What is in the Future for Community Policing?
Date:  09-18-2016

"Ideal Model" of Community Oriented Police Services (COPS) has become distorted over the years
From The Crime Report

This summer, Philadelphia took a critical step towards reimagining the role of police when its City Council voted on June 23 to decriminalize a raft of public nuisance offenses—including disorderly conduct, obstructing a highway and public drunkenness. Instead of a misdemeanor arrest, officers now have the discretion to issue citations with fines of $50-$100 for some minor offenses.

That’s a departure from the aggressive enforcement of so-called “quality of life” offenses associated with “broken windows” policing—blamed by some for contributing to a breakdown of trust between law enforcement and many of the communities they serve. Like vagrancy laws of old, disorderly conduct statutes, in particular, have been criticized for being overly broad and disproportionately applied in poor and minority neighborhoods.

Under the new strategy, Philadelphia expects to eliminate 10,000 cases a year from the criminal justice system. The city’s police officials say these statutory changes lay the groundwork for a new approach to policing, in which law enforcement is just one avenue for addressing social problems that affect public safety.

“We’re telling officers that they can’t arrest their way out of every problem,” said Capt. Francis Healy, legal adviser to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who is overseeing the changes. Continue reading here.