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Columbia’s CCP: A Case Study

CCP Program

Community Policing

CCP efforts must be viewed within the context of a city police department which is already creating substations, devolving authority, and trying to col- laborate with neighborhoods and other agencies. The core of Columbia’s CCP proposal is to build administrative mechanisms and community infrastruc- ture which facilitate community policing. Thus one goal includes reorganiz- ing police operational systems (completed); conducting job task analysis and revising job descriptions, performance evaluations, and promotional policies (contract about to be let, after competitive bid); and, automating central rec- ords and operations (completed). This goal is linked to another, which equips officers with laptops and districts with personal computers, distribution of which have both been completed. Another goal, hiring eight additional offi- cers and reassigning personnel, has also been completed (noted above). Pro- viding officers with training in community policing has been ongoing; how- ever, it is to be restructured, pending the approval of plans by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The remaining goals are programmatic—as against or- ganizational or administrative—and include continued partnerships, creating shared responsibility with police and youth through prevention programs, and continuance of Police Homeowners Loan Program. (discussed above).

It is in the achievement of the programmatic goals that neat demarcations among programmatic elements break down. Although community mobilizers are put forward in a separate budget category and are organized around a different set of goals, they are at the heart of virtually every community mo- bilization effort. Yet they are police officers jointly supervised by Columbia’s community services department and police department. They are to “mobi- lize and empower residents to become more actively involved in planning and implementation of activities to reduce crime and related problems.”

The three target neighborhoods—Rosewood, Eau Claire, and Waverly—have officers assigned to the task of mobilizing communities. The officers work in collaboration with, or under the supervision of (depending how one sees it), Sgt. E. T. Young and Community Development Director Richard Semon. Each has a separate office in his assigned neighborhood, and although clearly and widely known as a police officer, usually works in plain clothes.

The community mobilizers are the “crown jewel” of the Columbia program in the sense that their positions are the most innovative aspect of the pro- gram and must be able to energize CCP efforts now. Much of Columbia’s po- lice efforts either focus on strengthening administrative processes or chang- ing organizational structures or workings. While essential, more training or

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