Citizens, Cops, and PowerRecognizing the Limits of Community

Citizens, Cops, and PowerRecognizing the Limits of Community

Steve Herbert

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226327303

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


Politicians, citizens, and police agencies have long embraced community policing, hoping to reduce crime and disorder by strengthening the ties between urban residents and the officers entrusted with their protection. That strategy seems to make sense, but this book reveals the reasons why it rarely, if ever, works. Drawing on data collected in diverse Seattle neighborhoods from interviews with residents, observation of police officers, and attendance at community-police meetings, this book identifies the many obstacles that make effective collaboration between city dwellers and the police so unlikely to succeed. At the same time, the book shows that residents' pragmatic ideas about the role of community differ dramatically from those held by social theorists. The book provides a critical perspective not only on the future of community policing, but on the nature of state-society relations as well.