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Building Bridges Between Police and Public

NCJ Number
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 54 Issue: 11 Dated: (November 1985) Pages: 1-8
D Guyot
Date Published
8 pages
By providing a wide range of services unrelated to crime prevention and crime control, the Troy Police Department (New York) has increased citizen cooperation with the police in crime control as well as enhanced police effectiveness in crime control.
Since 1973, the Troy Police Department has implemented a policy of providing citizens many services unrelated to crime control, such as performing rescues, assisting injured persons, calming landlord-tenant disputes, and generally responding to citizens' calls for help regardless of the nature of the problem. These efforts have facilitated crime control in four ways: (1) early intervention in conflicts can prevent escalation into injury and possibly death, (2) increased interaction with citizens provides officers with information useful in dealing with crime, (3) nonconfrontational interactions with youth may steer them toward positive behaviors, and (4) citizen-officer friendships yield increased crime reporting and cooperation with police in criminal cases. These results have been documented with empirical studies of calls for police service, citizen attitudes toward police, and citizen crime reporting. Noncriminal police services to Troy citizens have been facilitated by high patrol coverage, continuity of patrol assignments, and training in a wide range of services. Tabular data from the empirical studies and five footnotes are provided.