Internal and External Challenges to Implementing Community Policing: Examining Comprehensive Assessment Reports from Multiple Sites

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The Western Regional Institute for Community Oriented Public Safety (WRICOPS), funded by the US Department of Justice’s COPS Office, provides organizational assessments to law enforcement agencies in an effort to facilitate a department’s transition to community policing. Here, assessment reports written for law enforcement agencies in five northwestern states are analyzed to determine barriers that make the transition to community policing problematic. These challenges are organized around the themes of Vision and Mission, Organizational Goals, Organizational Structure, Organizational Climate and Community Environment. The results suggest that law enforcement agencies transitioning to community policing face common internal and external challenges that need to be addressed if community policing is to be successfully implemented.