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An Analysis of Community Oriented Policing (COPPS)and Traditional Policing

The police have adifficult, sometimes impossible job (Nordlinger, 2014).The police department is tasked with ensuring that they serve and protect thepublic. This means that they put everything else before the safety of thecitizens including their own lives. The police have been in existence for manydecades. They have provided the public and society as a whole with a suitableenvironment where they can live, through adopting and implementing strategiesthat they feel that would be the best to help them achieve their objectives.Over the years, these strategies have improved and become better in an effortto ensure that the public is better served and protected. The police force hasgone through different stages from traditional policing to what is currentlyused by majority of the countries, which is community oriented policing andproblem solving abbreviated as COPPS. Through understanding, both methods willput a person in a better position to know which methods are most applicable andappropriate to be used depending on the situation that a person is facing atthe moment. This also helps to understand how the police in conjunction withthe local community can work together to ensure that the community is safe andsecurity is enhanced at all times.

Themost popular and most understood style of law enforcement is traditionalpolicing. It is a standard style of policing that sees police officers that areon patrol react to criminal activities that they come across or that the policeare called to intervene by the public. In this method, the police are expectedto react immediately they observe a crime or when they are asked to respond toa report that has been made by members of the public (Olsen, 2004). It is themost commonly used method as all the police require to do is to apply the basicknowledge that they were taught when they were in the police academy. This isthe method that has been used across board in many countries in the world toensure that their respective countries are safe at all times. It was popularbecause of the factors that it involved.

Theother method that is very popular today is the COPPS method. This type ofmethod involves both the community and the police working hand in hand toreduce incidences of crime and enhancing security. Police officers partner withthe community to help seek solutions for any security problem that they have.The police and the community partner to find the root cause of the problem andwhat might make crimes to thrive. The method aims at ensuring that there arebetter and stronger relationships between the community and the police. It is aremarkable idea as once this relationship is strengthened it means that thepolice will be able to gain better intelligence about crimes before they occur.The community will also be able to trust the police as they will be willing andready to co-operate with them whenever need arises (Glensor & Peak, 2006).It is a good method that helps to foster a good working relationship betweenall the parties that are involved.

Thereare similarities and differences that exist between traditional policing andCOPPS. The main similarity is that both methods have a similar objective. Theyboth lean towards ensuring that the rate of crime levels are at a minimum andthat security is enhanced at all times. The methods both depend on gatheringintelligence and using the data collected to solve crimes and ensure thatcrimes are avoided, and also any perpetrators that are involved in the processare captured and punished to the full extent of the law (Australian Commissionfor Law Enforcement Integrity, 2009). Another similarity is that the police areat the core of both methods. The most important element in both is the police,and they serve a vital function. This means that the police are heavilyinvolved in both methods, and without them the community would not be made anysafer.

Thereare also major differences that can be noted between traditional policing andCOPPS. Both methods have different ways of ensuring that security is enhanced.Traditional policing depends fully on the police alone. They work on their ownto gather intelligence by interviewing the public and gathering evidence so asto prevent a crime from occurring, or to catch a perpetrator. On the otherhand, COPPS involves a joint effort from both the community and the police(Peak & Glensor, 2002). Both factions work together to ensure that theworld is made a better place, free from any form of crime. The community istaken through basic classes that teach them on how to detect crime. They arealso taught on how best to handle any form of situation that they come acrosswith the inclusion of the police throughout the entire process. These are themain differences between COPPS and traditional policing. However, whichevermethod is applied, the end point is enhancing effective safety measures thatare appropriate to the community.

Thephilosophy of traditional policing is serving the public to the best of theirability by ensuring that only the best methods are applied (Olsen, 2004). Thereis the need to ensure that the community is not affected in any way as thepolice are in the process of investigating any crime. The philosophy of COPPSis to have the police and the community work hand in hand in the process ofsolving the crime that has been reported, or to prevent future crimes. TheCOPPS philosophy aims at fostering a good relationship between the police andthe community by encouraging them to work together for the good of thecommunity.

Thereare certain leadership traits that are required when a person is selected to bepart of either of the policing methods. In traditional policing, the leadershiptraits that are sought for are a decisive person that is able to make the rightand firm decision, an assertive person and the ability to discern and followone’s gut. These qualities are important as they make a person to be able tostand for what they believe in and not be swayed. They enable the policeofficer to be in a better position to be able to firmly make the right decisionthat will enable him or her to quickly solve the case that they have. In thecase for COPPS, there are also certain leadership qualities that a person needsto possess. For officers or persons that are involved in COPPS, they need tohave qualities that help them to work together in a group in an effort toensure that the right choice is made (Peak & Glensor, 2002). Therefore, themost important trait in COPPS is a leader needs to be a team player and be ableto work with other people so that they make the community a better and saferplace to live in.

