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Community Policing
Officer at a community eventThe Community Policing Program
The Kennebunk Police Department strives to work with all citizens to help combat problems and issues facing the community. This philosophy is evident within our mission statement. Community Policing is a collaborative effort between a police department and the community it serves in identifying problems of crime and disorder, and involves all elements of the community in the search for solutions to these problems. It is founded on close, mutually beneficial ties between police and community members.

Principles of Community Policing
The origins of Community Policing date back to London, England, in 1829. The concept was derived by Sir Robert Peel, who once served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, as well as Home Secretary. It was during Sir Robert Peel's tenure as Home Secretary that he created the Metropolitan Police of London and developed nine principles to guide the police organization. Those principles were:
  • The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder
  • The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions
  • Police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public
  • The degree of cooperation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force
  • Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law
  • Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient
  • Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence
  • Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary
  • The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it