Impersonal versus Community Policing

Community policing involves collaborative efforts between the community and the police in identification of problems that lead to crime together with the attempts to gain solutions for the same. This is different from impersonal policing where the police officers are usually on patrol with an aim of being the immediate respondents to any criminal incidences without focus on establishing relationships with community members.

Community policing is a contemporary and innovative measure that focuses on the fact that the police cannot prevent and control crime while improving the quality of lives for community members. The Kansas City preventive patrol experiment became a huge proponent for community policing by providing evidence that police patrol does not have a positive impact in reducing the levels of crime. From the experiment, citizens did not notice any change in the police patrols and their satisfaction with the police did not change. The rates of crime being reported to the police did not change and also the fear of crime by the citizens remained the same amidst differing police patrols (Braga, Papachristos, & Hureau, 2014).

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The benefits of this initiative were also seen in 1973 from the San Diego Community profile which was a project that made it a requirement for the patrol officers to profile their beats in a systematic manner by gathering more information about the community. This information included demographics about the residents, community businesses, social service agencies, and crimes within the community. The results of this project indicated that officers realized the need to foster relationships with community members (Police Foundation, 2017). They even came to acknowledge that random patrols were less effective in comparison to community policing where they gathered more information about their beats and the residents they serve.



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.

Police Foundation. (n.d.).Community policing. Retrieved from