Throughout history, the role of the police officer has been that of the tough, "the buck stops here" law enforcement officer. Police considered a part of their job is to have an authoritative presence over the areas they " re assigned to protect so they can maintain law and order. This image, however, has changed. Today, the public and internal image of police has changed. They are no longer the "tough guys" of the neighborhood but instead are there to be a fair public servant. Their duty is to protect the interest of the people and help open communications between the police and different communities to help precipitate an atmosphere of tolerance and civility.
Although it is important for the public to see police officers as peace keepers, it is equally as important for the police to see themselves in this way too. If police officers continue to see themselves in the historical role as strong-armed peace keepers they will open the door to continued hatred and crime between races. In addition, they will inevitably let this attitude influence how they do their job and in turn the public will perceive the police as the enemy rather than public servants. In conclusion, the changing role of the police is one that must be embraced not only by the public but by the officers themselves. By changing their attitude toward enforcing the law, police officers can have a major impact not only on solving and punishing crime but in stopping the attitudes that lead to it.