The Fragmentation of Policing in American Cities: Toward an Ecological Theory of Police-Citizen Relations

The Fragmentation of Policing in American Cities: Toward an Ecological Theory of Police-Citizen Relations

The Fragmentation of Policing in American Cities: Toward an Ecological Theory of Police-Citizen Relations

The Fragmentation of Policing in American Cities: Toward an Ecological Theory of Police-Citizen Relations

Synopsis

Lays out a testable theory of police-citizen relations capable of explaining and predicting the relationship between police and citizens in American cities.

Excerpt

“Community policing” has become the synonym of policing in America. It is praised as the renaissance to revive past treasures in the art of serving urban needs, and revered at the same time as the enlightenment in the science of maintaining law and order in a free society. Strong rhetorical and budgetary support for community policing has come from the highest ranks of civilian authorities, including the nation’s president.

Current police reform shares the neoconservative belief that bureaucratic agencies tend to become monuments to governmental indifference and inefficiency in the long run, and that the way to prevent it from fossilization is for local citizens to reclaim their right to manage their own lives. The effectiveness and legitimacy of policing in a democratic society have essentially depended upon the approval and participation of the people, at least in theory. Disillusioned with the proven ineffectiveness of traditional methods of doing business (e.g., random motorized patrol, rapid response to calls, increased number of officers, etc.), police executives and scholars have brought about innovations centered on police–community reciprocity. This new philosophy advocates for the return of civil society through new forms of citizen participation at the community level, and views the police and the public as co-producers of crime prevention and expects the police to learn from and be accountable to their partner: the community (Body-Gendrot, 2000; Skolnick & Bayley, 1986).

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.