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Jason Whitesel

Mentor Department



INTRODUCTION: Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) emerged in response to longstanding criticisms revolving around police accountability and effectiveness. It emphasizes civilian participation in crime-prevention and problem-solving efforts to build trust between the police and minoritized communities with whom they have had an antagonistic relationship. Traditional policing is reactive in nature, with officers acting only after crime has been committed or a call for service has been made; it enforces the law; "legitimizes" use of violence; and emulates military structure and tactics. In this study I describe it as “crime-fighting policing.” COPS programs are embedded within this structure. Unlike traditional policing, COPS is characterized by four dimensions: philosophical, strategic, tactical, and organizational (Cordner 1999). LITERATURE REVIEW: Kennedy and Moore (1995) argue that the proper unit of analysis is not the program, but the police organization and its capacity to be flexible, innovative, and collaborative. However, there is a lack of research that (1) focuses on community-oriented policing programs and (2) examines how they are embedded within police departments and communities. OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY: Research questions include: What are the attitudes of traditional crime-fighting police toward community policing? In what ways (if any) do these attitudes affect members of community policing programs or their goals? What are the goals of community policing versus the goals of crime-fighting police? How are community police officers and crime-fighting police trained? METHOD: A combination of indepth interviews and observations of Chicago Police officers, both CAPS (Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy) and “regular” police officers, will be used to address these questions. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK: A theoretical framework of organizational hypocrisy, referring to organizations acting in ways that are contrary to their stated goals, will be used to analyze the data. PRELIMINARY FINDINGS: Observations of CPD artifacts revealed that eight of Chicago’s twenty-five districts currently do not have any community events planned for the near future. Some of the remaining districts have scheduled “beat meetings” between community members and CAPS officers organized around “beats” (small geographic patrols) and meetings revolve around more specific issues (domestic violence, faith, and seniors) or committees.

Cops Vs. Cops: How Does Community-Oriented Policing Coexist With Crime-Fighting Policing