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Community Oriented Policing Philosophy

The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry is committed to actively promoting community involvement through progressive community oriented policing strategies, problem solving, and a commitment to education.


The University Police Advisory Committee values positive relationships between and among all members of the ESF community and University Police. In order to enhance the quality of life at ESF, ensure the safety of its members and promote equal partners in policing, a supportive community oriented approach to law enforcement is required. Therefore, we adopt and share the following Community Policing philosophy to make our intentions clear.

Community Oriented Policing:

  • Is both a philosophy and an organizational strategy. Community oriented policing promotes a new partnership between the campus community and the University Police. It is based on the premise that both the police and the community must work together as equal partners to identify, prioritize, and solve contemporary problems such as crime, drugs, fear of crime, social and physical disorder with the goal of improving the overall quality of life on campus.

  • Requires a campus-wide commitment from everyone. University Police and the campus community must commit to the community policing philosophy. It challenges everyone to find ways to express this philosophy in their jobs, thereby balancing the need to maintain an immediate and effective police response to an individual crime incident and emergencies with the goal of exploring new proactive initiatives aimed at solving problems before they occur.

ESF approaches community oriented policing as a philosophy designed to create an environment that focuses on crime prevention and problem solving through the establishment of partnerships among University Police, students, staff, faculty and campus visitors. For example, police officers may provide ideas and strategies to students for the prevention of theft from residence halls, and students may act as a campus watch to inform University Police of suspicious persons or activities in the residence halls.

The key to positive community oriented policing is sensitivity to the needs of the community and effective communication among community members. Officers are encouraged to participate in campus-wide activities in order to forge a strong relationship. Community members are encouraged to freely approach University Police officers and socialize for the same reasons. Community oriented policing and effective communication provide the opportunity for all community members to clarify misunderstandings, reduce erroneous perceptions, restrict stereotyping, and deflect rumors, thereby understanding one another's community roles and respecting each other's individuality. This approach seeks to secure old traditions and build new traditions that envision positive interactions throughout the campus community. The end result will be a safer and more secure living and learning environment at ESF.

Characteristics of Community Oriented Policing:

  • Community policing is service oriented, promoting the concept of community as client, and police as provider. The needs of the campus community become the goals of University Police in delivering professional, client-centered service that is effective, efficient, and accountable.

  • Community policing is a partnership whose objective is to determine campus community needs and policing priorities, and to promote police accountability and effectiveness. Consultation with the campus community through community policing forums is of critical importance. Surveys, interviews, workshops, community profiles, and other methods will help identify specific campus community needs.

  • Community policing is effective at problem solving. Actual and potential causes of crime and conflict within the campus community can be jointly identified and analyzed with the results guiding the development of measures that address the problems in the short, medium, and long-term. Problem solving also involves conflict resolution and other creative methods to address service delivery and police-community relations problems.

  • Community policing is an agent of empowerment, creating a sense of joint responsibility and a joint capacity for addressing issues of concern to the campus community and University Police personnel. This will require community policing training so everyone has a constructive role.

  • In community policing, accountability will be achieved by making the University Police responsible to the campus community, creating mechanisms through which the police are accountable for addressing the needs and concerns of the campus community they serve.

Principles of Community Oriented Policing:

  • Respects and protects human rights.

  • Respects, and accommodates the languages, cultures, and values of our diverse campus community.

  • Creates understanding and trust among the police, the campus community, and other specific campus constituencies.

  • Shares responsibility and decision making.

  • Solves problems in consultation with the campus community, and consistently strives to improve responsiveness and to identify and prioritize campus community needs.

  • Educates University Police personnel and members of the campus community to enable constructive participation in addressing the problems of safety and security on campus.

  • Resolves conflict among and within campus community groups in a manner that enhances peace and stability.

  • Enhances accountability of the University Police to the campus community they serve.

  • Sustains commitment from both University Police and the campus community to safety and security.

Key Recommendations of Community Oriented Policing at ESF:

  • The President of ESF will participate in, support, and encourage community oriented policing as a campus-wide responsibility of all members of the campus community.

  • Members of the University Police will participate in community oriented policing and problem solving initiatives.

  • ESF students, faculty, and staff will actively participate in community oriented policing and problem solving initiatives.

  • University Police administrators and supervisors will develop new skills through training that incorporates problem solving, networking, mediation, facilitation, conflict resolution, and campus community involvement.

  • University Police administration will empower University Police officers to promote initiative, creativity, and pride in achievement; and to promote selfdisciplined and motivated University Police officers.

  • ESF will identify and mobilize resources and campus organizations to assist in addressing safety and security concerns based upon recommendations of the University Police Advisory Committee.

  • University Police and the campus community will develop honest, open, and effective communication to enhance the consultative roles of the police and the campus community.

  • The Community Policing Advisory Committee will be comprised of college administration, students, faculty, staff and University Police.

  • The Community Policing Advisory Committee will assist in reviewing in an advisory capacity and understanding procedures of University Police.