Although law enforcement officials have long recognized the need to cooperate with the communities they serve, recent efforts to enhance performance and maximize resources have resulted in a more strategic approach to collaboration among police, local governments, and community members. The goal of these so-called "community policing" initiatives is to prevent neighborhood crime, reduce the fear of crime, and enhance the quality of life in communities. Despite the growing national interest in and support for community policing, the factors that influence an effective implementation have been largely unexplored.
Drawing on data from nearly every major U.S. municipal police force, Community Policing in America is the first comprehensive study to examine how the organizational context and structure of police organizations impact the implementation of community policing. Jeremy Wilson’s book offers a unique theoretical framework within which to consider community policing, and identifies key internal and external factors that can facilitate or impede this process, including community characteristics, geographical region, police chief turnover, and structural complexity and control. It also provides a simple tool that practitioners, policymakers, and researchers can use to measure community policing in specific police organizations.