Community Oriented Policing
The Evergreen State College is committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment.
Our approach is one of Community Oriented Policing programs designed to create an environment that focuses on crime prevention and problem solving through the establishment of partnerships among police, students, staff, faculty and campus visitors. As one example, police officers may provide ideas and strategies to students for the prevention of theft from residence halls and students may act as a neighborhood watch to inform police of suspicious persons or activities in the residence halls-the partnership benefits both groups.
The key to positive Community Oriented Policing is a sensitivity to the needs of the community and effective communication among community members applied within the context of Evergreen's Social Contract. Officers, on and off duty, are encouraged to participate in campus-wide activities in order to establish personality to forge a good relationship. Community members are encouraged to freely approach police officers and socialize for the same reasons. Community Oriented Policing programs and effective communication provide the opportunity for all community members to clarify misunderstanding, reduce erroneous perceptions, restrict stereotyping and deflect rumors thereby understanding each other's community roles and respecting each other's individuality. This approach seeks to secure old and build new traditions that envision positive interactions throughout the campus community. The end result will be a safer and more secure living and learning environment.
Community Oriented Policing is:
- A philosophy and an organizational strategy that promotes a new partnership between people and their police.
It is based on the premise that both the police and the community must work together as equal partners to identify, prioritize, and solve contemporary problems such as crime, drugs, fear of crime, social and physical disorder, and overall neighborhood decay, with the goal of improving the overall quality of life in the area.
- Community Policing requires a department-wide commitment from everyone; sworn, nonsworn, and civilian, to the community policing philosophy. It challenges all personnel to find ways to express this new philosophy in their jobs, thereby balancing the need to maintain an immediate and effective police response to an individual crime incident and emergencies with the goal of exploring new proactive initiatives aimed at solving problems before they occur or escalate.
Community Oriented Policing is not:
- Soft on Crime
Community Policing addresses the entire matrix of problems that result in crime, fear of crime, and disorder. The distinction is that community policing considers arrest as an important tool in solving problems, not as the primary yardstick of success or failure.
- Another Name for Social Work
Helping to solve people's problems has always been an integral part of policing, at least informally. Community policing merely formalizes and promotes community building and community-based problem solving that includes strong law enforcement component.
Community policing shifts the role of the police from the "expert" with all the answers to a "partner" in an effort to make the community a better and safer place in which to live and work.
Community Policing deals with real problems: serious crime, illicit drugs, and fear of crime. It does so by addressing the entire range of dynamics that allow such problems to fester and grow.
Community policing rests on decentralizing and personalizing police service, so that line officers have the opportunity, freedom, and mandate to focus on community building and community-based problem solving, so that each and every neighborhood can become a better and safer place to live and work.
From Community Policing "How to get Started" by Robert Trojanowicz and Bonnie Bucq
Community Oriented Public Safety Assessment
In 2005 the Western Regional Institute for Community Oriented Public Safety (WRICOPS) completed an onsite organizational assessment of Evergreen's Police Services. The assessment was an excellent planning guide for improving community policing efforts on our campus.
Under the direction of Chief Ed Sorger, several suggestions have been implemented to improve the quality of service provided to The Evergreen State College. A number of the findings in the report were implemented and updates will be forthcoming.