Broken Windows, Damaged Gutters, and Police Supervision Term Paper

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Broken Windows, Damaged Gutters, and Police Supervision

One of the primary obstacles that police reformers face when implementing a community policing philosophy is that it requires that officers, supervisors and communities work together in a 'team' oriented manner to accomplish the tasks at hand. As pointed out in the case study, Sergeant Strzykalski was at first very reluctant to participate in the community policing program in part because his work would be evaluated at a team level instead of independently. He was also asked to forgo the philosophy which he had maintained for years, which suggested that good policing is contingent upon quotas and numbers rather than interaction with community members.

Many officers are used to working in an environment that encourages more independence and provides officers with the ability to work very independently rather than collaboratively. In addition few are required to Thus the initial shift in philosophy would be difficult for many officers. In addition the philosophy requires that supervisors act more as support agents rather than authoritarian representatives, another 'shift' in philosophy that might be an obstacle.

There are many issues of police supervision that are important in switching from a traditional environment to a community policing one. The biggest issue will be conversion of the department into one that operates in a team oriented fashion and one that is focused on supporting the community rather than one that is focused on 'catching the bad guys.' Supervisors will have to also work toward changing the attitudes of officers who oppose community policing in order to encourage them to participate actively in the community policing program.

Patrol officers are less likely to embrace the model of supervision emphasized by community policing because many like Officer Strzykalski have likely focused their career based on the idea that effective law enforcement was contingent upon an officer's ability to "identify the bad element in the community and deal with it forcefully and directly." Other officers are not likely to embrace a team oriented approach to evaluation. Officers in the case study were evaluated for the first time as a team, which might be very concerning for many officers accustomed to individual evaluations.

However, at the same time some officers might be interested in the fact that supervisors would be encouraged to seek advice from officers regarding effective ways to handle problems in their communities. Officers have more opportunity to be considered 'experts' in the field. Community policing would encourage police officers to take a more active role in policing and allow them more opportunities for….....

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