chapter  10
22 Pages

Community Policing in Post–September 11 America: A Comment on the Concept of Community-Oriented Counterterrorism


More than a century has elapsed since the first police departments were formed in the United States, and in that time policing has advanced a great deal. Whereas police officers of the late 1800s and early 1900s were notorious for their brutality, disorganization, and inefficacy, over the past century the police in the United States have evolved into a reasonably well-organized army of trained public servants. In addition, toward the end of the 20th century, there was a nationwide movement among police officials to develop strategies and tactics that enhance public safety by means of encouraging public support and cooperation with law enforcement officers, a movement known as community policing (Pelfrey, 1998; Uchida, 1997; Wadman & Allison, 2004). Although there is no universally agreed-on definition of what

Introduction 185 The Rift of September 11 188 The Limits of Aggressive Tactics 190 The Incompatibility of Combative Ideologies and Human Rights 192 Community-Oriented Counterterrorism 194 Summary Remarks and Prospects for the Future 197 References 201

constitutes a community policing or community-oriented policing program, the two key elements are

1. Quality relations between law enforcement and the citizenry, and 2. Concerted problem-solving efforts among law enforcement offi-

cers and local residents that focus on identifying and eliminating the causes of crime in the community (Community Policing Consortium, 1994).