Author Topic: Community Policing  (Read 677 times)

Xepera maSet

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Community Policing
« on: August 13, 2018, 06:40:11 pm »
In college my minor was in justice, which was basically a minor in philosophy of ethics. It was pretty great :). I spent my 2 years defending the philosophy of "Community Policing." Surprisingly the Wikipedia page is great:

Common methods of community-policing include:

- Encouraging the community to help prevent crime by providing advice, giving talks at schools, encouraging neighborhood watch groups, and a variety of other techniques.

- Increased use of foot or cycle patrols.

- Increased officer accountability to the communities they are supposed to serve.

- Creating teams of officers to carry out community policing in designated neighborhoods.

- Clear communication between the police and the communities about their objectives and strategies.

- Partnerships with other organizations such as government agencies, community members, nonprofit service providers, private businesses and the media.

- Decentralizing the police authority, allowing more discretion amongst lower-ranking officers, and more initiative expected from them.

"Do not try to make the sun rise by self-sacrifice,  but wait in confidence for the dawn, and enjoy the pleasure of the night."
- Crowley

idgo

Re: Community Policing
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2018, 05:35:52 pm »
What systems work well in community policing to reduce abuse of power?

In my experience, volunteer "policing" systems tend to attract 2 sorts of people, superficially indistinguishable from one another: Those motivated by a desire to help others, and those motivated by a desire to be handed greater power over others. Look at horror stories from overly-controlling HOAs for perfect examples of the latter.

How do successful community policing systems avoid degenerating into systems of the control freaks being jerks? Is it a matter of getting lucky and having more powerful personalities and influences from altruists in the beginning of the group, or are there sets of rules or requirements that can reduce the need for luck?

jovinyo

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Re: Community Policing
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2018, 06:31:26 pm »
In my personal experiences, it has unfortunately come down to luck. "Block Watch" type organizations and HOAs are notorious for attracting insecure, power-starved people who want to have some way to lord over others but lack any real qualifications.

A relevant quote "Perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who have leadership thrust upon them, take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well." -- Albus Dumbledore

I am a member of my HOA's Board of Directors. The majority of the community are normal, average people who just want to live their lives and generally not be bothered by trivial things. There are always "those types" who have to cause a ruckus over every little thing they can. That individual, in my community, has been trying to join the BoD for some time but is rebuffed every time because her personality flaw is too glaring to be overlooked.

I was added to the BoD becuase the previous members were all moving away. I liked being informed of their activities, so I went to meetings. Despite never having interest in doing the job, here we are. I like to think I'm okay at it. I'm fortunate to have a good support network in our HOA management, our legal support, and of course the other Board members.


When I say it comes down to luck, I mean that it can be difficult to discern whether those vying for leadership are genuine in their desire to do good or just good at hiding their hunger for authority. Often times it's something that isn't known until the abuse of power begins. Rules to try and bar the power hungry seem destined for failure, in my view, because when authoritarian wannabes take power, they'll do whatever they can to keep it; particularly, they'll aim to dismantle rules that would limit their tenure or remove them from their position.

Being informed on an organization's structure and the lateral limits of leadership roles in that organization are a good way to start questioning any zealous leaders. Find out if there are any disciplinary measures or if there are any specific actions that would cause immediate disqualification for/dismissal from a position, especially if there have already been violations.


Preventing it in future takes an informed group and outgoing leadership candidates. The less you know about a person, the more it would be logical to question their motives.


But this is all just in my opinion and experiences, which aren't universal.

idgo

Re: Community Policing
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2018, 09:22:20 pm »
In my personal experiences, it has unfortunately come down to luck. ...

A relevant quote "Perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who have leadership thrust upon them, take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well." -- Albus Dumbledore

... There are always "those types" who have to cause a ruckus over every little thing they can. That individual, in my community, has been trying to join the BoD for some time but is rebuffed every time because her personality flaw is too glaring to be overlooked.


As with Douglas Adams -- "It is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it... anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. "

Your comment about a board rebuffing an unsuitable candidate reminds me of a model that I find useful for describing institutional inertia: Look for the "immune system" of a group's ideology. Watching how a group changes in response to constructive feedback aligned with its goals, while rejecting feedback that leads it astray from those goals, can reveal very useful insights about it.

But the resilience of an established group against detrimental outside influences assumes the initial presence of a system worth protecting. And that, as we've both observed, seems to be mostly a luck thing.

Then again, breeding a tasty fruit or vegetable is also "a luck thing". We get more of the good fruit trees and fewer of the undesirable ones by cloning branches of a known-good tree, rather than starting over from scratch, when we want to plant a new orchard. I wonder if community policing organizations might be able to be established in a similar way -- by "grafting" a branch of a known-good organization into a region, perhaps through mentorship and temporary participation, rather than starting entirely from scratch.

And yet if such ideological "cloning" reliably preserves a group's strengths, it may well also preserve its weaknesses, as with the monoculture of the Gros Michel banana.