Thetraits for each overlap in that though in COPPS an officer is supposed to workwith the community, in traditional policing an officer is supposed to bediscrete and reveal little or no details to the community (Glensor & Peak,2006). Leaders in each method are also looking for certain traits in theiremployees. An example of the traits is the ability to work well with oneanother. This is within the COPPS. An employee under COPPS is required to be ateam player. That person needs to be able to gain useful information and sharewith his peers. Another quality is the ability to follow instructions. Thisapplies to both methods. An employee needs to be able to be told certain thingsand to follow these instructions to the letter. Another quality is the employeeneeds to be sharp, be able to discern information quickly, and gather usefulintelligence that will help solve the case that they are investigating. Theseare just some of the main characteristics that an officer or a person that ispart of the community policing should have or possess. There are many othersthat are mostly tailor made to the kind of case or situation that the partiesmight be involved in.

Inhistory, different scholars have postulated different leadership andmotivational theories that are applicable to traditional policing and COPPS.These theories fully apply to these methods and are adopted by different peopledepending on the situation or scenario that they are in. Maslow hierarchy ofneeds is an example of a motivational theory that is applicable to traditionalpolicing. Maslow implies that the police officers work hard to get the nextlevel of hierarchy. This means that the junior officers work hard so that theycan rise up the ranks and have senior positions in the force. In the case ofCOPPS, Herzberg motivational theory is applicable. For this theory, it meansthat the community becoming safe is the motivation that the community has tomake for them to work with the police. They know that if they work together,the world will become a safer place for them and their children.

Traitand behavioral leadership theories are also equally important in police work.These are the theories that show how a leader is expected to carry himself orherself. Trait leadership theory defines the kind of traits that a leadershould have (Bennett, Hess & Orthmann, 2007). In the police force, thereare certain traits that a leader should possess. These traits will determinewhether or not a person will possess the kind of qualities that are importantto lead a team. An officer should also behave in a certain way. This is wherethe behavioral theory comes in handy. This means that the officer in aleadership position needs to behave in a certain way that his juniors canemulate.

Leadership,management and supervision of traditional policing and COPPS have somesimilarities and differences. The similarities between the two methods inregards to leadership include that in both methods respect is expected. Thejuniors are expected to respect their superiors at all times, and they aresupposed to follow the instructions that they are given to the core. In regardsto management and supervision, the similarity is that in both methods the teamsare strictly managed so as to ensure that only the best results can beachieved. The leadership, management and supervision in the two methods have tobe top notch and impeccable so that results can be got regardless of thescenario that either method faces.

Thereare also differences that are evident in how the two methods are led, managedand supervised. First, the COPPS method requires that all the parties involvedwork together hand in hand. Therefore, there is an element of team work that isbetween the community and the police department. This calls for the managementto be open-minded and supervision more relaxed. However, in the case of thetraditional policing there are stern rules and regulations that need to befollowed at all times (De, 2008). There is no room for being relaxed as everysingle person is accountable for their actions and is expected to add value tothe police department. If any of the officers is found at fault they areexpected to answer to internal affairs and give valid reasons for theirmisconduct. Therefore, supervision is very crucial in traditional policing thanin COPPS. The management of both methods is also very different. In traditionalpolicing, management is very strict and they expect officers to follow the setdown rules and regulations. On the other hand, the management of COPPS is lessstrict as there are many different elements that are involved that may at timesgo rogue and not follow instructions.

Bothmethods of policing have different ways that they handle cases that are broughtto them. In the case of multiple home robberies throughout a middle classneighborhood, the traditional policing method would come in and investigate thescene or different scenes of the crime. They would do their best to get theevidence that they need to catch the culprits like take prints at the scene ofthe crime. They would also ensure that they take witness statements so thatthey are able to know if there was any person that saw anything that would beof use to them. On the other hand, COPPS would handle this issue different. Ontop of collecting evidence, they would also organize the community to have theneighborhood watch that would keep track of any individuals that come and gofrom the community. They would report and question any suspicious individualsthat they find hanging around the neighborhood.

Anothercase would be domestic violence. This is one case that is commonly reported tothe police. In traditional policing, the victim and the perpetrator would bequestioned by the police and once the police have determined the case and causeof the problem the perpetrator would be arrested. However, COPPS would handlethis situation differently. They would intervene and ensure that both partieswent for counseling. This would mean that both the victim and the perpetratorsought help from a professional that would look into the root cause of theproblem (De, 2008). The community would also look into the best interest of thevictims to ensure that the perpetrator is charged to the full extent of the lawfor what he or she put the victims through.

