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Community policing that promotes relationships can reduce police violence



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Collaborative policing that fosters relationships with local citizens can reduce police violence, while proactive policing strategies are associated with greater police violence, new research from Rutgers-Camden University shows.

“If police forces focus on building relationships and community needs and needs, rather than community / social oversight, police officers may have a greater opportunity to get to know the community better,” explains co-author Kayla Preito-Hodge, assistant professor of criminal justice at Rutgers – Camden. “This could lead to greater understanding, greater trust and, in general, a better mood and perception of the community by the police and the police by the community.”

Researcher Preito-Hodge and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Donald Tomaskovic-Devey explore the effectiveness of policy recommendations designed to alleviate extreme tensions between communities and police departments across the country in their peer-reviewed study published in Social Currents, the leading journal of the Southern Sociological Society.

“Since the assassination of George Floyd, weeks of protests and mass unrest have prompted many communities to seek effective responses to violent police,” he says.

Researchers are examining several policy recommendations proposed by the Obama administration, many of which have re-emerged in response to racial reckoning in 2020. They have assessed the potential effects of community policing, increasing the racial / gender diversity of officers and higher education requirements. officers to changes in the routine use of police force in interaction with citizens.

“We note that many of the proposed policies are not related to the use of force, although increased training requirements for officers and more police officers deployed as community members have been linked to less police violence,” Preito-Hodge says.

By contrast, he says proactive crime control measures and larger police forces relative to the local population have been linked to increased use of force.

“All of our findings take into account the level of violent crime in communities,” says researcher Rutgers-Camden.

According to Preito-Hodge, often when people hear the phrase “community policing,” the first thing that comes to mind is the police having some kind of relationship with the community. He explains, however, that community policing is much broader than that; it can be in different forms, even within the same section.

Researchers describe three main ways of conducting community policing: symbolic, interactive, and operational.

They argue that community policing can only be symbolically used to obtain federal funding and support from the Federal Office for Community-Based Police Services.

“Such symbolic actions may not have the effect of reducing the use of force in the police,” says Preito-Hodge.

Researchers explain that community policing could also be used to expand the power of police oversight.

“This form of community policing is actually associated with greater use of force by citizens by the police,” says Preito-Hodge.

Finally, some community policing strategies are really designed to build community and relationships.

“Our findings show that police officers who talk to people in the community, build relationships, and acknowledge the humanity of citizens are less likely to use force against those citizens,” Preito-Hodge says. “In contrast, proactive crime-solving strategies create an environment in which crime is suspected and police violence increases.”

Preito-Hodge says it is difficult to determine the consequences of their findings because there is also evidence that increasing police contact with the community is consequently increasing the likelihood of police violence.

He believes that one of the key points for intervention – if the community decides that the community policing program is legitimate – is in the way the police interact with community members.

“Respect, empathy, and service, not mistrust and control, need to become an ethos that directs interactions with community members,” he says. “But without organizational and cultural changes within the police administration that would determine the attitude, mood and behavior of all police officers, the efforts of positive police interactions in the community are in vain.”


The study model investigates the impact of police measures on the health of the population


More information:
Kayla Preito-Hodge et al., The Story of Force: Examining Policy Proposals to Eliminate Police Violence, Social flows (2021). DOI: 10.1177 / 23294965211017903

Provided by Rutgers University

Citation: Research: Community Policemen Promoting Relationships Can Reduce Police Violence (2021, July 23) Acquired July 23, 2021 by https://phys.org/news/2021-07-policing-relationships-police- violence.html

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