A community is defined by its boundaries and infrastructure, as well as the shared interests, locale, and perspectives of its members. This could encompass a city, neighborhood, village, or workplace. In order to thrive within such an environment, individuals must function as a cohesive unit and be sensitive to the multiple and overlapping interests with which they must work.
In his book titled The Community in America” (1963), author Roland Warren devised a five-point system for assessing a community:
- Production, distribution, and consumption are the economic aspects of the community as a whole entity.
- Socialization includes knowledge, future planning, and acceptable or unacceptable behavior within the community.
- Social control involves rules for individuals, corporate entities, and government agencies to abide by; it is also referred to as boundary maintenance.”
- Social participation is essential for the community to be viable.
- Mutual support is necessary to promote team effort in all areas. According to Warren, “some would say that this is the primary reason for the community (except for mutual support, why not live as a hermit?).”
Understanding the community through this five-point system is paramount. However, it is also important to recognize the relationship among the functions. There are two patterns of integration: the horizontal pattern and the vertical pattern. The horizontal pattern includes people, organizations, and institutions that focus on one or another of these functions with common interests. The vertical pattern takes those in the horizontal pattern that fit into a larger arrangement of external relations.
To simplify this framework, Mr. Warren states that the horizontal pattern strengthens the common focus; the vertical pattern strengthens the ability to spread one’s interests more broadly into the community” (Filipovitch, 2004).
This research paper will conduct a community assessment of Gretna, Louisiana using Roland Warren’s five-point system. The assessment will depict the typical community environment, economy, and functioning patterns. However, before delving into the nuts and bolts” of Gretna, let us contemplate its history.
Gretna, Louisiana is located across the Mississippi River from New Orleans in McDonoghville. The land area of Gretna is 3.5 square miles with a water area of 0.36 square miles.
In 1790, the Spanish governor gave the land to Ursuline nuns who later sold it several times until Nicolas Noel Destrehen surveyed it in 1836 and named the village Mechanikham. The village had a railroad, foundry, ferry landing, church and small residential lots.
In 1838, St. Mary’s Market Steam Ferry Company developed a village below Mechanikham and called it Gretna which soon merged with Mechanikham. Most of the land was used for vegetable and dairy farms while shipbuilding industry on the river helped Gretna prosper rapidly.
By 1945, Gretna was thriving with hundreds of houses, steam mills, hotels, lumber companies, factories and more. It had been the Jefferson Parish seat since 1884 and became a city on August 20, 1913. John Ehret was its first mayor (Swanson, 1975).
Gretna, LA Community Assessment – Five-Point System:
Production, distribution, and consumption are the pillars of Gretna’s economy. Despite the shaky state of our nation’s economy, Gretna has maintained stability since its inception as a city. The statistics presented here are based on Gretna’s most recent census completed in 2000.
The top five industries in Gretna were retail trade with 936 stores, accounting for 13.6% of their annual revenue (compared to ll.9% for Louisiana); manufacturing with 554 businesses, representing 8.1% of Gretna’s economy versus 10.1% statewide; professional, scientific and technical services with 312 establishments making up 4.5% of Gretna’s economy (and matching LA at 4.6%); wholesale trade with 232 businesses contributing to 3.4% of Gretna’s economy compared to 3.% for Louisiana; and finally information services with 159 businesses comprising 2.3% of the city’s economic activity while Louisiana had only 2%. (source: allbusiness.com,2008).
In 2000, the average income for an individual was $15,735. Currently, it stands at $28,065 with LA’s average being $32,526. The average family income is $31,881 with LA being at $39,774. The standard cost of a home in Gretna (2008) is $164,000 compared to the state average of $136,600. Gretna’s unemployment rate is 4.8%, which is a job increase of 3% from 2007 (epodunk.com n.d.). The Economic Development Office of the Mayor oversees economic development in Gretna and works closely with the private sector to promote successful locations.
Socialization. The population of Gretna was 17,423 according to the 2000 census. However, in 2007, the estimated population decreased by 6.39% to 16,301. This decline is partly due to a high death rate of nine per thousand people for the parish rate compared to the statewide rate of nine per thousand as well. Between 1999-2001 there were a total of 12,259 deaths with cancer accounting for approximately one-fourth (3,057) of them.
According to the census data from both years, males and females were equally represented at exactly half (50%) each in Gretna’s total population. Additionally, the average age was found to be higher than Louisiana’s average at 36.99 compared to LA’s average age of just over thirty-five years old (35.25). Families make up a significant portion (61.6%) of Gretna’s population according to census data provided by trulia.com.
