Citizen Involvement with their Law Enforcement Agency Name of the Student Law Name of the Concerned Professor March 5, 2013 Abstract In the current times, community participation is often considered to be a panacea for all socio-political problems and issues…
Citizen involvement in the law enforcement agencies is something that is in a way well ingrained in the American law enforcement mechanisms (Marx & Archer, 1971, p. 52). In the nascent era of American civilization, whenever the citizens felt that there is a lot of crime that threatens their well being, their property, there sense of peace and the values and norms they cherished as individuals and groups, varied types of initiatives used to be engaged in that involved a close collaboration with the law enforcement agencies (Marx & Archer, 1971, p. 52). In the 9/11 scenario, when the law enforcement agencies are hard pressed in terms of time, resources and personnel, soliciting citizen involvement could turn out to be a viable way out of this crunch. Introduction There is no denying the fact that citizen involvement in the law enforcement agencies tend to involve a range of possibilities and ambiguities as to the role that the citizens play in law enforcement. The biggest premise that supports such line of reasoning is the belief that citizens may be more than happy to engage with the law enforcement agencies. Such discussion tend to take it for granted that it is possible for the citizens and the neighbourhoods and the law enforcement agencies to work in close tandem and coordination to deal with law enforcement issues and problems. Such forums also talk about the possible way that the law enforcement agencies could help in the development of the neighbourhoods. Yet, the reality is that much research and surveys do tend to convey the fact that soliciting citizens’ involvement in the law and order problems is something that is easier said than done. Well, both the sides that are the neighbourhoods and the law enforcement agencies happen to be responsible for this lacuna. While, on the one side if citizens feel scared and threatened by the possibility of engaging in law and order issues, the law and order agencies also sometimes evince a scarce initiative to organize and retain active community participation in their day to day affairs. However, in the last few decades a belief has emerged amongst the law and orders agencies that the onus of crime prevention happens to a large extent being dependent on the communities and the law and order bodies are mostly required to play an ancillary role in the task of maintaining social harmony and peace. Hence, in the current times when the law and order agencies are hard pressed for personnel and resources, citizen involvement could indeed emerge to a potential game changer. Citizen Involvement It goes without saying that citizens can play a pivotal role in the working of law enforcement agencies in a variety of ways. The citizens could supplement and assist the law enforcement agencies in the carrying out of their duties, without putting any unnecessary burden on the budgetary resources (Wadington, 1999). Citizens can assist organizations in a variety of ways that includes, resident policing of communities, citizen surveillance of neighbourhoods aimed at reporting any suspicious activities to the law enforcement agencies, citizen patrols aimed at bolstering the neighbourhood confidence, citizen initiatives aimed at prying on and reporting about specific types of criminal activities, clerical or supportive administrative chores, extending support to the victims of crime, as reserves, computer programming, translation services, and support extended ...
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