Chicago Police – Coursework Example

Community policing program and the Chicago Police Department The police department in any country is considered to be the watchdogs of peace and harmony in the community. Very often this is a thankless job, with only the negatives being promoted by the different agencies, and being lapped up by the public. The department is shown as heartless, and in some countries, as very corrupt. They are often seen as being cold and insensitive. Even if a department in any region of a nation is honest, the relationship between the police and the ordinary members of a community is often distant. There arose a need among those in the government, the police department, and even among the members of the community to bridge the gap between this distance and to bring about informality between a seemingly cold department and the members of the society. This paper reviews the much appreciated attempts community policing program by the Chicago Police Department, considered to be the first attempt, by any police department in the United States.
What is noteworthy is that this initiative has been monitored and assisted by grants by several agencies and organizations that include National Institute of Justice, Northwestern University, state agencies, and charitable organizations (Skogan et al iii). This initiative was named the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS). Even though, not an overwhelming success, it paved the way for future improvements in relationship between the community members and the police department. The main criticism was that it lacked a direction or focus.
The positive aspects that came about from CAPS are given below. Beat officers held meetings with community members (one of the many initiatives) which allowed the former to understand the basic problems faced by members of the local community. The end result was that that a poll of the community on the effectiveness of CAPS could be summarized in three areas of improvement, namely “demeanor, responsiveness, and performance” (Skogan et al 2).
A review of the community policing programs as initiated by the Chicago Police Department (with regard to its advantages and disadvantages) is too short to be provided in a single page. But even so, the attempt at this interaction between the department and community members and individuals is extremely laudable and should be taken up as a study in an effort to further improve interaction between the two. It will take time, patience, and reflection to further develop this concept. The only thing that can be said now is that such an effort should be continued (in spite of challenges and criticisms). This is the best way to bridge the communication gap between a government agency committed to preserving law and order and the ordinary aspirations of law abiding citizens of that community. This initiative should be followed in every community and the law abiding agency, after taking into consideration the advantages and drawbacks faced by the Chicago Police Department.
Skogan et al. Taking stock: the community policing in Chicago. U.S. Department of Justice. 1998. 26 February 2010