U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Community Policing--Training and Education: How to Break the Wall (From Evaluating Community Policing, P 131-144, 2003, Tom Van den Broeck, Christian Eliaerts, eds., -- See NCJ-203040)

NCJ Number
Thomas Feltes
Date Published
14 pages
This article discusses the future of police training and education related to community policing.
Police officers of the future will be active problem-solving participants, particularly when given the necessary discretion, encouragement, and opportunities by their supervisors. There will be a need to intensify skills in police officers’ training. External and internal factors have a direct and continuous influence on police activities, training programs, the effectiveness, and the efficiency of the agency. Major external factors include the increase of the police product, development of new technologies, greater mobility and abolition of borders, a changed economic and political situation, and budget restrictions. Both community crime prevention and community policing have implications for police management and the philosophy of policing. Community policing is a comprehensive approach suggesting a multi-causal view of crime and a multidimensional approach to crime prevention. The important characteristics of community policing include problem-solving, a cooperative approach to the community, and the decentralization of police organization. Police today are more highly trained than ever before and the quality of the training has probably never been higher. The effect of training depends of the opportunities, supervisors, and its relevance to the prospects for career advancement. Police training should give students information on the practice of modern management, insight and practical understanding of technique and tools, ability to identify benefits and opportunities, and the possibility to manage decisions in a structured way. Topics and contents must be adapted to the practical daily police work. A consciousness of the importance and the value of individual contribution to the global reliability of the whole management process of the agency and the product provided by the institution is necessary. The attitude and behavior of each individual agent is crucial for the image of the whole agency. The public must be viewed as the client with an emphasis on the notion of service. Attitude and communication training, conversation, and body talk are as important as the right behavior in different practical situations. Training is a never-ending process, which has to be regularly updated and completed by refresher courses.