Finally, this section will examine the effectiveness of specific community policing initiatives and community policing efforts to reduce youth violence.
For example, a 1997 survey conducted by the Police Foundation in the United States found that 85 per cent of police departments reported having adopted community policing or were in the process of doing so (Skogan, 2004).
A more recent federal survey, with a much larger sample of American police departments (in cities with populations over 250,000) found that over 90 per cent of police services had full-time, trained community police officers in the field (Bureau of Justice Assistance, 2004).
Practitioners agree that there is, and has been, a pressing need for innovative practices within policing to help curb what some would consider a “crisis of violence” within many communities.
The changing nature and elevated level of crime seen throughout Western nations in the 1970s, 1980s, and into the early 1990s caused police to seek more effective methods to curb disorder and control crime.
In other words, police officers no longer walked beats, nor did they get to know the neighbourhood residents they were serving (Weiss, 2006: 33).
This resulted in the police having less awareness and involvement in the problems of the communities that they served.
The police, on the other hand, rely on the community to report crime and provide vital information that is necessary for them to solve crime and address community concerns.
In recent decades, this relationship has developed as the police and the communities they serve have come to expect more from one another as each increasingly recognizes the importance of working together as partners.
Many police departments adopted top-down, militaristic, hierarchical management systems that imposed greater accountability on police managers and emphasized police professionalism.
Many have argued that advances in policing methods and technologies, such as motorized patrols, radio dispatching, and use of rapid response techniques, created a greater rift between the community and the police.