The majority race in Gretna is white with a percentage representation of approximately fifty-six percent (56.3%). African Americans make up around thirty-five percent (35.5%) while Louisiana has a slightly higher percentage representation for whites at sixty-three point nine percent (63.9%) and slightly lower African American representation at thirty-two point five percent(32 .5%).
Gretna, along with Louisiana, took many years to become integrated and still has situations where racism is a controversial issue. One recent incident occurred three days after Hurricane Katrina hit. The Gretna police force blocked the Mississippi River bridge that connects their city and New Orleans, trapping thousands of mostly black residents in the flooded city. The decision was upheld by the City Council and was initiated after a mall was set on fire on August 31st. Critics claim it was racially motivated while officials sincerely deny the claim. Gretna was overwhelmed with evacuees from New Orleans, but Mayor Harris said, We took care of our folks. It’s something we had to do” (Rainey, 2005).
Social Control. Every community needs rules, and individuals or organizations are responsible for maintaining them. In 1877, Gretna established a large police force consisting of one chief and three patrolmen, which was governed by the rules of the New Orleans Police Department. However, in 1913, Gretna adopted their own rules for a Police Department and regulated employment. The total number of crimes in 2007 was 17,706; however, there was a decrease to 17,291 in 2008. Theft had the highest number of offenses with approximately 9,500 reported cases in 2007 and an increase to around 9,800 cases in 2008. Violent crimes were reported to be at a rate that is approximately1.04% higher than the state average of .07%.
The Jefferson Parish Correctional Facility in Gretna houses a total of 1262 inmates, with 1112 occupancies reported in 2008 (jpso.com.2009). The Fifth Circuit Court serves Gretna and was established by Act 32 of the Louisiana legislature in 1981, signed by Governor David Treen. This jurisdiction includes four parishes: Jefferson, St. Charles, St. James and St. John the Baptist. In the year 2000, the circuit court found a permanent home at Judge Lawrence A. Chehardy Courthouse and currently hears approximately 290 cases annually.
The Gretna Fire Department consisted of 18 paid and 138 volunteer firefighters in 2007. They responded to over 400 fire, rescue, public assistance, and mutual aid requests. According to gretnala.com.n.d., the David Crockett Steam Fire Company No.1 is the oldest continuously active volunteer fire department in the United States.
Social participation is crucial in all communities, and education plays a supreme role in achieving it. In Gretna, only 11% of residents over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s or advanced college degree. The town has 28 public schools for K-12 students and 43 private schools. Public schools in Gretna spend $5,240 per student, which is lower than the national average of $6,058 (2007), with an average teacher-student ratio of 1:16.
There are 37 churches of various denominations in Gretna. The dominant faith is Baptist, with 15 churches throughout the community. The Church of God has the next highest number of locations, with 5, followed by 4 nondenominational and 3 Catholic churches. Participation in all churches is consistent with Louisiana and the surrounding states. One of these churches, St. Joseph Church and Gardens, was established in l857 and has become a popular tourist attraction due to its unique architectural design and new Meditation Garden which draws hundreds of tourists each year.
Mutual support is essential for a community to thrive. As Roland Warren states, sharing the journey” is accomplished through all five functions. Education and churches encourage participation, as do Gretna’s social clubs, especially the German-American Cultural Center which has been around since the 1800s. The Historical Complex, annual Heritage Festival, and Mini-Military Museum are sources of pride for Gretna’s residents. In 2008, tourism brought in an annual income of $62,620,645. For a community to succeed in every aspect requires active participation from its people.
In conclusion, Gretna easily satisfies the five-point system devised by Roland Warren, making it a viable community. Upon assessing Gretna, we have observed that its economy has remained stable despite a slight decrease in population, which is consistent with the trend in Louisiana (-2.9% from 2000 census compared to 2007). Additionally, Gretna has remained primarily white in terms of its population. However, it is worth noting that the community has implemented changes following Hurricane Katrina.
The Jefferson Parish Department of Emergency Management (DEM) monitors the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather wire and radio to prepare for potential disasters. As soon as there is an increasing threat of severe weather conditions or other emergencies, the DEM goes into action mode and staffs the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). At this point, the EOC issues standby notices to shelters and organizations such as Red Cross. Because there is often a long lead time for weather-related disasters or emergencies, warnings are issued through news releases.
The Emergence Alert System will be utilized to interrupt cable television and radio broadcasts with additional instructions. A three-phase evacuation plan was created for southeast Louisiana, beginning 50 hours before the storm, followed by 40 hours, then 30 hours. An Emergency Re-Entry Plan” was also established to facilitate a phased return of evacuees (gretnala.com.n.d.).
