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The Security of the Community
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The police play a requisite role in the security of the community. Their pivotal focus should be winning the public trust to ensure effective dispensation of security services. It is, therefore, paramount to bring reforms among the police force and make effective their service to the community at large.
Formulating clear policies to ensure constitutional police practices i.e. clarifying what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. Conversely, the police officers should be held accountable for all their actions. The supervisors need also to ensure strict adherence to the formulated policies. Recruitment of the police into the force should also be scrutinized closely to ensure that only qualified candidates get hired into the police force. Failure to maintain the integrity among the police force will result to misconduct and corruption. There is a need to set clear goals, plans and accountability in the recruitment process to make certain the formulated policies is followed.
All police officers should be trained in public safety, crime reduction, credibility and reputation of the department as a whole. All kinds of training relevant and helpful in the police force should be practiced i.e.; tactical, operational, legal, ethical and professionalism. The training should be up to date and not conflicting with the current policies and legal system. It will also meet the police needs.
The police officers on duty will be supervised to make certain that they perform their duties as expected. This will help the supervisors recognize mistakes promptly thus preventing more harm and helping in taking public complaints thereby improving the integrity and accountability. The supervisors will also be able to keep track of how productive each officer is and how they need to be improved.
There will be evaluation and promotion of the police performance. Promotion builds motivation and, therefore, evaluation of performance among the police is vital in ensuring that the police adhere to the set guidelines and respect their oath of office. Recognition of their effort fosters growth of a value based culture. Each officer will be given a set target to act as a guideline and give him something to look forward to in terms of achievement.
All complaints will be received, investigated and resolved, and those who are involved will be held accountable for their actions. The supervisors will be trained in conducting investigations, discipline, and corrective action will be meted out consistently based on the seriousness of the offence and its impact.
The police force will improve community policing through maintaining good community relations. They will support the community policing through aiming at crime reduction other than dealing with crimes that are already being committed. They will regain community confidence by upholding integrity and training them on their safety and enlightening them on the importance of community policing.
The police officers will be supported by giving them incentives such as house allowance and medical cover. This will help eliminate the need for them having to look for additional income through unjust ways. This includes soliciting for bribes or abandoning their duties and involving themselves in activities meant to give them an extra pay. The physical and mental wellness of the police will be taken care of to make them more productive. Detectives who are capable of building strong cases will be hired. All interrogations will be recorded to ensure the right legal procedure is adhered to (Wayne, 2005). The interrogation policies will also be improved and made effective to ensure only constitutional and valuable interrogations are carried out.
There will be a division of work where the police officers will specialize in areas they are well familiar with. This will ensure the integrity and accountability within the police force. The police will also be involved in extracurricular activities such as corporate social responsibility which will involve community work with the other members of the community to help them interact and thus regain their reputation and the lost public confidence.
The police force experienced major cases of misconduct especially corruption due to problems that are avoidable especially in the recruitment process. More often than not, hiring the proper candidate for the job can eliminate 90% of the problems. In the New Orleans recruitment process, low pay and residency requirement did not attract appropriate candidates. This resulted to lack of adherence to the recruitment standards thus resulting in hiring unqualified candidates who could not meet the set work performance standards.
There are many strategies which can be used to improve the police force mainly in dealing with the culture that is already in place. These include; ethics training throughout the police officers career life. Crime reduction and prevention reduces misconduct for police officers. Good conduct should also be recognized and awarded to motivate the police officer.
There should be zero tolerance to any form of misconduct and those caught should be disciplined and held accountable for their actions. Therefore, it is paramount for every officer of police to adhere and respect the rule of law that outlines their mode of conduct. There should be a good and effective organizational chart in place which clearly shows who reports to who thus reducing the cases of officers covering up for each other.
Though there is a changing perception of the police roles, maintenance of order and crime control still remain to be seen as the prime role of the police by the police officers themselves and the community at large. However, with this perception held, substantial research has indicated that activities of crime control usually occupy less than 25% of their time and this percentage is considered lower for the majority of the officers.