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The Oxford Handbook of Police and Policing

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5 Problem-Oriented Policing: Principles, Practice, and Crime Prevention

Anthony A. Braga is a Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University and a Senior Research Fellow in the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at Harvard University.

  • Published: 01 April 2014
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Problem-oriented policing calls for the police to identify recurring crime problems, analyze the underlying conditions that cause identified crime problems to persist, implement appropriate responses tailored to address these conditions, and assess the relative value of these new responses. This essay examines the principles, practice, and crime prevention effects of problem-oriented policing. Practical experience suggests that it is often difficult for police officers to implement problem-oriented policing properly. Nevertheless, the available evaluation evidence shows that the problem-oriented approach generates noteworthy crime and disorder reduction impacts. Even when problem-oriented policing is not properly executed, implemented responses generate desirable crime control gains. This suggests that problem-oriented policing is a robust strategy to address recurring crime problems.

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Center for Problem oriented policing

The Key Elements of Problem-Oriented Policing

  • A problem is the basic unit of police work rather than a crime, a case, calls, or incidents.
  • A problem is something that concerns or causes harm to citizens, not just the police. Things that concern only police officers are important, but they are not problems in this sense of the term.
  • Addressing problems means more than quick fixes: it means dealing with conditions that create problems.
  • Police officers must routinely and systematically analyze problems before trying to solve them, just as they routinely and systematically investigate crimes before making an arrest. Individual officers and the department as a whole must develop routines and systems for analyzing problems.
  • The analysis of problems must be thorough even though it may not need to be complicated. This principle is as true for problem analysis as it is for criminal investigation.
  • Problems must be described precisely and accurately and broken down into specific aspects of the problem. Problems often aren't what they first appear to be.
  • Problems must be understood in terms of the various interests at stake. Individuals and groups of people are affected in different ways by a problem and have different ideas about what should be done about the problem.
  • The way the problem is currently being handled must be understood and the limits of effectiveness must be openly acknowledged in order to come up with a better response.
  • Initially, any and all possible responses to a problem should be considered so as not to cut short potentially effective responses. Suggested responses should follow from what is learned during the analysis. They should not be limited to, nor rule out, the use of arrest.
  • The police must pro-actively try to solve problems rather than just react to the harmful consequences of problems.
  • The police department must increase police officers' freedom to make or participate in important decisions. At the same time, officers must be accountable for their decision-making.
  • The effectiveness of new responses must be evaluated so these results can be shared with other police officers and so the department can systematically learn what does and does not work. (Michael Scott and Herman Goldstein 1988.)

The concept of problem-oriented policing can be illustrated by an example. Suppose police find themselves responding several times a day to calls about drug dealing and vandalism in a neighborhood park. The common approach of dispatching an officer to the scene and repeatedly arresting offenders may do little to resolve the long term crime and disorder problem. If, instead, police were to incorporate problem-oriented policing techniques into their approach, they would examine the conditions underlying the problem. This would likely include collecting additional information—perhaps by surveying neighborhood residents and park users, analyzing the time of day when incidents occur, determining who the offenders are and why they favor the park, and examining the particular areas of the park that are most conducive to the activity and evaluating their environmental design characteristics. The findings could form the basis of a response to the problem behaviors. While enforcement might be a component of the response, it would unlikely be the sole solution because, in this case, analysis would likely indicate the need to involve neighborhood residents, parks and recreation officials and others.

Problem-oriented policing can be applied at various levels of community problems and at various levels in the police organization. It can be applied to problems that affect an entire community, involving the highest level of police agency, government, and community resources. It can be applied at intermediate levels (for example, a neighborhood or a police district), involving an intermediate level of resources. Or it can be applied at a very localized level (for example, a single location or a small group of problem individuals), involving the resources of only a few police officers and other individuals.

  • What Is Problem-Oriented Policing?
  • History of Problem-Oriented Policing
  • Key Elements of POP
  • The SARA Model
  • The Problem Analysis Triangle
  • Situational Crime Prevention
  • 25 Techniques
  • Links to Other POP Friendly Sites
  • About POP en Español

Improving problem-oriented policing: The need for a new model?

