Controversy impacts the community and community policing

Effective policing in America relies on basic trust between the police and those they serve. Police officers rely on victims and witnesses to assist in criminal prosecutions. They rely on residents to call 911 when there is a danger in the neighborhood, to alert them to traffic hazards that might threaten public safety, to call in tips and leads on dangerous, wanted suspects, and to call when there is suspicious activity that might lead to a crime or victimization. If the community doesnat trust the police, these and other sensible police/citizen communications will not occur, and the community will become less safe.
The crime-reduction sea change in American policing that began with the New York Police Department under Commissioner William Bratton in 1994. The NYPD has been among the most aggressive departments in driving down street crime through a?proactive policinga? and the a?Compstata? model that we studied. The NYPD unabashedly admits that this proactive policing has included, as one tactic, a high-volume of police/citizen street contacts over the 19 years since Bratton took office. The data is also clear that the vast majority of these stops have been of young Black and Hispanic males.
The NYPD is rare among modern American police departments in that it captures statistical data on every street encounter on a form, known as a a?250a? (in NYPD parlance, this is short for a?Universal Form 250a?). The form is also known as a a?stop and frisk report.a? Hence, the media and the public have come to portray the NYPD program as a policy called a?Stop and Frisk.a?
We have also studied the law of stop, question and frisk a the extraordinary exception to the Fourth Amendment prohibition on searches and seizures without probable cause and without a warrant. We know from Terry v. Ohio and its progeny cases that when a police officer has reasonable suspicion to believe that a person has committed, is committing or is about to commit a crime, the suspect can be detained for investigation, even by force if necessary. We further know from Terry that the police officer can frisk the suspect for weapons when he/she has a reasonable suspicion, supported by facts that can be articulated by the officer, that the suspect is armed.
The NYPD is under attack for its Stop and Frisk program. The Department is being sued for its practice. In the criminal courts, the results of some street frisks are being thrown out by judges who do not believe officers had the lawful basis for the searches. Some officers have turned whistleblowers and made public allegations about the pressure they feel under to make stops, even unjustified ones. The minority community in New York appears fed up and is highly critical of the NYPD, with some calling the officers an occupying force in their communities. The Mayor and Police Commissioner defend the program as legal and as being a core tactic in the cityas 19-year historic crime decline.
As social and public policy scholars, your task is to write a paper assessing these issues from the legal, political, practical and policy perspectives that you perceive to be important. You should spend a brief portion of the paper explaining the justifications a legal and practical -for the NYPDas policy. You should also briefly explain the arguments of the critics of Stop and Frisk. For the deeper analysis and the bulk of your paper, you might consider covering how you think this controversy impacts the community and community policing? You might consider the role the media has played and should play in this controversy? You might want to address the effectiveness of street encounters as a crime-fighting tool. You should respond to the NYPD argument that crime is down remarkably and that the thousands of victims saved over these many years were almost certainly young men of color from the same communities wherein the stop and frisks occur. You might want to provide some thoughtful insight and suggestions about how the NYPD climbs out of this public image mess. You are encouraged go wherever you would like with this paper, but please work to achieve an enlightened and scholarly exploration of this highly charged current topic in policing, as it has nationwide implications for American policing.
As with the earlier writing assignment, five pages double-spaced will be sufficient, with appropriate citation to any source material.