Police Practice and Research
Foot patrol work is rarely described in relation to public health, even though police routinely encounter health risk behaviors and environments. Through a qualitative study of foot patrol policing in violent ‘hotspots’ of Philadelphia, we explore some prospects and challenges associated with bridging security and public health considerations in law enforcement. Noting existing efforts to help advance police officer knowledge of, and attitudes toward health vulnerabilities, we incorporate perspectives from environmental criminology to help advance this bridging agenda. Extending the notion of capable guardianship to understand foot patrol work, we suggest that the way forward for theory, policy, and practice is not solely to rely on changing officer culture and behavior, but rather to advance a wider agenda for enhancing collective guardianship, and especially ‘place management’ for harm reduction in the city.
Wood, J. D., Taylor, C. J., Groff, E. R., & Ratcliffe, J. H. (2015). Aligning policing and public health promotion: Insights from the world of foot patrol. Police Practice and Research, 16(3), 211-223.