Policing historians have identified three eras of U.S. policing. They consist of the political, reform, and community eras. The last era, in which community policing became a prominent policing approach, is said to span the years 1980 to present day. As this is a span of over 30 years, it tends to mask the subtle changes that have occurred during the community era. Policing in 2010 is assuredly different from policing in the 1990, despite both falling within the community policing era. Thus, police historians have further asserted that within the community era there have been three generations of community policing. They consist of the innovation generation covering 1980 to 1986, the diffusion generation spanning the years 1987 to 1994, and the institutionalization generation running ...

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