Community policing is an organizational-wide
philosophy and management approach that promotes
community, government, and police partnerships;
proactive problem-solving; and community engagement
to address the causes of crime, fear of crime, and
other community issues. The Houlton Police Department
is committed to the philosophy of community oriented
policing and to improving the quality of life for
all citizens of the Town of Houlton.
Community Policing is based on the following three
and Quality Leadership.
Community Oriented Policing
emphasizes that police and citizens working together,
are co-producers of safety and order, and cooperatively
identify and resolve community problems. Open citizen
participation allows us to clearly understand
community concerns, as well as to narrowly and
specifically identify not only those factors that
contribute to crime, but also those elements that
detract from the quality of life in the community.
Through citizen involvement, you become a stake-holder
in your police department.
Traditional law enforcement is reactive.
That is, officers respond to calls for service
that are either in progress, or have already occurred.
This traditional police response to crime is severely
limited by the fact it relies entirely upon the
apprehension of offenders as a means to reduce
crime. Rather than solely reacting to calls for
service, the Houlton Police Department takes a
proactive approach to eliminate problems that
cause crime or allow it to occur. Community-oriented
policing provides us with a means to combat the
conditions and elements that allow crime to occur.
By solving these underlying problems, opportunities
for crime to occur are removed. This approach
often times results in nontraditional police responses
such as the installation of lights to illuminate
a dark area, seeking revocation of alcohol licenses
of repeat violators, or removing abandoned vehicles
to help clean up a neighborhood.
Quality leadership is essential to
the success of community policing and is an integral
part of our management training program. The Houlton
Police Department is committed to developing quality
leaders at every level and in all areas of our
organization. Developing the most creative solutions
to solve problems and reduce crime requires all
officers to be encouraged and empowered to make
decisions that will alleviate crime problems.
Whenever possible, decisions are
made by the officers on the street who are dealing
with the problem at hand. This affords officers
the opportunity to help shape the area they work
in. Officers are continually challenged and held
accountable for the results of the problem solving
efforts they initiate.