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Modern Policing: The Racial Challenge
Pages 2 (502 words)
Most people think that the primary responsibility of the police is to protect the public. From films, books, and TV shows that depict police officers, the public has obtained an image of crime fighters who always get their man. Since the 1960s, however, the public has become increasingly aware that the reality of police work is substantially different from its fictional glorification.
Recently, a new view of policing has emerged. Rather than being seen as a crime fighter who tracks down serious criminals or stops armed robberies in progress, many police departments adopted the concept that the police role should be to maintain order and be a visible and accessible component of the community. The argument is that police efforts can be successful only when conducted in partnership with concerned citizens. This movement is referred to as community policing.
Engaging in community policing does not mean that the crime control model of law enforcement has been neglected. An ongoing effort is being made to improve the crime-fighting capability of police agencies and there are some indications that the effort is paying off. Research indicates that aggressive action by police can help reduce the incidence of repeat offending, and innovations such as computerized fingerprinting systems may bring about greater efficiency. Nonetheless, little evidence exists that adding police or improving their skills has had a major impact on crime-fighting success.
The challenge in community policing is the increasing multicultural population, which creates a variety of problems for the police, who are expected to enforce a single cultural-racial perspective. ...
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