Community Policing

About Community Policing

There are several causes of crime, including but not limited to drugs, alcohol, unemployment and poverty.  Many law enforcement agencies have implemented community police to address crime.  Community policing is an organization wide philosophy and management approach that promotes community, government and law enforcement partnerships, proactive problem solving and community engagement to address the causes of crime, the fear of crime and other community issues.  The goal of community policing is to improve the community’s quality of life.

As it relates to community policing, problem is a basic unit of police work.  It can be a group or pattern of crimes, other calls for service or incidents which cause concern or harm to citizens not just police.  Another aspect of community policing is problem oriented policing.  It is a strategy that involves identification and analysis of specific crime and disorder problems in order to develop effective response strategies in conjunction with ongoing assessment.

One template utilized for community and problem oriented policing is the SARA (Scan, Analyze, Respond, and Assess) Method of Problem Solving.  Scanning is used to identify problems and prioritize them incorporating community input.  The next step is to analyze which involves studying information about offenders, victims and crime locations.  Responses are implemented that address the chronic character of priority problems by thinking outside the box of traditional police enforcement tactics and using new resources that are developed to support problem solving efforts.  Finally, there is the assessment phase.  Assessment is evaluating the effectiveness of a response to determine how well it worked.

The Woonsocket Police Department has been training in community policing.  It has several partnerships with other organizations both within and outside the City.  The Department also has several partnerships with other law enforcement agencies including municipal, state and federal.  Utilizing the community policing philosophy, the Woonsocket Police Department is committed to providing quality service to the community.