Effective community policing relies on police officers who have both an intimate knowledge of their assignment area and the trust of the community that lives there. In order to best achieve this, it is crucial that the officers spend significant time in the community. Since it is necessary for the police and community members to be partners in crime prevention, high levels of trust and communication between the two entities are critical.
Since patrol officers have the most contact with the individual members of a community, they are the ones that stand to learn the most valuable information when it comes to crime prevention. They also stand to learn the most about community needs and priorities. By having permanent shifts in the same area day in and day out, they also have the opportunity to regularly participate in community events and activities and become recognized as trusted members of that community.
Furthermore, officers who have close knowledge of a community as the result of...
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