  • Original Article
  • Published: 08 April 2011
  • Volume 13 , pages 79–101, ( 2011 )

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  • Aiden Sidebottom 1 &
  • Nick Tilley 1  

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Problem-oriented policing is widely advocated in both the United States and United Kingdom. Evidence suggests it is an effective means of tackling substantive crime and disorder problems. Despite its appeal, recurrent difficulties have been encountered trying to implement and mainstream the problem-oriented approach. Several problem-solving models have been developed to translate the basic concept of problem orientation into routine practices. This article reports the findings of an exploratory study which sought to review the dominant problem-solving models used by police and partnership agencies in Britain. Using data gathered from a convenience sample of 203 practitioners, we examine the extent to which each model is used and chart their respective strengths and weaknesses. We finish with a discussion of the implications of the findings drawing on research from other problem-solving domains, and offer some potential avenues for further improving problem-oriented work.

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Because of this EPIC and PRIME are not discussed separately here. EPIC stands for Enforcement, Prevention, Intelligence and Communication . Rather than detailing the process of doing POP – like the other problem-solving models described here – EPIC is typically used as an aid to problem solving through providing a template on which to explore preventive responses. Specifically, it is used as a resource to help identify those organizations or individuals needed to deliver a particular option under the EPIC headings. PRIME refers to Problem Resolution in Multiagency Environments . It was created by Hampshire Constabulary, England, as a substitute term for POP in the Hampshire context. The principles however are the same. Indeed the PRIME Training Support Booklet cites SARA as the preferred model to carry out PRIME. Despite this, we included EPIC and PRIME in our survey in order to assess their prevalence among British practitioners.

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This research was funded by the Home Office. We thank Alex Birtwistle, John Chadwick and Darren Kristiansen for their continued help throughout this project. We also thank Karen Bullock, John Eck, Peter Guillaume, Neil Henson, Johannes Knutsson, Gloria Laycock, Mike Scott and two anonymous reviewers for commenting on earlier drafts of this article.

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Sidebottom, A., Tilley, N. Improving problem-oriented policing: The need for a new model?. Crime Prev Community Saf 13 , 79–101 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1057/cpcs.2010.21

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  • Published: 29 October 2018

Problem-oriented policing: matching the science to the art

  • Malcolm K. Sparrow 1  

Crime Science volume  7 , Article number:  14 ( 2018 ) Cite this article

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This paper is an edited version of the Jerry Lee Lecture delivered at the Stockholm Criminology Symposium in 2018, the year in which Professor Herman Goldstein was awarded the Stockholm Prize in Criminology in recognition of his contribution to public safety through the development of problem-oriented policing. This paper examines the significance of a problem-oriented approach and seeks to establish the right balance among, and appropriate role for, a broad range of diverse contributions that scholars and analysts can make to support effective problem-solving. It explores the distinctive contributions of experimental criminology and program evaluation to problem-oriented work, and contrasts the inquiry techniques typically employed by social scientists and by natural scientists. The goal of this paper is to usefully “round out” the role that scholars are prepared to play in advancing effective problem-solving practice.

It is an honor for me to be invited to deliver the Jerry Lee lecture Footnote 1 , and it is a privilege for me to be part of Herman Goldstein’s celebration. I have never attended a criminology conference before, so I will tell you a couple of reasons why I feel something of an outsider in this setting.

First, I’m not a habitual user of the preferred tools of social science or of criminology. In 30 years of academic life I have never once conducted a randomized controlled trial nor run a regression analysis, even though I have taught students at the Kennedy School when and how to use them. I’ve never worked on a Campbell Collaboration study. So, recognizing that I am in the company of expert and dedicated criminologists, I guess I should pause for a moment and allow those of you who want to leave to do so, because you have concluded that I am an academic slouch, analytically incompetent. But hold on just a minute. I am a pure mathematician by training, with a double first from Trinity College Cambridge. I have a Ph.D. in applied mathematics, specifically pattern recognition, which I earned in 9 months. I invented the topological approach to fingerprint matching, which not only earned me a Ph.D. but also six patents. So, I don’t regard myself as an analytic slouch. But it is true that I am not at all immersed in the habits or norms or conventional analytic toolkits of any particular discipline, which I prefer to think of as a strength, not a weakness.

The second thing that makes me feel somewhat out of place at this symposium is that policing now only takes up about 5% of my research and teaching effort, not 100%. When I left the British police in 1988 to join the Kennedy School at Harvard, my research efforts closely focused on police strategy and development. But I soon discovered that the police profession does not move terribly fast, and that it takes any serious idea about 10 years to be worked through and incorporated into practice. The police profession at the time already had two very substantial ideas it was grappling with: problem-oriented policing and community policing. They certainly hadn’t finished with those in 1988. Thirty years later I regret to say I believe they still haven’t.

