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

Does Community Policing Work?

NCJ Number
Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine Volume: 29 Issue: 12 Dated: December 2005 Pages: 40,42,45
David Griffith
Date Published
December 2005
5 pages
This article provides an overview of how community policing is working in various cities, including Phoenix, AZ, and Boise. ID.
In the early 1980s, the Phoenix Police Department experimented with a business centered community policing effort that sought the cooperation of business leaders in addressing crimes against businesses. Over the years, other groups have become involved in cooperative crime-prevention projects, including property owners, tenants, special interest groups, and neighborhood associations. Each precinct squad is assigned a Community Action Office, who serves as the point-of-contact person for neighborhood residents and others. Each squad also has a Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET), which implements crime-fighting and crime-prevention activities. Each team consists of six to seven uniformed officers, plus a sergeant. The implementation of community policing in Phoenix was helped by including street officers and representatives of the police union in community policing planning and program development. When the Boise Police Department implemented community policing practices, it changed from a traditional, time-based policing model to a geography-based one. This involved dividing the city into 10 geographic service areas. Each region has its own Neighborhood Contact Officer (NCO), who works out of an area substation. The NCO is part of a larger Neighborhood Service Team that consists of sworn officers and civilians. These teams conduct investigations and provide services tailored to the needs of specific geographical areas of the city. Overall, community policing has become more than just public relations work. It constitutes a new structure and responsibilities for police in engaging the community in problem solving that prevents and counters crime by addressing its underlying causes.