Very true.
Eric Clemmons
32

Before you dismiss the idea of community policing outright, I would urge you to learn more about what it is and what it isn’t. We have so few good examples in the United States that it’s not easy for us to understand. It’s a completely different relationship between the police and the community. In Japan, for example, they have police officers, and maybe that’s not the best translation of the term “omawari-san” stationed in a booth every several blocks, not in a patrol car, who actually walk around the community and get to know people and look out for them. People trust them, and the “omawari-san” are even known to hand out umbrellas to people who get caught outside in the rain without an umbrella, it’s that kind of relationship. The term “omawari-san” literally means “the guy who walks around the block”. The “omawari-san” don’t even carry guns, but are there to defuse and handle situations in the community as well as to be eyes and ears on the ground watching out for trouble, and if they need backup, which is rare because nearly all situations can be defused nonviolently, there are police with guns. It’s resource intensive but it works, and Japan has a very low crime rate (helps that they have good gun control too). And I believe there is a somewhat similar model of policing in some European countries. I’m not an expert on the topic, but I have read that Richmond, CA has successfully implemented it recently, so I would urge you to learn more about what they did and how the community has received it.