The evolution of community policing and its significance in crime detection or protection

The evolution of community policing and its significance in crime detection or protection

Proactive Policing:  Standing on the Shoulders of Community-based Policing is an article authored by Curtis Clarke, which examines how the concept of community-based policing has been built over time and used to enhance service delivery and efficiency in the police service. It outlines various operational strategies that have been employed in a bid to reform police operations, and control the occurrence of crimes through the use of proactive measures, rather than the traditional reactive ones (Clarke, 2006). The writer is a renowned author of criminal justice papers, having conducted a myriad of researches in the field of criminology and policing. The article is guided by the thesis that through the implementation of proactive policing, as a basic improvement in the old system of community policing, there would be more efficiency and effectiveness in the crime detection and control.

Clarke professionally introduces his article by first looking at the previous status of policing, and the height of efficiency that had been achieved by such mode of operations. The paragraphs are well organized as they contain the main point or thesis; followed by supporting analysis of explanation by use of both vivid and derived examples;  and then ending with a solid conclusion which links up to the main thesis of the paper.

In addition, the author uses both primary and secondary sources to bolster the findings and facts presented within the paper. For instance, Clarke presents, in form of a narrative, the operations at Edmonton Police, and compares the performance of their old strategies with the improved ones. This analysis serves to give a deeper insight to the topic of discussion, and gives vivid exemplification of facts as outlined in the main thesis. On the other hand, the author also seeks further information from other articles and researches that had been done by previous authors, such as Lisac, 1995 (p. 5). The evidence presented in the article is thus reliable and academic.

Although the author agrees with the concept of proactive policing as a significant element in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of police officers in crime prevention, he does not give factual figures to show the level of impact as compared to the traditional system. Thus, the article does not clearly show a transition of community policing from primitive to more intelligent and advanced status.

Contrastingly, the article has provided a clear framework of how improved community policing can be implemented, so as to enable a transition from a reactive to a proactive policing. This is demonstrated by analyzing the operations of Downtown Division, with special emphasis on the Community Response Model (p. 9). Similar to the above stated anomaly, the analysis does not provide statistical report to show articulable improvement brought about by the new model. However, its usefulness is explained further in conjunction with the Strategic Operational Projects. In another instance, the author agrees that the success of proactive policing relies very heavily on robust data; but fails to provide such data in its own analysis (p. 10).

In conclusion, the article addresses key issues that appertain to the transition from traditional model of policing to proactive community policing, and outlines how this move has been significant in the prevention of crime. It, however, leaves a gap for further research into factual data presentation and comparative analysis of the impact of such a transition. The latter would be important in gauging the effectiveness of improved community policing strategies.


Clarke C. (2006). Proactive Policing: Standing on the Shoulders of Community-Based Policing. Police Practice and Research, 7(1), pp. 3–17.


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