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Crime And Community Policing This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Can the United States lower the crime rate? Can the personal involvement of police affect crime? These are some of the questions asked by criminologists today. Crime has become a major concern. Each year the percentage of major felonies (burglaries, car thefts, robberies, assaults, rapes and murders) has risen. Cities have been controlled by drugs and gangs, not the community and the police. Is there an answer to America's crime problems?

Mayor Giuliani and Police Commissioner Bratton of New York City may have found a solution. They call their new approach community policing or neighborhood policing. Community policing is removing officers from the traditional police cars and placing them in a community or neighborhood. This allows the officers to become familiar with their surroundings and lets them pay closer attention to smaller crimes like vandalism. It is believed that their presence stops smaller crimes, therefore preventing local people from committing more serious crimes. This also prevents outsiders (for example, drug dealers) from entering the community.

Many criminologists are skeptical of this approach and it will take years to determine if it really works. Placing skepticism aside, the approach seems successful. Statistics show that murders dropped 39%, auto theft 35% and in just two years total felonies in New York City is down 27%. Criminologists formerly believed that officers had no affect on crime, but rather were there to react to it through 911 emergency service. Community policing is based on totally the opposite: the police are pro-active: they are there to prevent crime from happening. This approach is new, yet seemingly effective. In Chicago, this approach (which they call Chicago's Alternative Policing Strategy or C.A.P.S.) has been in effect for two years now.

The results are promising. The police officers and the people in the community are happy. In conclusion, community policing may not be the long-term solution, but for New York it is the right choice. Other cities, including Boston, are starting to create a community policing approach. Today, community policing is the best choice to bring America back to the way it used to be. With officers walking the streets, people can sit on their porches and feel safe. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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