Monday, May 13, 2013

My book, Community Policing: Misnomer or Fact? (Sage Publications 2011), discusses the philosophy of community policing, its governing schools of thoughts, and its strengths and weaknesses. The volume also deals with conceptual variances of community policing, the factors that impede smooth collaboration between police and public, and the organizational principles that have been neglected by police organizations and others. Concepts like Police Syndrome, Conceptual Literacy, Person Steered Initiatives (PSI), Precision Policing Technique (PPT), Tracking Participation Footprint (TPF), Image Dating or Image Mapping (ID/IM), intuitive approach, and many more are explained and discussed. I have used case studies to elucidate the practical applicability of these concepts. I negotiate with the idea of allowing civilian participation to become one of the legitimate means of improving efficiency and effectiveness of police. I believe that compliance of law must go hand in hand with protecting basic rights of people. Unless this is done, the foundation of liberal democratic society is betrayed.

Importance of Research in Police

How important is research in shaping our work?
Is research too theoretical to have any relevance in field operations?

All through my police career, I have found my colleagues questioning the importance and relevance of research in their work. The popular  critical comments are, "Every day is a new day for us", "No two situations are same" and the worst critiques would be "Researchers have no clue about the field dynamics", and "We being in field and facing situations, handling crisis know much more than any researcher would tell us through on and off superficial visits".

No doubt, each one of those comments come from experience and they are meaningful, but over-rating oneself and underestimating others is the cause of our clinging to colonial work culture. We have shielded ourselves from the changing need of the service seekers, eventually widening the gap between the two.

All the countries, which have changed their work culture, keeping in pace with the changed socio-cultural, political and economic dynamics, have learned from research inputs. External and internal agencies research contribute in analyzing the current practices, figuring out the need of the community served, suggest relevant changes and help in customizing and adjusting to desired change.

We lack in having fair and enriching research contribution in policing. And whatever valuable research is done remains often a paper work as an ornament in the shelves. Transferring research into action is a challenge, particularly when there is insurmountable inertia in appreciating good work done.

It is high time that countries facing a transition should appreciate and encourage good research to guide and assist them in reframing and restructuring their organization and operations.