In the Active Learning Discussion area, discuss your thoughts on the information that has been posted by your professor and discuss its relevance and implications to the field of Criminal Justice. Your remarks can be opinion, but it must be based on your experience, research, and/or prior learning. Use this exercise to converse with your fellow colleagues about issues that are important to the field of Criminal Justice. Of particular interest is a dialogue of opinions, thoughts, and comments. Be sure to discuss both sides of the issue as noted in the actual question posting.
Discussion Question 1-For this discussion question refer to the “Compstat in Practice: An In-Depth Analysis of Three Cities” article in Doc Sharing. Compare and contrast the CompStat and Community Policing models of law enforcement. Describe and assess the advantages and disadvantages of each of these approaches. Explain which one (or combination) of these approaches is the best, and why.(AT least 200 words no more than 1000).
Respond to this discussion post 2 with at least 100 words- Compstat Policing Model of Law Enforcement is a recent approach to enhancing a law enforcements efficiency and effectiveness. The model is based on six core elements, to include: (1) mission clarification, (2) internal accountability, (3) geographic organization of operational command, (4) organizational flexibility, (5) data-driven analysis of problems and assessment of department’s problem solving, (6) innovative problem solving tactics (Willis, Mastrofski, & Weisburd, 2003). Mission clarification includes “clarifying and exalting the core features of the department’s mission that serve as the overarching reason for the organization’s existence” (Willis, Mastrofski, & Weisburd, 2003, p. 4). Internal accountability includes operational commanders being held accountable for knowing the strengths and weaknesses within the command and taking an effort to reduce the problems (Willis, Mastrofski, & Weisburd, 2003). Geographic organization includes focusing on delegating operational command territorial responsibilities (Willis, Mastrofski, & Weisburd, 2003). Organizational flexibility means that the department will have to change normal routines to be able to mobilize at a moment’s notice (Willis, Mastrofski, & Weisburd, 2003). Data driven analysis utilizes data to identify and analyze problems and track the department’s response (Willis, Mastrofski, & Weisburd, 2003). Lastly, innovate problem solving tactics includes the police responses to offer the best opportunity for success (Willis, Mastrofski, & Weisburd, 2003). Although these six core elements have been identified, there are still many benefits and detriments to using the Compstat Policing Model.
One of the benefits mentioned are that the Compstat meetings have proven to be a very effective way for allowing the district commanders to remain informed of the strengths and weakness within the department (Willis, Mastrofski, & Weisburd, 2003). Additionally, the decision-making authority is allowed in lower levels from the district commander, allowing for more responsibility within the lower ranks (Willis, Mastrofski, & Weisburd, 2003). Lastly, the data-driven problem identification has proved to be an extremely effective way to keep district commanders and fellow officers well informed of problems (Willis, Mastrofski, & Weisburd, 2003). Despite these advantages, there were many drawbacks found. One of the drawbacks found were that a mission statement too focused on crime-reduction might conflict with other important department goals (Willis, Mastrofski, & Weisburd, 2003). Additionally, the use of Compstat concentrates the majority of decision making within the hierarchy of the command (Willis, Mastrofski, & Weisburd, 2003). This contradicts the central idea of community policing. Lastly, despite the improved strategies to gather information and inform the commanders, most departments still rely on traditional approaches (Willis, Mastrofski, & Weisburd, 2003).
With the concepts, benefits, and drawbacks of utilizing the Compstat Policing Model, one must also examine the Community Policing Model. The Community Policing Model tries to balance reactive responses with pro-active problem solving, specifically in relation to the causes of crime and disorder (Yero, Othman, Samag, D’Silva, & Sulaiman, 2012). In essence, the ideal Community Policing Model will have a balanced partnership between police and the citizens (Yero et al., 2012). The use of the Community Policing Model has many different components like the Compstat Policing Model. The components consist of (1) problem solving approach to law enforcement, (2) values of the citizens incorporated in the police values, (3) power sharing between the communities and police, (4) policing boundaries that correspond with neighborhood boundaries, (5) permanent assignment of patrol officers, (6) coordination of investigations at the neighborhood and city level, and (7) supervisors/commanders will take on a more supportive role (Brown, 2002). The benefits of utilizing such components are extensive. By gaining the support of the community, it will allow police officers to have more positive interactions with the citizens, and have more cooperation towards the result of crime reduction. By allowing the policing boundaries to correspond with the neighborhoods, and having permanent patrol officers, citizens will become familiar with specific officers and officers will be able to understand the intricacies of the community. Being able to coordinate investigations between city and neighborhood levels will set a more proactive path to a greater goal of crime reduction. Additionally, coordination of investigations will allow city police officers to identify and strategize tactics to prevent future crimes.
While these benefits are ideal, there are shortcomings for using community police models. For instance, the main challenge facing community policing today is to be conceptualized (Yero et al., 2012). The Community Policing Model is still in the theoretical stages and has yet to be wholly integrated into a society (Yero et al., 2012). Additionally, Nelligan & Taylor (1994) have identified five major challenges with community policing. These challenges include (1) general implementation, (2) the inability to protect community policing from criticism, and (3) the difficulty in determining the intricate relationship between community policing and crime (Nelligan & Taylor, 1994). Lastly, Hills (2012) has identified that community policing in “plural societies where inter communal conflict as well as inter religious conflict flourish” is a significant challenge (p. 52).
Based on the information that is presented, I would have to purpose that a combination of the two models would be the best. The benefits of the Compstat Policing Model in having effective meetings to keep upper level commanders informed of the strengths and weaknesses within a department are an area that the Community Police Model is lacking. Additionally, the data driven problem identification as an effective tools in understanding where and to what degree crime is happening will allow for the Community Police Model to become more applicable to a real society. The integration of citizen’s and police officer’s working together is an aspect that the Compstat Policing Model is lacking. It is these aspects that provide an integrated model that might prove to have very little drawbacks when executed.