The Real Truth of Community Policing

Community policing was and will be always be a program. Anytime you hear the word 'program,' take a clue. It has a start date, which means it will have an end date.

Secondly, for that chief who is about to be fired or those who have it written into their job contract--ask your employer to show you in federal or state codes where community policing is codified law. It is not a law, but rather a philosophy or mindset. This could possibly be a goal or project in your employee evaluation or performance contract.

I am not a total pessimist; community policing did some great things in bringing police and community together. It did open up lines of communication with our customer base. The problem is that we had that years ago and lost it. We must learn from history and not have to repeat this in another twenty years. Maintain what we have now, or in the not-too-distant future we will be reliving this all over again. History has a bad tendency to repeat itself, and this will be no different.

Finally, to many, this was a fill-in-the-gap for some social services that did not service the disadvantaged. To many politicians, this was rhetoric to be the great salve to the masses for votes. "If you vote for me; then the police will do this for you." As terrorism continues to be the top issue that moves emergency services and drains our resources, this will guide the grants and spending. As others clamor for community policing and free hot dogs and face painting, those days which may be gone, just like some chiefs and their federal grants. They will have to rely on private philanthropy and trusts to continue. To the new chief that takes that job: you had better get in good with the local grocery store for free sodas and goodies. You will need them for next block party. Your job will just may well depend on it.

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