Although the focus of community policing strategies typically is on preventing crime and improving neighborhood safety, in the following paper I suggest that community policing has the potential to facilitate immigrants‘ adaptation to life in the United States, a process which is commonly known as immigrant integration. In the following pages I first discuss the concepts of community policing and immigrant integration and specify the definitions I intend to use, since both can have different meanings to different people I then link the concepts of community policing and integration by showing how the community policing efforts that were carried out in two communities with large immigrant populations – Garden Grove, California and Chicago, Illinois – can overlap with elements of an integration framework for immigrants. Using this integration framework, I show that that community policing has the potential to directly foster immigrants‘ social connections – including social bridges, social bonds, and social links – to solidify their feelings of safety and stability in the community, and to instill a foundational knowledge of their rights and obligations as members of a community. Taking this discussion a step further, I then illustrate that due to the interconnectedness of the elements in the integration framework, when community policing directly affects one domain of integration, it can also indirectly affect other areas, which, ultimately, can amplify the integrative effect of community policing. I then discuss the limitations and difficulties of researching and drawing conclusions about this topic. Finally, I suggest that a key implication of my conclusion is that police and community members share a mutual interest in ensuring that police strategies and policies support the immigrant integration process. In doing so, they can promote the effectiveness of their own community policing efforts, and they can help foster safer, more livable communities.
In Partial Fulfillment of the Master of Public Policy Degree Requirements
What Are the Effects of Community Policing on Immigrant Integration?.
Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
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