Thestyle that would be more effective in solving multiple home robberiesthroughout a middle class neighborhood and domestic disputes would be COPPS.This is because COPPS go a step further to ensure that they find out the rootcause of the problem and not just look at the face value. COPPS will alsoensure that they counsel the entire community so that these crime issues decrease.They also talk to influential figures in the community, so that they can act asbrand ambassadors that will dissuade the younger generation from participatingin these crimes (Olsen, 2004). The method would also be effective as itinvolves the community in an attempt to resolve the crimes. A combination ofboth styles would not be effective. This is because both traditional policingand COPPS are different ways of handling and assessing a crime that has come totheir attention. If both styles were used, it would result in the progress ofthe case and solving it being slower than intended. Therefore, the onlysolution would be for the community to pick one method preferably the COPPSmethod and stick to it. This would also get rid of any incidences that wouldlead to either the community of the police force getting confused.

Thestyle of policing that would be most effective in the world today is communityoriented policing and problem solving. COPPS is a method that looks into theroot cause of the problem. It seeks to address the issues that are affectingthe community (Olsen, 2004). It does not concentrate only on the solving thecrime, but also on how to avoid and prevent this issue from ever happeningagain. It addresses the root cause of the problem and how it can also beavoided in the future. The best thing about this method is the fact that itseeks to find applicable solutions that will make the problem not arise again.The fact that it involves the community makes it even better, as it means thateach and every person will work to ensure that only the good of the community.

Acombination of both methods of policing would not work in the world today. Thisis because the world is quickly evolving. It is the duty of each and everyperson to ensure that they work towards a good and healthy community (Peak& Glensor, 2002). If every single person worked towards the betterment ofthe community, it would help deal with the crimes that have eroded the societyas a whole. COPPS gives the community and the police an opportunity to worktogether. They get an opportunity to earn each other’s trust and be able tobuild the security of the country. On the other hand, traditional policing isone sided. The police department continues to have a façade that makes themseem unapproachable.

Bothstyles need to adopt new elements so that they can better be implemented infuture. This will help in the successful supervision and leadership of thepolice. Traditional policing needs to open up and include the community whenthey are in the process of solving the cases that they find. They need toensure that they fully include the community as it is through understandingeach other is where they will be able to work together. Traditional policingalso needs to break the barriers of communication between the two parties andensure that only the best can be got (Bennett, Hess & Orthmann, 2007). Asfor COPPS what need to improve are the representatives from the community needto go through a rigorous training and vetting process. This is important as itensures that the right people are accorded the right skills and techniques thatenable them to protect the community against any security threats. COPPS alsohas to have specific instructions that ensure that there is no form of discriminationor favoritism. The community is given the skills that they need to give them anupper hand when it comes to resolving crimes.

Itis evident that there are a number of similarities and differences when itcomes to COPPS and traditional policing. The two methods of policing haveborrowed from each other a number of techniques that are crucial in solvingcrimes. For the world to become a better place security needs to be of thehighest quality (Peak & Glensor, 2002). This is why understanding thedifference between the two methods is extremely important. It makes a personunderstand the details that are involved in criminal cases and can guide anindividual into taking the right career path. Both methods are important thoughtheir effectiveness vary depending on the factors that are involved in the casethat is being handled. That is why Localpolice departments thus discover there problems are not unique and that it ispossible for communities with the same problem to assist and support each other(Touch & Grant, 2005). The police force hasgone through different stages from traditional policing to what is currentlyused by majority of the countries, which is community oriented policing andproblem solving abbreviated as COPPS.



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Bennett, W. W.,Hess, K. M., & Orthmann, C. M. H. (2007). Management and supervision inlaw enforcement.

De, P. R. J.(January 01, 2008). Organizational leadership and change management: Removingsystems barriers to community-oriented policing and problem solving. ThePolice Chief, 65, 68-76.

Glensor, R. W.,& Peak, K. (July 01, 2006). Implementing Change: Community-OrientedPolicing and Problem Solving. Fbi Law Enforcement Bulletin, 65, 7,14-21.

NORDLINGER, JAY.2014. “A Job Like No Other.” National Review 66, no. 17:30-31. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed November 14,2014)

Olsen, G. R.(January 01, 2004). Challenges to traditional policy options, opportunities fornew choices: The Africa policy of the EU. The Round Table, 93, 375,425-436.

Peak, K. J.,& Glensor, R. W. (2002). Community policing and problem solving:Strategies and practices. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.

Toch, H., &Grant, J. D. (2005). Community Policing and Problem-Oriented Policing. In , Policeas problem solvers: How frontline workers can promote organizational andcommunity change (2nd ed.) (pp. 269-291). Washington, DC, US: AmericanPsychological Association. doi:10.1037/10857-011

I put in bold where i added the references thanks just need you to look over for me make any changes i readded the thesis statement at the end of the paper as we are supposed to

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