Police Mentoring: Moving Toward Police Legitimacy

Mike Arter, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

ABSTRACT
This paper will focus on combining two distinct crime prevention strategies to present a more integral approach in addressing the issue of juvenile delinquency and juvenile crime. Mentoring programs have proven themselves effective as having a beneficial impact in the lives of youth lacking adequate role models or adult guidance. Effective mentors are not available in numbers that can meet the demand of the juvenile population which requires such guidance. Police legitimacy has been viewed as a promising approach to effective community policing. The regulation of public behavior in a consistently polite and professional manner may go far in promoting police legitimacy and consequently affect the police-community relationship. While other community policing strategies have failed, police legitimacy has been shown to be effective in preventing crime. Both research and theory would support the use of law enforcement personnel as mentors as a logical and coherent strategy in providing appropriate and effective role models juveniles.

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Updated 05/20/2006