In a given municipality or town, a police officer will have the primary task of preserving law and order. This job can be performed either on foot or while driving depending on the area to be covered. However, through the help of technological innovations, the police have additional support such that they can carry out their duties to the best of their abilities. These developments include a two-way radio, computers, cell phones, and many others. The patrol officer is recognized as the backbone of the police department as they give the public the first impression of the force. In this regard, it is essential that particular strategies are employed such that the patrols cover the town appropriately. The Centervale police department should implement this practice as a measure of achieving lower crime rates in the north and south of the rail tracks.
With a total of 100 patrol officers, the Centervale police department should incorporate a preventive measure of patrolling the northern neighborhoods. This strategy affirms the assumption that the presence of officers within a given zone reduces the likelihood of crime taking place. In this regard, it is a deterrent technique of reducing crime in a given area as the public feel safer in the presence of the officers. This approach would be very useful in the northern parts of the railroad tracks where nearly 80% of the crimes in Centervale take place in this region. Though the parts of the north provide only 20% of the tax base of the entire town, it is necessary to refrain from neglecting it as an important part of Centervale. The higher number of patrol officers will help reduce crime rates in the region and potentially increase the tax base of the city.
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It is important to note that crime can only be reduced through pinpointing the problematic areas and times when offenses are committed. In the northern parts of the town significantly increase during the night as opposed to the daytime. As a result, the Centervale police department should ensure that both regions have increased patrol officers during the night. This occurrence shows that the possible criminal offenses include home invasion, burglary, robbery, assault, rape and murder (Chauhan, Cerdá, Messner, Tracy, Tardiff, & Galea, 2011). The latter two are more likely to take place during the night than in the day. As a result, the patrol officers will take positions in deserted areas in the neighborhoods as a directed patrolling measure of reducing crime in the Centervale. This practice is more effective as it increases the response time of officers to the areas more likely to experience crime (Chauhan et al., 2011). It also prevents criminals from fleeing the scene and subsequently getting away without getting punished.
Broken Windows Theory
Through the broken windows theory, it is evident that the when a single window of a building is broken and not repaired immediately fixed, the rest of the windows will eventually be broken too. This theoretical assumption reflects the behavior of the community where failure to correct disorderly behavior and petty crimes could give rise to costly and dangerous offenses (Cordner, 2014). Centervale town seems to experience a case of ‘broken windows’ as the northern parts of the railroad experience 80% of the crimes in the region. Therefore, to curb the continuing practice by the perpetrators, the smaller offenses should first be corrected. Future criminals will be deterred from engaging in any disorderly behavior. Patrol officers provide the town with an effective measure of reducing chances of becoming a crime hotspot. The members of the public will engage in a more active and orderly manner that will ensure they do not get arrested in future (Braga, Papachristos, & Hureau, 2014).
Fairness and Equity in Policing
Fairness and equity are two crucial factors towards effective policing. These concepts identify the way the community perceives of the behavior of the police in eliminating crime in the region (Mastrofski, 2012). In most cities and towns in America, society has a negative and subsequently low level of trust in the law enforcement. This occurrence is particularly evident in the areas experiencing violent crimes. However, through active engagement of police officers with the community members, the level of offences taking place in the region will significantly reduce (Cordner, 2014). The public provides effective witnesses to crimes taking place in the community. It is also important that the efforts undertaken by the police patrols are considered equal. In this case, despite the disparity in the tax base of the two regions of the town, the police strategies employed should ensure effective measures of reducing crime in its entirety. The patrol officers should avoid bias at all costs to ensure the success of policing (Mastrofski, 2012).
The police strategies mentioned above take into consideration various factors of the demographics of Centervale. With only 100 patrol officers, the police department of the town has a target of reducing criminal activities in the areas that have the highest occurrences. The use of preventive and directed techniques ensures that the high crime areas are targeted in allocating the recourses available to the department. The broken windows theory is also taken into consideration as taking police action against minor crimes will help reduce the chances of more serious ones flourishing in the region. As a small town located next to the major city, it is likely that once crime becomes a norm that the police will be unable to contain them with the limited recourses. In light of this, patrol officers should undertake the role of demonstrating the department’s intent of ensuring fairness in the entirety of the region. This practice will give the public a positive perspective of the police and prompt them in helping eradicate crime in the area.
Braga, A. A., Papachristos, A. V., & Hureau, D. M. (2014). The effects of hot spots policing on crime: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Justice Quarterly , 31(4), 633-663.
Chauhan, P., Cerdá, M., Messner, S. F., Tracy, M., Tardiff, K., & Galea, S. (2011). Race/ethnic-specific homicide rates in New York City: Evaluating the impact of broken windows policing and crack cocaine markets. Homicide studies , 15(3), 268-290.
Cordner, G. (2014). Community policing. The Oxford handbook of police and policing , 148-171.
Mastrofski, S. D. (2012). Race, policing, and equity. Criminology & Public Policy , 11(4), 593-600.