Community Policing Defined

Community Policing Defined, an eLearning course, provides learners with a basic awareness and understanding of the fundamental principles and best practices of community policing. This course examines practical problem-solving methodologies and applies best practices of community policing.


Title slide for the course that shows the VCPI logo.

Arizona POST Approved Course
AZPOST Approval 22-322
AZPOST does not require the standard approval form for this course; however, if you would like one, please contact AZPOST directly at [email protected].

Course Overview

Comprised of four modules, the topics explore partnerships, problem solving, and organizational transformation as they relate to specific issues and challenges facing today’s law enforcement professionals and the communities they serve. Based on the Department of Justice, COPS Office publication of the same name, Community Policing Defined not only describes the practice of community policing, but also examines how it can be effectively applied.

Through this course, learners examine the interconnectedness of Problem-Oriented Policing, the SARA model, and the Crime Triangle.

Target Audience

Law enforcement, public safety professionals, community leaders, business owners, and other community stakeholders.

Cooperative Partners

This tuition-free online training was developed by the National Center for Policing Innovation (NCPI), formerly known as the Virginia Center for Policing Innovation, and was originally supported by cooperative agreement 2009-RM-WXK-001 by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).

Learning Objectives

  • Define community policing
  • Describe the fundamental principles of community policing
  • Examine practical problem-solving methodologies, including the SARA model
  • Interpret best practices of community policing
  • Identify examples of ways in which a law enforcement agency can interact, partner, and work closely with members of the community in order to achieve a high level of community satisfaction and agency success
  • Examine the tangible means by which to build or improve the relationship between their law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve
  • Define collaborative partnerships utilized in community policing
  • Examine the importance of developing and maintaining long-term positive relationships with the community
  • Identify examples of effective collaborative partnerships
  • Define the organizational transformation component of community policing
  • Demonstrate relevance of organizational transformation to building partnerships and practicing problem solving
  • Examine organizational transformation in terms of culture, structures, and function
  • Consider the value of leadership and training as a catalyst for organizational transformation
  • Define the problem solving component of community policing
  • Explore Problem-Oriented Policing and its role in effective problem solving
  • Consider the problem solving processes and methodologies of the SARA model
  • Consider the role of the Crime Triangle (Problem Analysis Triangle) as a complementary tool to the SARA model

National Center for Policing Innovation

The National Center for Policing Innovation (NCPI), formerly known as the Virginia Center for Policing Innovation, is a nonprofit organization that provides innovative community policing training, technical assistance, and program management services to law enforcement organizations and the communities they serve throughout the United States.