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The topic of police-community relations became part of the police lexicon well before the advent of community policing. The meaning of the terminology has evolved as policing itself has. This entry first describes the term under a traditional policing environment, and then updates it within the context of community policing.

Origins of Police-Community Relations

The tumult of the United States during the 1960s, including violence between police and citizens during civil rights and antiwar protests, spurred discussions about police-community relations. During this time, crime increased, tensions rose, and police were recognizing that they did not enjoy strong support from throughout the community.

Louis Radelet, an academician at Michigan State University (MSU), had tremendous influence in the field of police-community relations. Radelet had served on the executive staff of ...

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