There are three basic models of policing that correlate with Stephen Covey’s stages of leadership and personal development: Dependence, Independence, and Interdependence. Join me as we look at the differences between Reactive, Proactive, and Coactive Policing and how they relate to accomplishing the police mission.

Reactive Policing = “Y’all call and we come…”

Proactive Policing = “Water and Fertilizer”

Coactive Policing = “Community Policing on Steroids”


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13 Responses to The Three Models of Policing / Leadership

  1. So what does coactive policing look like in Afghanistan? What special challenges do your colleagues there experience, and how does it compare to your experience elsewhere?

    • Unfortunately there is not a lot of coactivity going on here at this stage. We are in such a war mode and there is so much corruption that it is hard for these men to build relationships. The Afghan National Police (ANP) are very much on the front lines of this battle and take far more casualties than the Afghan National Army (ANA) — about a 5:1 ratio. Hopefully, we will see a transition from Reactive and Proactive Policing into a Coactive mode soon. But beyond that, I am really not free to talk much about the specifics of what is going on here due to the sensitivity of the mission…

  2. […] the we as police administrators might employ to deal with this community problem. One is the Reactive Model of policing. We can assign police officers to patrol the other neighborhoods, hoping that we might stumble […]

  3. […] Coactive Policing can be compared to a four wheel drive vehicle. When all the wheels are pulling together in the same direction, the vehicle can cover some difficult terrain. In the same way, a community that pulls together can overcome many community problems related to crime, fear of crime, and neighborhood decay and disorder. […]

  4. […] police are the public and the public are the police.’ Which is another way to define Coactive Policing. Take a look at how this principle applies to law enforcement […]

  5. […] The Three Models of Policing / Leadership February 2010 6 comments 5 […]

  6. Maurice Langston says:

    Our Sheriff’s Office left the strategy of Community Policing on Sept. 11, 2001 and like many other agencies started focusing our attention on Homeland Security where the grant money was available. We formed SWAT Teams, Regional Dive Team, Regional Boat Team and joined the Regional Domestic Security Task Force. Quite simply, and without excuse we left our people who trusted us (fuel) standing on the sidewalks of their communities wondering “where did they go and why did they leave us”.

    My Sheriff asked me to re-connect Law Enforcement and the Community. Honestly, this is not an easy task but an important one. It’s like putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. While we can do it, the scars or fracture marks are there and I am determined to at least ease them if I can’t erase them. I purchased “Community Policing” by Miller and Hess and began retraining our Deputies to Community Policing. I quite frankly stumbled across your book and website in a search for “Coactive Policing”.

    Your information is not just helpful, it’s going to be foundational study for the future of this agency.

    Major Maurice Langston
    Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office

  7. […] community can then be used in a  coactive manner to establish peace. This is the essence of the coactive model of policing which has led to so much success for the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office and other […]

  8. […] society. And your job as peacekeepers is relatively easy when families are strong. That’s why Reactive and Proactive Policing are workable models when things are going well. It’s fairly easy for law enforcement and […]

  9. […] change by creating an environment that is conducive to positive and effective change. Remember the Coactivity Maxim: the power for effective change rests within your relationships. This will put your decision-making […]

  10. […] who will change, but only within the context of a trust-based relationship. This underscores the Coactivity Maxim that the power for effective change rests within our relationships. This is why your Team-Building […]

  11. […] talk about Trust for a moment. Think back to the illustration I used in the Dynamic of Coactivity where I talked about four-wheel drive policing. We first imagined that your jurisdiction was a […]

  12. […] think of as the police mandate. But policing is SO much more than just enforcing the law. The Coactive approach to policing understands that just locking people up, merely enforcing the law, doesn’t solve the problem […]

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