The Role of Law Enforcement Within a Comprehensive Community Strategy

Gretchen E. Moore, The Urban Institute
Calvin C. Johnson, University of Pennsylvania
Jeffrey A. Roth, University of Pennsylvania

The Maryland HotSpot Communities Initiative is a statewide crime-fighting initiative, addressing both enforcement and prevention issues with multiple organizations in high-crime neighborhoods; it is also an example of a state effort to create a model of transorganizational systems. In part, the HSC Initiative is builds upon aspects of the service integration (SI) movement of the 1960s and 1970s by coordinating services for people with multiple needs as well as coordinating services for geographic areas with multiple needs, with the "partnership" movements of the 1990s. Furthermore, the HSC concept goes beyond mere service delivery. It encompasses an array of prevention and enforcement activities, including "core" and "enhancing" elements from a variety of organizations. These elements form a team to promote community safety, provide coordinated criminal justice services, and provide needed services for residents of the community. This is done in coordination with state, federal, and local funding - - and with the residents of the community as well as street-level service-delivery agents in the community- - through an innovative top-down and bottom-up approach. In this report we will specifically look at the following questions: Within this comprehensive community initiative, 1) What are the functions of the police officers?, 2) How is the police department "partnering" with other local agencies and the community?, and 3) What is the role of the community?

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Updated 05/20/2006