With my policing background I was accustomed to being busy, and my phone at Harvard wasn’t ringing, so I took on some other projects. I worked with the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington on a project they called “intelligent use of environmental data”. I did a project with the Internal Revenue Service on an initiative they called “compliance management”. The fact that “compliance management” would appear as an initiative in a tax setting might surprise you. What they actually meant by that phrase at that time was adopting a problem - solving approach —even though they didn’t use that language—identifying patterns of tax non-compliance and developing the organizational capability to address each one in a tailored and intelligent way.

Working with these two other professions I realized before long I was seeing precisely the same set of aspirations and organizational dilemmas that the police were wrestling with under their rubric of problem-oriented and community policing. So, in 1994, I wrote a book— Imposing Duties: Government’s Changing Approach to Compliance —describing the parallels between just these three professions: environmental protection, tax, and policing (Sparrow 1994 ). After working with a broader array of regulatory and enforcement agencies, I wrote a follow up book in 2000, The Regulatory Craft: Controlling Risks, Solving Problems & Managing Compliance (Sparrow 2000 ). It had become obvious by then that there was a set of truths applicable across a broad range of social regulatory fields. These truths had been articulated for the police profession very clearly in Herman Goldstein’s work, but had not been articulated anything like so clearly in almost any of these other professions.

I feel, looking back, that much of my 30 years work in academia has been to take Herman Goldstein’s very clear articulation of the problem-solving approach way beyond the confines of the police profession. So I’m going to talk today from the perspective of a very broad range of application.

How broad might the application of these ideas be? The very first paragraph of my book The Character of Harms quotes the Millennium Declaration of the United Nations (Sparrow 2008 ). Imagine this: the human race gets together and figures out what is the unfinished work for the next century! What they did is produce a list of harms not sufficiently controlled around the world: hunger, war, genocide, weapons of mass destruction, international terrorism, the “world drug problem”, trans-national crime, smuggling of human beings, money laundering, illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons, anti-personnel mines, extreme poverty, child mortality, HIV/Aids, malaria, other emerging infectious diseases, natural and man-made disasters, violence and discrimination against women, involvement of children in armed conflict, the sale of children, child prostitution, child pornography, and loss of the world’s environmental resources.

An overwhelming list: what I see when I read this list is problems to be solved . In fact, each of these is not a problem, but a huge class of problems. The authors of the Millennium Declaration chose to express this challenge as ‘ bads’ to be controlled . All of this work is of the same basic type: the identification and control of risks or harms. Many other major policy challenges can be naturally labeled and described in similar terms. Societies seek in turn to reduce violence and crime, pollution, fraud, occupational hazards, transportation hazards, corruption, many forms of discrimination, product-safety risks, and so on.

Do we have a language for this type of work? Is there an established academic discipline that covers it? Do we understand what is the core set of professional skills that all of these endeavors would draw upon? I’m not sure that we do.

Untying knots

The front cover of The Character of Harms has a picture of a knot on it (see Fig.  1 ). I’m particularly proud of this photograph, because I took it myself. What’s special is what happens when you’re confronted with this image. I know what your brain is doing, because you can’t help yourself. You are naturally drawn into it and you start by conducting stage one epidemiological analysis of this object, assuming it’s a bad thing to be undone. That means figuring out the structure: the way it is . Or the way it works . Its components, structure and dynamics. Many people move on immediately to stage two epidemiological analysis, which involves figuring out the weaknesses of the thing itself. If I asked you to untie it, you’d need to know its vulnerabilities. Which strand would give way first, or most easily? What’s your plan for unravelling it? You might carry out a little experimentation along the way, but if you had really understood the structure and figured out the vulnerabilities of the risk enterprise itself (that’s the analogy) then your analysis of the structure of the thing leads you to invent a tailor-made solution for undoing it. This is a simple physical analogy for problem solving. I wanted an image that would trigger all those mental processes. This knot is about the right level of complexity to grab your attention.

figure 1

Undoing knots

Now, when we move from the field of individual cognition to organizational behavior, things get more complicated (see Fig.  2 ). This is the chart that I’ve been using since 1998 just to illustrate the important distinction between problem centered approaches and program centered approaches. There are some big and general classes of things out there in the world (bottom right quadrant) that we should worry about. It might be international trafficking in nuclear materials, or in women and children, or in drugs. Or it could be violent crime or political corruption or environmental pollution.

