During the year-long Israeli experiment in community policing (1983/84), the neighbourhood police officers were closely monitored. They were frequently debriefed of their experience in and perceptions of the project’s progress. All officers were veteran car patrollers with many years on the force, most had supervisory experience, and most were sergeants or sergeant majors. Yet these officers ‘were volunteered’ to become neighbourhood police officers and initially displayed displeasure and even resentment. This reflected, more than anything, their fear of the unknown as they entered a new role they were not sure how to handle. One officer probably expressed the sentiment of his peers when he said that ‘… this is not a job for real officers, this is a job for sissies.’ After the project was well under way, that same officer was asked in one of the ensuing debriefing sessions to describe his progress in some detail. He, as did his peers before and after him, provided a rather lengthy, detailed, and enthusiastic account of the ties he successfully established with block and neighbourhood associations, with volunteers, with several PTAs, and with individual residents on his beat (section) who now recognize him and receive him well.
KeywordsCrime Prevention Crime Control Community Polic Police Legitimacy Socratic Dialogue
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