Helms School of Government
Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice (PhD)
Criminal Justice, Homeland Security, Violent Extremists, Community Policing, Law Enforcement
Law | Sociology
Beams, Steven Brett, "Challenges Law Enforcement Faces in Utilizing Community Policing to Counter Violent Extremism" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4418.
There has been a rise in violent extremist attacks throughout America since the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. However, law enforcement has been challenged in developing means and methods to combat the rise in terrorist activities. Using and enhancing community policing strategies have shown promising results in identifying terroristic individuals. A literature review shows that community policing strategies have been effective in combating and reducing violence and may be effective in mitigating terrorist activities. Community policing can be a necessary means for identifying radical individuals involved in terrorist activities. This research proposes to discover an effective and accurate method of open communication between law enforcement and the community by building stronger relationships, also known as a core relationship. The core relationship focuses on trust and legitimacy for a common purpose. The data collected from law enforcement officers experienced in community policing and terrorist investigations provide a foundation for engaging and utilizing the community. The critical information found at the local level can be broadened to the state and federal levels. Social media was found to be a catalyst for the radicalization of terrorists who may be implanted into a community setting. The participants made several recommendations to correct problems and deficiencies that hinder the relationship with the community preventing the identification of possible terrorist activities. Data was collected at the ground level of community policing and is readily adaptable to any police jurisdiction.