|New Policing Initiative Unites City Police, U of M, and University Neighborhood
For release: Jan. 30, 2006
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A formal collaboration was announced today among the University of Memphis, the Memphis Police Department, and the University District Neighborhood Association that is designed to increase the safety of the University and the neighborhoods that surround it.
The University Station Community Police Problem Solving Initiative represents an unprecedented level of cooperation between the University of Memphis, the University neighborhood, and the two police departments.
University and Memphis police officers, acting as liaisons, will listen to residents and merchants in order to address issues in the area. The University's Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice and the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy will work with these officers in partnership with the city, the University, and the neighborhood to help make this program successful.
The collaboration also allows the Memphis Police Department to house its Reserve Officers Headquarters in a wing of the Printing Services Building on the U of M campus.
The combination of neighborhood input and systematic crime data analysis will allow University and Memphis police departments to target potential "hot spots" before they develop into serious concerns. "We can exert an impact on crime and help maintain the quality of life for the neighborhood," said Dr. Randolph Dupont, chairman of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. "With the University and the Memphis Police Department involved, we can focus on issues as they arise."
The University of Memphis Center for Community Criminology and Research already provides analysis to the Memphis Police Department that helps MPD address citizens' concerns. "This new program will allow us to pilot strategies that could be implemented in neighborhoods throughout the city," said Professor Richard Janikowski, director of the Center.
Problem-oriented community policing provides a resource to prevent and solve problems. "This new collaborative gives us the muscle we need to target interventions," Dupont said. "We will see positive results in the neighborhood."
Community policing, a concept that began about 20 years ago, has been used successfully in such cities as San Diego, Tulsa, and Jacksonville, as well as Knoxville, Tenn.The rationale behind community policing is that many of the crime problems have underlying causes that, if resolved, can help eliminate the crime that accompanies those causes. Community policing enables police to become order maintainers, not just crime fighters. Community policing goes beyond the narrow confines of law enforcement to encompass problem-solving on a broader basis.
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