Community Policing

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Community policing is an organizational-wide philosophy and management approach that promotes community, government, and police partnerships; proactive problem-solving; and community engagement to address the causes of crime, fear of crime, and other community issues. The Melbourne Police Department is committed to the philosophy of community-oriented policing and to improving the quality of life for all citizens of the City of Melbourne.

Community Policing is based on the following three components: Citizen Partnership, Problem Solving, and Quality Leadership.

The City of Melbourne is divided into ten geographical areas and two districts, north and south. This system is designed to divide the workload throughout the City as equally as possible.

Citizen Partnership

Community-oriented policing emphasizes that by working together, police and citizens are co-producers of safety and order who cooperatively identify and resolve community problems. Open citizen participation allows us to clearly understand community concerns, as well as to narrowly and specifically identify not only those factors that contribute to crime, but also those elements that detract from the quality of life in the community.

Problem Solving

Rather than solely reacting to calls for service, the Melbourne Police Department takes a proactive approach to eliminate problems that cause crime or allow it to occur. Community-oriented policing provides us with a means to combat the conditions and elements that allow crime to occur. By solving these underlying problems, opportunities for crime to occur are removed. This approach often results in nontraditional police responses such as the installation of lights to illuminate a dark area, seeking revocation of alcohol licenses of repeat violators, or removing abandoned vehicles to help clean up a neighborhood.

Quality Leadership

Quality leadership is essential to the success of community policing and is an integral part of our management training program. The Melbourne Police Department is committed to developing quality leaders at every level and in all areas of our organization. Developing the most creative solutions to solve problems and reduce crime requires all officers to be encouraged and empowered to make decisions that will alleviate crime problems. Whenever possible, decisions are made by the officers on the street who are dealing with the problem at hand. This affords officers the opportunity to help shape the area they work in. Officers are continually challenged and held accountable for the results of the problem solving efforts they initiate.