The term "community policing" has been around for a while, at least since the 1980s. There have been a number of definitions over the years, but most of them reflect a similar theme. We can start with the US Department of Justice's working definition:
"Community policing is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies that support
the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address
the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder,
and fear of crime."
But to PredPol community policing is so much more than that. Community policing is a philosophy that changes a department's strategy from reacting to crime to crime prevention. We find that more and more agencies are beginning to adopt the philosophy of community policing and are transforming their departments by implementing a more proactive style of policing. Since proactive policing is at the heart of what PredPol does, there are several ways we can help your agency's efforts to implement community policing.
Collaborative partnerships between your agency and other public safety and city stakeholders help to develop solutions, establish transparency, and increase trust. By using PredPol's Patrol Operations Management tools and analytics reports your agency can share customized crime reports and patrol data with other public safety officials within your city and the community. PredPol can also predict for other public-safety events, such as traffic collisions and drug overdoses, allowing your agency to work with other governmental and non-governmental entities to proactively address the complex problems facing our cities today.
Using a patrol operations management solution like PredPol, command staff can establish a stronger sense of accountability as they change their departmental culture to establish a more proactive approach to policing. Crime analysts and command staff can set missions by time of day and day of week, allowing officers to focus on reducing specific crime types. Our patrol heat map and dosage flags allow command staff to see where their officers are patrolling in real time to ensure they are focused on the areas where their efforts will be most effective at deterring crime. This data can help command staff set a baseline for performance expectations. The alignment of organizational management, structure and personnel can help an agency achieve a more effective and efficient way of policing.
The ability to clearly define missions and communicate those missions to the community is an important element of building trust with the community. PredPol gives your command staff the ability to do this on an ongoing basis.
Patrol Heat Map displaying vehicle dosage.
The process of engaging in the proactive examination of identified problems can help to develop and evaluate effective responses. PredPol's analytics dashboard allows you to analyze how current patrol operations are affecting crime rates, which can provide valuable information on how to optimize your existing resources. This will help you to develop solutions to bring about lasting reductions in crime rates. Being able to have access to all of this data gives you the ability to assess the success of established missions and therefore adjust operationally if need be.
By focusing on missions and "hotspot" locations, PredPol guides your officers to the locations where they can actively work to address underlying issues that can drive public safety events. If the current mission is to deter auto theft, officers may talk to people in the neighborhood or the staff at local stores nearby about how to mitigate risk. If the mission is to reduce residential burglary, officers may work with local community leaders to install security cameras or encourage residents to set up a neighborhood watch group. The specific problem-solving tactics are up to the departmental policies or the officers themselves. What PredPol can do is tell them where those efforts will have the greatest payoff.