P1 First Person: "Total policing"

Editor's Note: PoliceOne recently launched a new series, “First Person," where P1 columnists and members candidly share their own unique cop’s-eye-view of the world, from personal nsights on issues confronting cops today to observations and advice on living life behind the thin blue line. This week’s feature is written by Lieutenant Wade Derby of the Pitsburg (Calif.) Police Department.  Do you want to share your own "First Person" perspective with other P1 Members? Email us.

By Lieutenant Wade J. Derby
Pittsburg (Calif.) Police Department

In the late 1980s and early 1990s we learned a new term “Community Policing” which served as a catalyst for police to assume (in part at least) non-traditional law enforcement roles as a way to demonstrate their commitment and partnership with the community. Because Community Policing had few parameters, when a non-traditional program resulted in something positive, it got labeled “Community Policing.” Now in the early years of 21st Century, Community Policing continues to evolve. The public still demands non-traditional police involvement (ranging from specialized community programs to police officers combating weeds and rubbish in the neighbor’s yard) and wants to place that one convenient phone call or email and receive immediate service for their problem, even if it goes far beyond the scope of what we think police service should be.

In June 2007, I attended in service training where we discussed a program in Baltimore County designed to reduce the public’s fear of crime in their community. In essence, specialized teams were deployed to areas that had suffered from violent crimes. They were to go door-to-door, offering support to the citizens.

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