Community Anti-Drug Programs
Community Anti-Drug Programs
The composition of this paper will focus on Community Anti-Drug Programs and their characteristics. This study aims to provide general information about the significance of Anti-Drug programs in the community and how they work. Furthermore, it aims to offer comprehensive details on how such prevention programs can help society campaign against drugs. Additionally, this paper will provide a clear rationale for the involvement of major stakeholders in the program.
The following topics will be discussed:
A brief background of Community Anti-Drug programs, their primary application, and significance are discussed in this paper. Additionally, the paper provides information on how to start a Community Anti-Drug Program and the participation of major stakeholders. The importance of such a program in campaigning against drugs is also determined. The factual information provided can aid in protecting the community from this issue and presents a better understanding of public participation in the program.
Community Anti-Drug programs have a brief background.
The Community Anti-Drug Program is a drug prevention method that focuses on a specific society or group of people (Drug-Free Communities Support (DFC) Program,” n.d.). This anti-drug prevention program is a joint effort composed of diverse groups of people from different sectors of the community (“Drug-Free Communities Support (DFC) Program,” n.d.). The program consolidates social power, energy, experience, influence, and passion to address drug issues in the community (“Drug-Free Communities Support (DFC) Program,” n.d.). Additionally, this program can also be used to tackle other social problems such as alcohol and substance abuse (“Drug-Free Communities Support (DFC) Program,” n.d.).
Moreover, the community anti-drug program serves as a formulated strategy that aims to properly address drug addiction or substance abuse problems. This entails drug intervention, prevention, aftercare, treatment, and law enforcement. However, the main focus of this program is prevention and protection of society from such drug abuse.
Furthermore, the effectiveness of such a program has been proven to create change in the community (Grabmeier, n.d.). With proper implementation, drug abuse problems can be addressed accordingly (Grabmeier, n.d.). In a study of 32 schools across 16 communities in the United States, results showed that this anti-drug program efficiently lowered by half the number of students who used drugs like marijuana and other substances such as alcohol (Grabmeier, n.d.). The program could be more effective by utilizing stimulating campaign materials such as colorful posters, tray liners, water bottles, T-shirts and promotional items like book covers, rulers and lanyards (Grabmeier,n.d.).
The significance of the program is immense. It has the potential to bring about positive change in society by addressing important issues and providing solutions. Through this program, individuals can acquire knowledge and skills that can help them make a difference in their communities and beyond. The impact of the program can be far-reaching, as it empowers people to take action towards creating a better world.
One of the significant aspects of the program is that it increases citizen participation and empowers the community in the anti-drug campaign, as demonstrated by CADCA’s National Coalition Institute.
Therefore, programs aimed at reducing drug abuse among youth in communities are crucial (CADCA’s National,” n.d.).
The said program is significant in decreasing the number of drug abuse among adults (CADCA’s National,” n.d.). Additionally, it offers other benefits as well.
However, the drug addiction rate in the community has been continuously declining, which is a reliable indication of the importance of programs like CADCA’s National.
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A community anti-drug program is significant in making people knowledgeable and aware of the harmful effects of drug addiction in society. CADCA’s National Coalition Institute provides training and technical assistance to community-based coalitions that work to prevent substance abuse. These coalitions bring together individuals, organizations, and agencies to develop strategies that address local substance abuse problems. By working together, communities can create a healthier environment for everyone.
The program, known as CADCA’s National, is designed to help the public maintain a healthy society that is aware and free from the detrimental effects of drug addiction (CADCA’s National,” n.d.).
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Moreover, this anti-drug program is designed to prevent and protect society from the harmful implications of drugs. It sheds light on cases of drug abuse in society (Take Action Against Drug Abuse,” n.d.). Such a drug prevention program is significant in saving lives by preventing people from becoming drug addicts or dependents (Murguia et al, 2007).
How to Start a Community Anti-Drug Program
It is considered that serving the community against any detrimental forces is one of the most important actions people could take (Health Editor, n.d.). Hence, starting an anti-drug program would be very helpful in creating a drug-free community and saving the public from the risks of drug abuse (Health Editor, n.d.). In fact, starting such a community drug prevention program is much easier than one might think (Health Editor, n.d.). With desire and willingness to enforce such a program incorporated with ample time and dedication, the outcomes are absolutely worth all the effort exerted in order to protect society (Health Editor, n.d.).
