Examples of Successful and Failed Community Policing Strategies



Policing that is community-oriented seeks to widen the role that is played by an individual police department. It also strives to encourage the community to become more involved in the activities of the police. This essay will present examples of both successful and failed attempts at community policing and also examine why there were distinct differences between these examples.


The example of a successful case of community policing comes from The Washington Post In an article titled “In Fresno, a community-policing ethos builds ties between officers and residents” In this instance, Lowery (2015) reports that police officers in Fresno, California, have put in place an initiative that is characterized by meetings with the community, giving out Christmas gifts and setting up of events within neighborhoods affected by gangs. On the other hand, an example of a failed community policing efforts comes from an article published in The Globe and Mail, titled “How Brazil’s big experiment in policing failed to make Rio safer for the Olympics”, in which Nolen (2016) reports that the experiment carried out by police in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to ensure the city is safe during the Rio Olympics was a failure. Although the experiment was successful in the beginning, it faced many hurdles along the way, including a lack of requisite funding and loss of political support (Nolen, 2016).

The Fresno case was successful because it adopted a soft approach, which places emphasis on creating relationships and solving problems as opposed to carrying out widespread arrests. This strategy led to a decline in violence related to gangs and police protection against protests over their brutality (Lowery, 2015). On the other hand, the approach was taken by police in Rio likely failed because there was a resistance to police culture change. Police officers in this city maintained order using force and therefore, were not willing to take on a more flexible approach (Nolen, 2016).

The Fresno, California, and Rio de Janeiro cases of community policing are examples of success and failure respectively. The former case succeeded because the police took on a soft strategy aiming at creating partnerships and public participation in solving problems. In contrast, the policy in Rio failed because police did not adopt a change of culture in which members of the community are perceived as a threat as opposed to partners who could provide a lasting solution to the problem of gang violence.    


Lowery, W. (May 7, 2015). In Fresno, a community-policing ethos builds ties between officers and residents. The Washington Post, retrieved 6 October 2016 from:

Nolen, S. (Aug 2, 2016).  How Brazil’s big experiment in policing failed to make Rio safer for the Olympics.  The Globe and Mail, retrieved 6 October 2016 from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/how-brazils-big-policing-experiment-failed-to-make-rio-safer-for-theolympics/article31222945/

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