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Roles of the Community

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The community plays an important role under community oriented policing. The community cannot sit back, not playing an active role, leaving all the decisions and goal setting to the police. The community needs to be involved in community oriented policing to ensure an equal role with the police is created to ensure the most desired goals of the community are met. In the past, the community fell into a mindset of not wanting to get involved or it was not their problem. Crime fighting became the sole problem of police officers. In turn, police gave up their relationship with the community and resolved to handle crime on their own. Despite their best efforts, police cannot handle crime alone. They need the cooperation of the community. (Oliver 2006) The police need the community and the community needs the police. Through community oriented police, the police and the community have been able to re-establish a relationship to gain back order and crime maintenance.

The traditional roles of the community in relationship to the police can be categorized in four roles: the primary acting as the eyes and ears of the police; second is the "cheerleader" the supporters of the police, third are the financial supporters and last is the role of statement making and activities. Under community oriented policing the community has a bigger responsibility by sharing power with the police, along with decision making and being allowed to lead the police. The police, meeting with the community, can glean information from the community. Both the police and the community carry great responsibility in caring for the community. Without the commitment and cooperation of both the community would fall back into chaos. (Oliver 2006)


Oliver, W. (2006). Community Oriented Policing. NYC: Pearson.



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