While community policing (CP) generally may have gained worldwide acceptance in the past two decades as a philosophy, its definition has not generally received an intersubjective acceptability. There is a problem with defining the concept of CP. Its definition is still in limbo, pejorative, and rooted in various dictums and aphorisms. Despite the popularity of community policing, a universally acceptable definition has evaded law enforcement practitioners in the United States in particular, and the global society in general (Cheurprakobkit, 2002). Trojanowicz and Buequeroux (1990, p. 5) have provided a trendy definition as:
Introduction: Criminological Perspectives on Community Policing 81 The Historical Context of the Nigerian Police 84 Methodology 86 Informal Policing Structure (IPS) and Social Control Mechanisms in Nigeria 86 A Typology of Informal Policing and Vigilantism in Nigeria 91
Holy Policing 92 Ethnic Policing 93 Secondary State Policing 93 Village-Gate Policing 94
The Nexus between Informal Policing and Customary Courts 95 Current State of Community Policing in Nigeria 96 Conclusion 98 References 98
The utilization of the term philosophy in CP definitions allows the concept to generate different ideas and meanings to different proponents of the CP style. The concept of CP philosophy connotes a set of values relating to individuals and civilizations, traditions, and customs (Cheurprakobkit, 2002). Indeed, attempts to follow the dicta in definitions result in different methods and strategies of CP programs, meaning that each culture adopting CP must adapt it to fit its local needs and traditions. According to the Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office, CP can be defined as:
Another oft-quoted definition of CP in the literature is provided by Cordner (1997), who identified in his definition four different dimensions of CP: philosophical, strategic, tactical, and organizational. Cordner’s philosophical dimension includes three aspects:
1. Citizen input, which assumes that the police departments should seek and carefully consider citizen input when making policies and decisions that affect the community.