Clermont, a rapidly growing southern city of approximately 100,000 residents, is predominantly a suburb to a much larger tourist area. The population can rise to as many as 120,000 during the winter months. The demographics have been changing rapidly, especially its minority population. There has been a substantial increase in the crime rate and a general deterioration in some sections of the downtown areas.
During the last election, voters approved a reduction in the property tax cap, and this has resulted in a significant reduction in revenue for the city, especially the police department’s budget. The current staffing level within the police department is 100 sworn and 25 nonsworn personnel. The previous chief retired after more than 30 years in office, and the traditional method of policing is still being practiced.
The morale of the department is poor due to the increased workload as a result of the reduction of personnel from the budget shortfall. As the new chief, you have been called to an emergency meeting with the city manager and city council to discuss ways in which the department can become more innovative in its policing methodology and address the growing problems within the community.
Some of the council staff have just returned from a state conference and heard a presentation related to community policing and problem solving. They want to get your ideas on the viability of a program like this and whether or not it would be beneficial for the city and community. They also want to know how you might approach implementing the program if approved by the city council.
Based on your meeting, how would you respond to the following questions? You will need to utilize credible research, including peer-reviewed journals, to support your responses to the questions posed.
- In your meeting, how will you respond concerning whether community policing is the panacea for the city’s problems?
- Since the police department has been operating with a traditional law enforcement mentality for more than 30 years, do you envision any problems with officers and supervisors within your department in moving toward a community policing and problem-solving approach in performing their assigned duties?
- If so, how will you handle their concerns?
- Using specific elements of the police organizational structure, where does it appear that you would need to reorganize the department, especially to accommodate this change in policing philosophy? Explain.
- Do you foresee a change in the officers’ workload as a result of the proposed changes? Would the workload be reduced or increased? Explain in detail.
- What types of information would you use to evaluate the progress of your new policing initiative?
- Identify, cite, and discuss the most recent research, both pros and cons, related to community policing and problem-solving techniques.
- What is the importance of planning with regard to crime prevention? Explain in detail.
- What types of crimes are the most difficult to plan for with regard to prevention? Explain.
- How would you improve the planning process to further prevent crime? Explain in detail.
- What is the importance of personnel management with regard to crime prevention? Explain in detail.
- What do you recommend to effectively manage, train, and retain personnel to improve crime prevention? Explain.