figure 2

Two modes of organizational behavior

Once society becomes sufficiently perturbed by the class of risk, we invent a new government agency, or control operation, which needs a strategy. Before long a central idea emerges: a “general theory” of operations. This is how, in general, we will deal with this broad class of problems, and we build big machines. The machines (which sit in the top right quadrant) are programmatic. They tend to be either functional or process based. Those are two quite different ideas in organizational theory. We know about the value and efficiencies of functional specialization; and the use of specialist enclaves as incubators for specialist knowledge and skills. Those lessons date back to the industrial revolution. Then, in the last 35 years, we learned the importance of managing processes. These are high-volume, repetitive, transactional; and frequently cut across multiple functions. The public sector learned process management from the private sector, with a lag of roughly 5 years. But by now we’ve mastered it. Process management and process engineering methods are commonly applied when we set up or want to improve systems for emergency response, tax returns processing, handling consumer complaints. Because such public tasks are important, high-volume and repetitive, it’s worth engineering and automating them, using triage and protocols to ensure accuracy, timeliness, and efficiency.

In the top-right hand quadrant we therefore have major programs—organized either around functions or processes. But large bureaucracies have then to divide up the work and hand it out, often across multiple regions. So, front-line delivery by major regulatory bureaucracies is ultimately performed by functional units and process operations disaggregated to the regional level (top left quadrant). That’s the quadrant where the rubber hits the road. That’s all good, and that’s the way major agencies have been organized for decades.

This audience knows the various general theories that have come and gone in policing over time. The “professional era” of policing relied on rapid response to calls for service, coupled with detectives investigating reported crime. That was the “general theory” of police operations for a good long time, until of course it eventually began to break down.

Environmental protection has had its own “general theories” too. If you assume most pollution comes from industrial plants, then the general theory of operations is to issue permits to industrial facilities (to allow them to operate) and attach conditions to their permits governing various discharges—smokestacks, water pipe discharges, transportation of hazardous waste. Environmental agencies then monitor compliance with the conditions on the permits. That general theory works fine for many pollution problems, but then environmental issues appear that have nothing to do with local industrial facilities: radon in the homes, sick office buildings, airborne deposition of mercury originating from Mexican power plants, importation of exotic species. These problems don’t fit that general model.

At that point regulatory organizations realize that their big programmatic engines cover many things but not all things. Eventually an alternate operational method emerges, which depends neither on general theories nor on major programs. Examining the general class of risks, an agency realizes “this isn’t one problem, but at least 57 varieties”. Then begins the work of disaggregating risks, focusing on specific problems (bottom left quadrant), studying their particular structures and dynamics, leading to the possibility of tackling them one by one. Spotting knots, if you like, and then unpicking them. When an agency operates that way, they invariably end up inventing tailored interventions for carefully identified harms.

I drew Fig.  2 in 1998 for inclusion in my book The Regulatory Craft . It was clear at the time that many celebrated innovations in public service involved organizations designing and implementing tailor-made interventions to carefully identified problems. Other innovations emerging involved the disaggregation task itself—where the big arrow sits in the middle of the bottom row on the chart. The type of work happening here involves analytic systems, data mining systems, anomaly detection systems, sometimes intelligence systems, learning from abroad, imagining problems that you’ve never seen, and the ability to spot emerging problems quickly. I call these, as a general class, “vigilance mechanisms”—the methods you use to discover problems or potential problems that you might not have known about if you hadn’t deliberately looked for them.

The point I want to make with this chart is simply that these two methods, program centric and problem centric, are quite different. Program-centric work is extremely well established and very formally managed. Problem-centric work in most professions (including the police profession) is relatively new, in many cases quite immature, and often not formally managed at all.

