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Many police leaders espouse combining community partnerships and problem-solving activities with more traditional methods of law enforcement to form what is now considered the prevailing policing paradigm of community policing. Nevertheless, in spite of a shared understanding about its conceptual composition and the significant investments in and efforts to implement community policing, it has remained operationally ill defined. Consequently, law enforcement agencies have implemented the philosophy through widely varying sets of practical strategies and tactics, with differing levels of breadth and intensity.

To help address this perceived weakness and facilitate the alignment of community policing philosophy and practice, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (the COPS Office) sponsored the development of the Community Policing Self-Assessment Tool (CP-SAT). This entry explains what ...

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