policing. (n.d.). Retrieved April 6, 2009, from Web site: