By Brenda Ann Buren

Buren presents an in-depth assessment of a citizen-police oversight mechanism and demonstrates a entire realizing of the needs of citizen oversight and the parameters within which it may be constructed. She identifies these components that make a few citizen oversight mechanisms more beneficial than others. Citizen oversight could be a useful instrument in making sure police responsibility, butits luck usually is dependent upon the commitment and veracity of these considering the method. additionally, legislation enforcement organisations that enforce citizen oversight voluntarily--prior to a hugely publicized and incident--have extra luck, because the factor is much less politicized and extra time is spent constructing a high quality technique.

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This is, at the heart, the politics of community policing and citizen oversight. Those individuals, groups, or organizations that are successful at placing significance and meaning 44 Evaluating Citizen Oversight of Police around issues are then able to develop public priorities and maintain power. For instance, if a police agency is able to define the issues surrounding police accountability and convince local politicians and the community of their perspective, it is the police agency that then has the power to pursue or not pursue new accountability mechanisms or change existing ones even if there are pockets of resistance in the community.

It also assumes that in order to make this relationship between the police and community effective, citizens must be involved in all aspects of policing and that a mutual trust must be developed (Goldstein, 1987; Palmiotto & Donahue, 1995; Trojanowicz & Carter, 1988). The catalyst of the community policing movement is often credited to James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling and their 1982 Atlantic Monthly article titled Broken Windows: The police and neighborhood safety, wherein the authors concluded that disorder and citizens’ fear of Citizen Participation in Policing 27 crime actually plagues communities more than serious crime does.

Second, is the need to pursue external programs and strategies aimed at getting citizens involved in policing activities. These strategies may encompass comprehensive planning and implementation programs that span many years to less involved, simpler approaches to getting citizens involved. Many of the more popular community policing approaches focus on information sharing and include sponsoring public events or activities, holding community forums, promoting media coverage, producing cable television shows, and maintaining informative and interactive web sites.

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