Community Policing and Youth as Assets
James Forman Jr.
Yale University - Law School
Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 598342
Community policing is the most important innovation in American policing today. It receives broad political support and is endorsed by a diverse cross-section of the legal academy. Among community policing's underappreciated virtues is that it provides a better way to regulate police conduct than does the traditional model of judicial enforcement of the Fourth Amendment. But although there is much to be said for community policing, it has not reached its potential. The most important group from a public safety standpoint - inner-city youth and young adults - has largely been left out of the new policing model. This group is still policed under the discredited warrior approach to policing, which views the young exclusively as threats to public order. But despite the powerful image of urban youth as threats, most inner-city young people are law-abiders. They are also the principal victims of the law-breaking minority. They therefore have a profound stake in both ensuring public safety and in reducing police abuse and harassment. Building on lessons from policing experiments in Boston and Chicago, this Article will advocate a model of community policing that allows young people to join other citizens in regular group deliberations with neighbors and local officers to set policing priorities.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 49working papers series
Date posted: December 16, 2004
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