Recently in the news it was reported that the area of South Los Angeles, had suffered one of the most violent months during this past August. These violent crimes mostly consisted of shootings and murders. There was a documented 185 murders city wide year-to-date. During a two-week period in August a total of 50 people were shot and 15 of them were killed. Many of these violent incidents were categorized as being gang related. This categorization was due to the area of occurrence being claimed by local gangs or the victims, witnesses, or suspects were gang members.
There are many different crime-fighting strategies that the police utilize in order to decrease the fear and incidence of crime. Many of these strategies are very proactive in which they consist of parole and probation searches, along with deploying more uniformed officers in a specific geographical area. Officers and investigators also debrief arrestees being brought back to the station for insight into current feuds, along with locations of narcotics and firearms.
The most important component in reducing crime is through community engagement and building strong relationships with the people who live in these areas. Every police department has community-based programs that specifically engage community members, gang members, and children in these neighborhoods. Through these programs, the police are not only able to reduce violent crime, they have the ability to improve a community’s quality of life and increase its appearance. These quality of life issues can be a task as complex as removing graffiti, illegal vendors, and trash pick up. The minor quality of life issues are important also such as providing warnings for local municipal codes for people working on their cars in the streets or having the fire department respond to a leaking fire hydrant.
The engagement of young teenagers is one of the most important components of the community-based policing strategy. Educating the youth on sound moral and ethical values is priceless. This will facilitate a strong foundation for them to progress into establishing and working towards educational goals, along with giving them the tools to lead by example amongst their peers. As with most teenagers who are transitioning into adulthood, mistakes will be made through lack of maturity or education. They will definitely encounter life’s deepest challenges, which can sometimes feel unbearable. However due to law enforcement’s community based policing efforts, these teenagers will always have that solid moral and ethical foundation that they can utilize when times get tough. Instead of resorting to crime or taking shortcuts in life, they will stand strong and work through their problems with humbleness, love, and wise decision-making.