Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Resource Information Center of the Office of Community-Oriented Policing
Article Type: Policing on the web From: Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, Volume 31, Issue 2
One of the most discussed aspects of policing has been the development of community-oriented policing. The US Department of Justice’s Office of Community-Oriented Policing, created under the provisions of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, is a federal initiative seeking to “advance the practice of community policing as an effective strategy to improve public safety” (DOJ, 2008). In attempting to satisfy this mission, the Office of Community-Oriented Policing (or more simply, the COPS Office) engages in a wide array of activities. According to its web site, the COPS Office has, since 1995, awarded over $12,000,000 to various police departments and law enforcement agencies to fund the pursuit of community-oriented policing efforts. However, in addition to funding community policing efforts, the COPS Office also maintains large online library of materials addressing various aspects of community-oriented policing.
This library, the Resource Information Center (RIC), is accessible via a hyperlink located on the COPS Office’s web site or directly via the following web site address, www.cops.usdoj.gov/ric/resourcesearch.aspx. The RIC of the COPS Office allows access to printed publications addressing a wide variety of topics related to community-oriented policing. The RIC allows access to detailed reports addressing topics, such as crime prevention through environmental design, racial profiling, leadership, community building, grant management, guides to problem-solving, crime analysis, citizen police academies, call management and emergency preparedness. In addition to these detailed reports, the RIC also offers access to a series of short fact sheets, providing quick information on a wide variety of community-oriented policing topics. For example, through the COPS Office, users can access fact sheets addressing such topics as the role of community-oriented policing in schools, the links between homeland security and community-oriented policing, and even a comparison of contractor/consultant fees under various COPS Office grants.
The publications in the RIC are offered as downloadable electronic files at no charge (most are available as both PDF and text documents), or hard copies can be ordered from the COPS Office. Whether one is a line officer in a rural police department, an administrator in one of the country’s largest police departments or simply a criminal justice student seeking sources for a research paper, the RIC of the COPS Office has something to offer all who pass through its virtual doorway, and is definitely worth the visit.
J.W. Carter IICollege of Mount St Joseph, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA