Conceptualizing the Ethical Aspects of Community Policing's Inception and Practice
The rationale for this conceptual work is to examine the ethical aspects of community policing's inception and practice, as evidenced in America. Historical patterns of ethical issues and reform responses to ethical breaches in conduct are informative for newly democratic I. countries in the midst of transitional models of law enforcement. Much can be learned from the rich history of American policing.
The history of modern policing in America commenced with what Kelling and Moore (1988) term the "Political Era" in the late 1800s. Spanning several decades into the early 19005, the Political Era was marked by broad provision of police services (law enforcement, order maintenance, and service), decentralized patrol, an intimate relationship between police and citizens, and ensuing corruption and unethical police behavior brought about by close ties between local politicians and officers. To remedy this growing corruption, policing entered the "Reform or Professional Era." In an effort to break their corrupting ties with politicians and to stem a variety of police misconduct, the primary police function was narrowed to crime fighting, and the relationship between citizens and police became one of professional remoteness. While well-intended, such remoteness eventually culminated in police abuses of authority, power, and discretion. These unethical behaviors were later identified as contributing factors in the riots of the 60s. During a period of transition (late 70s through the 80s) policing strategies such as foot patrol. team policing, problem solving and police community relations were tested. American law enforcement now finds itself in the midst of the "Community-Oriented Era" in an effort to regain a closer working relationship with the citizenry and to engender increased police accountability to the American public. Although some feared this restored intimate relationship would result in renewed unethical police behaviors, evidence does not support the criticism. To the contrary, community policing has resulted (in many areas) in an increased level of police accountability to American citizens.
Joanne Ziembo-Vogl and Gorazd Meško. "Conceptualizing the Ethical Aspects of Community Policing's Inception and Practice" Policing in Central and Eastern Europe. Ed. Milan Pagon. Ljubljana, Slovenia: College of Police and Security Studies, 2000.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/joanne_ziembovogl/10