Models of Policing Essay

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Order maintenance policing (OMP), community-oriented policing (COP) and reactive policing are three different models of policing that are used within law enforcement agencies in the U.S. This paper will compare these three models of policing. It will also discuss which models would benefit the most from effective crime analysis.

OMP is a model of policing that stems from the theory of “broken windows” defined by Wilson and Kelling (1982). The broken windows theory states that if a community allows itself to be physically neglected, it will attract crime. Graffiti, litter, abandoned buildings and broken windows are all signs that a community is negligent and therefore will not put forward much effort to oppose a criminal element in its midst. First, the crime will be small—acts of vandalism and theft; then it will escalate to drug dealing and violence. In order to prevent communities from falling to this type of environment, the OMP model of policing was implemented as a preventive measure. Some critics have charged that this type of policing is racist, as it tends to target mainly ethnic communities. However, OMP has been shown to be a model of policing that actually helps to reduce crime rates in communities that suffer from negligence—neighborhoods that would otherwise allow crime to flourish based on the broken windows theory.
As Fagan, Geller, Davies and West (2009) have shown, “in the decade since the first study on OMP, stop rates have increased by 500 percent while crime rates have remained low and stable” (p. 1). In short, OMP allows officers to stop more people on the pedestrians and announce their presence more visibly—which in effect prevents neighborhoods from becoming overrun by a criminal element.

COP is a model of policing that encourages police to build relationships with the community and to work with community leaders to address issues within the neighborhoods. The objective of this model is to bridge the gap between the police department and the community, facilitate the establishment of trust and respect between the two spheres, boost communication, and strengthen the community overall. Community members are encouraged to report suspicious or unruly behavior to police and police are expected to interact with the community more openly, visibly, and in a positive and friendly manner so that the human face of both the police department and of the community can be better recognized, valued and appreciated by both (Saint Claire, 2018).

Reactive policing is also known as traditional policing and this model is based on the idea that police wait for a call to come in before being dispatched to the….....

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Fagan, J., Geller, A., Davies, G. & West, V. (2009). Street stops and broken windows revisited: The demography and logic of proactive policing in a safe and changing city. In Race, Ethnicity, And Policing: New And

Essential Readings, Stephen K. Rice and Michael D. White, eds., Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 09-203.
Saint Claire. (2018). Policing models. Retrieved from

Wilson, J. & Kelling, G. (1982). Broken Windows: The police and neighborhood safety. Retrieved from
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