There are eight easy steps to start an effective community anti-drug program that can help protect society from the harm of drug abuse (Health Editor, n.d.). The following are comprehensive instructions:
Before designing a community anti-drug program, it is important to determine if the targeted community already has an existing drug prevention program. If so, seek better ways to join forces (Health Editor, n.d.). It is also crucial to understand the reality of drug abuse and its detrimental effects on individuals and communities (Health Editor, n.d.). Reliable organization websites such as Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) and Foundation for a Drug-Free World can be used as references in designing the program (Health Editor, n.d.).
The intended drug prevention program should have specific features that address the needs of the community (Health Editor, n.d.). Once designed, all necessary materials should be prepared for dissemination. This includes fliers distributed throughout the community and materials provided to local schools such as posters and brochures (Health Editor, n.d.).
Organizing constant forums that provide accurate information about drugs and their proper usage is essential. Former drug addicts or dependents who have undergone recovery treatments can share their experiences with others in order to inspire them (Health Editor, n.d.). Additionally, spreading awareness through community assemblies and events will help get the message out there effectively (Health Editor, n.d.).
Participation of Major Stakeholders
There are various stakeholders involved in an anti-drug campaign program for it to achieve its goals and be considered successful. The tripartite cooperation from the government, civil society, and businesses is an essential tool in delivering social services (Civil Society and Governance Programs,” n.d.). Anti-drug campaigns are no exception to this.
More importantly, the government plays different roles as the primary vehicles for delivering social services needed by society (Tauber, 1994).
The partnership between the public and private sectors is a successful means of delivering programs because it utilizes the overlap of both spheres. The private sector can contribute its capabilities, as seen in initiatives such as Partnership for a Drug-Free Mobile” (n.d.).
The civil society would also play a significant role in collective involvement, which proves to be important, but still takes a small share of the pie in terms of participation (Anti-drug campaign uses Ronaldinho as comic book character, n.d.). Community involvement is crucial since it has different sets of norms that determine individual behavior. Citizens are likewise involved because they have forces regarding these norms and voluntary participation in civic activities.
With the aforementioned facts and information, it is fair to say that anti-drug programs are effective in combating drug addiction within communities. Therefore, data indicates that implementing these prevention programs is necessary to prevent further deterioration of drug-related issues in society. Additionally, the design of these programs is reliable in protecting individuals and society from the adverse effects of this social problem. However, voluntary participation from the general public is essential to strengthen community campaigns against drug problems and achieve specific goals centered on prevention and protection.
An anti-drug campaign has utilized Ronaldinho as a comic book character. The source for this information is http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200606/20/eng20060620_275335.html, retrieved on July 30, 2008.
CADCA’s National Conference is an annual event that brings together thousands of substance abuse prevention specialists and advocates from across the country. The conference provides a platform for attendees to network, share best practices, and learn about the latest research and trends in the field.
(n.d.). Retrieved on July 30, 2008, from http://download.ncadi.samhsa.gov/csap/CoalitionHandbook.pdf.
Civil society and governance programs can be found at http://www.worldlearning.org/1201.htm. The website was last accessed on July 30, 2008.
The Drug-Free Communities Support (DFC) Program is a resource provided by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). The program aims to support and empower community coalitions in their efforts to prevent substance abuse among youth. For more information about the DFC Program, visit http://www.cadca.org/CoalitionResources/PP-DFCProgram.asp. This information was retrieved on July 30, 2008.
Grabmeier J. (n.d.). New Anti-drug Program Shows ‘Phenomenal’ Success by Focusing on Positives. Retrieved July 30, 2008 from http://www.marijuana.com/drug-war-headline-news/26957-usa-new-anti-drug-program-shows-phenomenal-success-focusing-positives.html.
Health Editor. (n.d.). How to Start a Community Anti-Drug Program. Retrieved July 30, 2008, from http://www.ehow.com/how_2073755_start-community-anti-drug-program.html
Murguie et al. (2007) published a book titled Real Drugs in a Virtual World” under the Lexington Books Publishing House.
Partnership for a Drug-Free Mobile. Retrieved on July 30, 2008, from http://www.cityofmobile.org/drugfree/.
Tauber, J. (n.d.). National strategy for the co-funding of coordinated drug court systems. Retrieved July 30, 2008, from http://www.nadcp.org/docs/cdcs.txt.
Take Action Against Drug Abuse (1994) is a publication by Diane Publishing House.
Community And Problem-Solving Policing
This paper will primarily concern itself with community policing and problem-solving policing, which depart from the traditional form of policing that has been in place in many areas of America for years. The two new policing strategies being pushed as the new form of policing in contemporary American society will be presented (Dempsey, 2005).
In this paper, we will compare and analyze the features of community policing and problem-solving policing. Our goal is to demonstrate that these two approaches provide specific benefits to a community in a particular order. When both are implemented, they can improve the social status of the community as a whole.
