Reactive Versus Proactive Policing

Chip Greene By Chip Greene, 15th Jun 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

The difference between reactive and proactive policing. The effects of both on crime and the criminal.

To be reactive

Recent events in Baltimore, New York City and other American communities have given rise to two terms that are now being used to describe the police. They are reactive and proactive. The police in Baltimore, New York and other cities have come under fire for some of the methods they use in the performance of their duties. The criticism is coming from their own superiors, Chiefs of police, city mayors, district attorneys and the general public. Some police have been charged with crimes relating to how they police. So far, no charges of any consequences have been substantiated against those officers charged. I suspect that by and large this trend will continue. Those unfortunately charged officers are the victims of political correctness run amok and a policy of appeasing those who wrongfully feel oppressed by the police.

Get out of jail free!

Many police officers are now more afraid of being charged with a crime and imprisoned than they are of being killed in the line of duty. They have responded to this and the crime rates in Baltimore, New York and other places are skyrocketing. Particularly, murders and shootings are breaking records. The criminals know they have been given a get out of jail free card! The police, to protect themselves have for the most part adopted a reactive posture in their policing.


They no longer go out of their way to detect or do anything about certain crimes. They instead only answer the calls that they're sent on and only do something when the law requires it. It is a funny thing about the way that many laws are written. There is a little three letter word written into most laws that gives the police wide discretion. That word is, "may!" It is used in those laws as, "a police officer may arrest." This doesn't require a police officer to make any arrests in those situations. A few laws use the word, "must." This gives a police officer no other option. The police are taking full advantage of the word, "may."

The road to anarchy

The other term is proactive. That's what a lot of police were in the good old days. The good old days ended a couple of months ago. A proactive police officer seeks out crime and criminals. New York's former stop and frisk policy is a prime example of this. No longer. New York Mayor, Bill DeBlasio ended that policy. So crime goes up. Isn't it ironic that the people who the police are accused of targeting are now the main victims of the spike crime. This is the road to anarchy. I can't say that I blame the police one bit! Don't worry too much though. You are probably still safe in your well-to-do neighborhoods. But, if you live in a poor neighborhood, particularly an African-American neighborhood I would stay off the street, particularly after dark.
It's only going to get worse!

Photo credits

Proactive police management

Crime rises

Law and the word

Stop and frisk


Anarchy, Crime, Law Enforcement, Peoactive Policing, Police, Reactive Policing

Meet the author

author avatar Chip Greene
I am a retired police officer, baseball enthusiast, political junkie, and published writer.
My articles will focus on crime, politics, and baseball.

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar Steve Kinsman
16th Jun 2015 (#)

"Many police officers are now more afraid of being charged with a crime and imprisoned than they are of being killed in the line of duty." Good. Maybe that will cause at least a few of them to think twice before they shoot unarmed black men and boys with impunity, like they did to Tamir Rice, John Crawford, Michael Brown and so many others.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?