Project 1, Memorandum Kirsten Atwood CRJ 160 Evan Wright City of Monterey Inner-office Memorandum Date:February 29, 2012 To:E. J. Wright, City Manager From:Kirsten Atwood, Chief of Police Subject:Management of the Monterey Police Department With my new achievement of Chief of police within the Monterey Police Department, it is my goal to provide this city with the best policing style that I believe will be the most beneficial regarding the everlasting fight on crime here in our city.
In order to provide the people of Monterey with the best results of our policing style, it is most important to diagnose the reoccurring problems that have effects on the city and community as a whole such as the shocking homicide rates. As the Chief of Police, it is my duty to understand the three different styles of policing introduced by James Q. Wilson, which include the Watchman Style, the Legalistic Style and the Service Style, and to make my decision on which style I wish to pursue for the Police Department of Monterey, which will ultimately result in the service style.
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First, I would like to familiarize everyone with what a policing style is. As Kuykendal (2001) states, “A police style is how each department and officer view their particular mission or purpose and identify with particular methods or techniques to fulfill that purpose. At the departmental level, style reflects the historical legacy of the agency, and to a lesser degree, the socio-demographic characteristics of the population it serves. ” Here in Monterey, our mission statement reads as follows, “Responsive to all, second to none every time. This shows that we deeply care about the citizens residing here in Monterey and respect the fact that they have put their trust in us to serve and protect them as sworn peace officers. In order to determine a proper style for the city of Monterey, I must first delicately analyze each policing style. The first person to study policing styles was James Q. Wilson. Each department usually has one of three styles, although some may be a mix of two. The three styles are: watchman; legalistic; and service.
Briefly according to Wilson, a watchman style is generally found in poorer communities and emphasizes informal police intervention persuasion, threats, avoiding arrest because the priority is maintaining order. A legalistic style is a commitment to enforcing the letter of the law and frequent use of arrests in a focus on community safety, but takes a hands-off approach to community problems that are not crimes. A service style is bent on helping the community by working hand in hand with social service agencies, and by using referrals rather than arrest.
While all these styles can be applied to a department, and all of them have their own unique benefits, it is of my best interest to suggest the service style of policing for the Monterey Police Department. The reason in which I believe that service style of policing will be the most beneficial to the Monterey Police Department is because of the lack of community affiliations and community oriented programs available in the county. Monterey, like all other police departments, has been paralyzed with budget issues, preventing them from initiating community policing programs.
It is very important to get involved, and as Sir Robert Peele once said, “The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence. ” This shows the significance of community oriented policing. As Weisheit, (1994) states “One of the major issues between Law Enforcement and the community is a lack of trust. If the community is incapable of trusting the people in which are supposed to be protecting and serving them, then this can lead to corruption within the community, and eventually, lead to more crimes. Like everything else in Law Enforcement, there are pros and cons to the service style of policing. “Some of the issues that are found in the service style of policing are that it is reported to be too lenient on the Law, and that community oriented programs may be affecting the budget (Hillston, 2002). ” However, the pros far outweigh any flaws that can possibly be said about this style. The service style of policing is the trend of the future, supports the idea of working with the public, emphasizes problem solving, and over time, has renamed Officers from police to law enforcement to peace officers (Hickman, 2000). ” Aside from the positive impacts that this style provides, it has also adopted many community oriented programs such as; neighborhood watch programs, drug awareness programs, help the sick and elderly, getting into locked cars, organizing crime preventing efforts, public speaking and making referrals instead of arrests.
As the Chief of Police, I would initiate all of these programs because I believe that if we address problems at the source, many crimes can be prevented before they happen. The only way to do this is to be proactive, and to be involved with the community. As Connell (2008) stresses in his article, “Without the community’s cooperation and trust, it makes it extremely difficult to obtain a witness, important information, leads on hot crimes and generate awareness as to what is occurring in the community. With the service style of policing, we will develop trust within the community by getting involved, and creating more community oriented programs and relationships. Some of the problems that Monterey endures are frightening. Unfortunately, Monterey is the leading city in the state of California with youth homicides. “More young people are killed in Monterey County than in any other county at a rate of three times the overall state rate for ages ten to twenty-four. (Lewis, 2011. )” As the Chief of Police, this isn’t easy to digest, and is disturbing on multiple levels.
Crimes such as rape, robbery, assault, commercial burglary, forgery, fraud, vandalism, weapon violations, and arson all decreased from the year 2009 to the present by almost twenty-one percent. Unfortunately, crimes such as simple assault, drug violations, residential burglary, Larson and theft, and auto theft increased from the year 2009 to the present by nearly sixteen percent. It is expected for crime to fluctuate, however, it is also expected that as a community, we must find a way to prevent crime as much as possible.
This is why I believe that the service style of policing will be the most beneficial to this community. If we can somehow make all of these crimes decrease from year to year, I as Chief of Police am willing to do whatever it takes to make this goal a reality. Undoubtedly, I believe that the service style of policing is the best candidate for the Monterey Police Department because the benefits outweigh any reported benefits suggested by the watchman style and legalistic style.
With Monterey being a small city with approximately 75,000 residents, the watchman style would not be appropriate due to the fact that the watchman style is best suited for larger scale cites, focusing on keeping order while avoiding community oriented programs and community problems. According to Wilson, the watchman style is more focused on the Police Department, with no intention to generate community ties. While the legalistic style does an excellent job on keeping the letter of the law intact, like the watchman style, it ignores the significance of the community.
Each style serves a legitimate and honest purpose, however, each style is suited for different cities, and for Monterey, the best suitable style is the service style, for it will change the way this city views Law Enforcement. This style will instill trust and hope within the city. After reviewing this memorandum, I hope that you can approve of my methods and ways based on my research with the different styles of policing, the benefits of each, and the statistics I have provided within the Monterey community. It is my priority, goal and best interest to make sure the City of Monterey is under the best protection possible.
With Monterey being a smaller town, it will be appropriate to set up community-based programs, and to try and touch base with the city as a whole. It is of the upmost importance to make sure the community and the Monterey Police Department are on the same page. By investing in this style, the City of Monterey will undergo a positive transformation into the modern ways of what I believe is the best form of policing, the service style. Works Cited Connell. (2008). Can a Community Policing Initiative Reduce Serious Crime: A Local Evaluation.
Police Quarterly, 11 (2), pp. 127-150. Hickman. (2000). Does Community Policing Generate Greater Numbers and Different Types of Citizen Complaints than Traditional Policing?. Police Quarterly, 3 (1), pp. 70- 84. Hillston, K. D. (2002). POLICING STYLES AND ORGANIZATIONAL PRIORITIES: RETESTING WILSON'S THEORY OF LOCAL POLITICAL CULTURE. , 8 (4), pp. 411-430. Kuykendall, J. L. (2001). STYLES OF COMMUNITY POLICING. , 12 (2), pp. 229-240. Weisheit. (1994). Community Policing in Small Town and Rural America. Crime Delinquency, 40 (4), pp. 549-567.