The philosophy behind this new policing strategy is based on the partnership between the police force and the members of the community (Office of Community Oriented Policing Service, USA, 2008). This partnership transforms the police from a ‘reactionary’ force as in traditional policing to a facilitator of policing. The government fully pays for their services to assist and become a medium for citizens’ participation in policing (Dempsey, 2005).
According to Dempsey (2005), community policing is an attempt to involve the community as an active partner with the police in addressing crime problems in the community.” However, it will be shown later that this is no longer just an “attempt,” but rather a reality currently being practiced all over America.
By involving the community in policing, citizens can gain more knowledge about the police and justice process (Dempsey, 2005). This strategy promotes participation and involvement in community issues, encourages prevention and community-based actions towards crime, and effectively utilizes personnel within the police force.
After discussing the advantages of community policing, it is important to understand how this approach works in practice. Many towns have successfully implemented their own versions of community policing. Some examples include organizing events that involve both police officers and community members, such as sports competitions or public forums and meetings. Another strategy is to station an officer in a community residence or location (Dempsey, 2005).
The federal government plays a vital role in promoting community policing, which is a collaborative effort between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Community policing aims to build trust and strengthen relationships between police officers and community members, ultimately leading to safer neighborhoods.
The American Federal government has established the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, also known as COPS. This office was created in response to the mandate by the Crime Bill, which allocated funds to promote community policing throughout America (Dempsey, 2005).
The Office’s program has four overarching goals. These goals are mainly to increase the number of officers visible on community streets, promote partnerships between the police and the community, and develop new technologies that aid in preventing and reporting crime (Dempsey, 2005).
As the term implies, this policing strategy requires police officers to analyze and assess the problems they encounter in their work.
According to Dempsey (2005), using this approach to policing would require officers to assume that incidents of crime and disorder are brought about by underlying social problems. Therefore, in order to eliminate crime, these social problems must be addressed.
This would mean that the police now have the responsibility of improving all social aspects of a community, not just maintaining peace and order. Policing would also become an integral and interconnected aspect of the social services provided by the government (Marion, 2006).
Similar to community policing, problem-solving policing approaches crime elimination from a non-reactionary point of view. It focuses its efforts more on prevention.
The process of problem-solving policing involves the scanning, analysis, response, and assessment of various incidents (Dempsey, 2005).
The police officer should view an incidence of crime as a problem with underlying causes. Once the problem is identified, they should research data about it, including surveys, statistics, and personal accounts from members of the community. After analyzing the data, a solution can be formulated.
This solution will be implemented in cooperation with other members of the community. Once implemented, the results will be assessed and evaluated to aid in future decision-making. Appropriate feedback will be provided to all stakeholders and participants involved in the issue.
This strategy of policing would certainly be enhanced with the collaboration of the academic community. Members of academia can lend their expertise and scholarly resources to help police analyze and address social problems.
This type of policing involves praxis, which is the process of action-reflection-action. This means that the decisions and outcomes of a particular incident would influence future decisions when similar incidents occur.
With the presentation of two strategies, the writer believes that both can be used in conjunction to improve not only the peace and order situation but also the social conditions of a community.
Community policing can be introduced through various methods, such as placing officers in the community and organizing team-building activities that involve both community members and police officers.
This way, the basis for involvement and relationship between the two groups would not be solely based on crime incidences, which are undoubtedly negative in nature. Instead, it would be built upon a bond created by positive activities that foster trust and camaraderie.
Once a bond has been established and trust has developed, it becomes easier for community members to cooperate with police officers and assist them. Officers and citizens can discuss ways to improve the community or even personal matters. Crime resolution would increase as a result of citizens’ cooperation.
Once the trust is established, incidents of crime can be brought to the attention of citizens in an effort to analyze the problem. The resulting research would be more valid due to community cooperation in generating and acquiring data.
Essentially, these two approaches to policing would increase people’s participation in their own well-being. This would help them understand their status as stakeholders in the peace and order of their community.
Although it is assumed that the police will have a significant amount of discretion, the involvement of the community will serve as a check and balance to their actions. If there is any unwarranted or abusive use of this discretion, it can easily be identified and addressed due to the community’s understanding of the system.
Dempsey, J. (2005). An Introduction to Policing.” New York: Wadsworth.
Marion, N. (2006). The Public Policy of Crime and Criminal Justice. Washington D.C.
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, USA (2008, April 30) defines what community is.
Policing? Retrieved August 7, 2008, from the COPS Office.
Visit http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/default.asp?item=36 for more information.