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Community-Oriented Investigation at the North Miami Beach Police Department

NCJ Number
David Singh
Date Published
April 2001
8 pages
Publication Series
The North Miami Beach, FL, Police Department made changes in the mid-1990’s that marked the emergence of community-oriented investigation as a new form of policing for the 21st century.
The agency created its first community-oriented policing unit several years earlier. However, agency administrators recognized that poor intradepartmental communication and a case-by-case approach to crime were still problems in the detective squad. Therefore, administrators devised a plan in the mid-1990’s to shift investigation work from a reactive model to a proactive model, using new technologies, new skills, and new organizational structures. The new investigative structure centered around six integrated major crime problem-solving task forces. Other elements included accountability; new mandates; community input; and collaboration with the community policing unit, the crime prevention unit, victims, and local businesses. Detectives’ reactions ranged from fierce resistance to general discomfort. However, they gradually became accustomed to public speaking and other new requirements. Crime declined as a result of many factors. The agency has replaced the six fixed task forces with as-needed task forces while retaining the emphasis on collaboration. Unique factors that contributed to change included the recognition that change was the only option, the community’s desire for more information, the city’s community-oriented focus, technology, detectives’ input, the agency’s small size, and funding. Sources of additional information

Date Published: April 1, 2001