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Public Value

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Law enforcement makes up only a portion of the larger criminal justice system.  However, police officers are the most visible and accessible representatives of this broad system.  By law, police officers are imbued with a great deal of authority, which must be balanced with accountability.  Serving as a police officer is a noble profession; a calling that is both rewarding and challenging.

In the 1980’s community policing or community-oriented policing emerged as a philosophy to improve relationships between the public and the police.  Community policing involves identifying and solving community problems through police-citizen collaboration.  Community policing remained popular throughout the 1990’s and many law enforcement agencies adopted a broad community policing philosophy.

Despite community policing efforts, public trust in law enforcement continued to be an issue into the 21st Century.  Critics have argued that community policing may be too vague to bring about meaningful changes in police practices and build public trust.  As some agencies have renewed their commitment to community policing, other alternatives are being considered.  One such alternative is public value policing.

Public value policing is built upon the systems management approach and incorporates principles from community policing and public value theory.  Public value places an emphasis on acquiring legitimacy and support, establishing community partnerships, developing and maintaining operational capacity, engaging in proactive problem-solving, remaining committed to department values/mission/goals and focusing on organizational transformation.  The foundation of public value policing involves aligning the ideals and principles of a law enforcement organization with the norms and priorities of the local community.

In 1829, Sir Robert Peel established the London Metropolitan Police Force.  He outlined 3 core ideals and 9 principles of policing.  The Anamosa Police Department seeks to align the ideals and principles of Sir Robert Peel with the norms and priorities of our community.

3 Core Ideals

  1. Crime prevention is more important than apprehending criminals.
  2. Crime prevention can only be accomplished with the support of the public.
  3. Earning public support is a process that requires the police to understand the community and respect community principles.

9 Principles

  1. The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.
  2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is depending upon the public approval of police actions.
  3. Police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observation of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
  4. The degree of cooperation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.
  5. Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.
  6. Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.
  7. Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to the duties which are incumbent upon every citizens in the interests of community welfare and existence.
  8. Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.
  9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

In order to serve this community to the best of our ability, we want to encourage citizens, interest groups, civic organizations and businesses to work together with us to ensure that our community is safe, clean and thriving!