Needing Some insight thanks so Much!you are hired by the Averagetown Police Department as an assistant and consultant to the Police Commissioner. Averagetown, has minor crime problems, involving...

Needing Some insight thanks so Much!

you are hired by the Averagetown Police Department as an assistant and consultant to the Police Commissioner. Averagetown, has minor crime problems, involving thefts from cars, burglaries, and some low level drug dealing in the town's only public housing development. The citizens in the housing development are constantly complaining about youths loitering in and around their building who cause noise and disorder problems, such as littering and fighting.

The commissioner tells you that she is thinking about ways to improve her department which currently is "reactive-only". She asks if you can make some suggestions to re-organize the police department to deal with Averagetown's problems. She says that she read an article once about broken windows, but doesn't remember it. what would you advise the police commissioner about this issue?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since you mention the "broken windows" article, I will talk about that approach rather than the more "community policing" attitude that the first answer embraces.

The "broken windows" approach says that small things lead to big crimes.  It says that if you allow small things (like broken windows) to go unchecked, people will feel like they live in some place where "anything goes" and they will behave accordingly.

So what your police chief ought to do is to follow the lead of the NYC police back in the '90s.  They cracked down harshly on all sorts of little things (like people illegally going out into traffic to squeegee windshields and sort of extorting money as they did it).  This led to a decrease in big crimes.

So your chief should become harsher, should arrest people for little things.  Then everything will fall into place.

kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If the current set up is "reactive ony," I would focus on making the department more proactive in terms of forming relationships and building habits that will help to prevent some of the crime and some of the complaints instead of just reacting to them.

There could be events set up to help the people in the communities be around the police officers and vice versa, this allows them to form a more serious bond and to trust each other instead of just one having certain assumptions about the other, etc.

The police could also be more visible in those areas, find out why the young men don't have anything better to do than loiter and make noise, perhaps they could even organize things like a sports tournament or other activity that would provide more productive outlets for their energy.