The nature of work, and working methods, are different in the top right quadrant from the bottom left. Figure  3 illustrates the types of task statements that might appear in the program - centric space. I’ve picked a miscellaneous collection of tasks from different fields. These task definitions are very specific about the preferred programmatic approach: negotiated rulemaking, three-strikes policies, drug-awareness resistance programs, etc. But they are somewhat vague about the specific problem being addressed, or the range of problems for which that program might be relevant. That’s characteristic of the way work is organized in the top right-hand corner.

figure 3

Program-centric task statements

Figure  4 illustrates task statements that would fit in the problem - centric space (bottom left). In selecting these I have disciplined myself to use roughly the same number of words and all the same domains. These statements are much more precise about the specific problem to be addressed. They each say nothing (yet) about a preferred solution, because stage one epidemiological analysis seeks first to accurately describe the problem and figure out how it works, before considering plausible solutions. These are each draft, summary, problem-statements, taken from different fields.

figure 4

Problem-centric task statements

The place for program evaluation techniques

Question: where do program evaluation techniques belong more naturally? With the problem-centric work, or the program-centric work? The basic, if crude, distinction between program-centric work and problem-centric work has obvious consequences for the type of analytic support required. If you operate a specific program—especially if it is a big, permanent, and expensive one—then it would be professionally irresponsible not to have it evaluated. Program-evaluation techniques fit very naturally in the program-centric space.

But the discussion I have raised in some of my papers, and my recent criticisms of the evidence-based policing movement revolve around this question: how well do the techniques of program evaluation fit in the problem-centric space? For sure, they are not entirely irrelevant. But they are not so obviously relevant as they are in the program-centric space. And I notice an awful lot of other analytic work going on, and a range of different scientific methods involved, once you choose to operate in the problem-centric space.

One of the odd things that I have noticed through working across so many different regulatory disciplines is that some agencies are inherently more scientific than others. I’m talking natural sciences, not social sciences. Environmental protection agencies, public health agencies, safety regulators in civil aviation or in the nuclear power industry: these agencies are thickly populated with advanced degrees in engineering, physics, chemistry, biology or some other science. In these areas they do not talk about “evidence-based policy”. The subject just doesn’t come up! They scarcely ever conduct randomized controlled trials. For those of you who plan to fly home from this symposium, I’m pleased to report that aviation regulators do not use randomized controlled trials in their efforts to ensure and enhance airline safety. For sure they do a lot of experimentation in laboratories, to test components; in wind tunnels, to test designs; in simulators, to test the training of pilots and crews.

These more scientifically oriented professions use natural science investigation techniques rather than social science investigations because they are intensely focused on the connecting mechanism. (Nagel 1961 ) They study how the thing works, how a risk unfolds. They focus more on “how does it work?” (problem-definition) than “what works?” (program-evaluation). (Lindblom 1990 ) If your watch is broken and you open it up and find a spring broken, you replace it and close the watch and it works again: then you know you fixed it, because you have had a very clear view inside the mechanism, so you can see precisely how your intervention took its effect. You don’t need fifty watches or a control sample to know you fixed it.

Regulatory agencies vary in the degree to which they get inside mechanisms and therefore relying on the natural sciences and engineering, as opposed to observing, from a distance, effects over time and then using sophisticated statistical techniques to determine whether this caused that . The sciences are just different. It’s a fascinating thing to observe.

I do believe there is a considerable awkwardness if one tries to push program-evaluation techniques into the problem-centric space. Here are eight ways in which the use of program evaluation techniques might turn out to be quite awkward in the problem-solving space. (These arguments are more fully explored in Handcuffed , Sparrow 2016 , Chapter 4).

Establishing “what works” is too slow for operational work To build the body of evidence to support the claim that a specific program “works” might take at least 3–5 years. A lot of problem-solving work is conducted on a shorter timeframe than that. Nimbleness and speed matter, and the ability to move on quickly to the next problem.

A “what works” focus may narrow the range of solutions available If scholars attempt to discipline police by saying they must only use what works (Sherman 1998 ), police might infer that they can’t try anything new, which would be tragic in this context.

Social science focuses on subtle effects at high levels; problem-solving focuses on more obvious effects at lower levels Asking if a broadly implemented program affects overall reported crime rates in a geographic area is quite different from asking “did we solve the problem of high school kids committing burglaries on the way home in the late afternoon?”

Demand for high quality experimentation may (ironically) reduce practitioners’ willingness to experiment Scholars’ insistence on high quality experimental protocols might make practitioners reluctant to do cruder or cheaper experiments, or to engage in the kind of iterative and exploratory development that characterizes problem-solving. (Moore 1995 ; Eck 2002 ; Moore 2006 ).

Focusing on program-evaluation may perpetuate the “program-centric” mindset , at a time when one is seeking to develop and enhance “problem-centric” capabilities. Focusing first on problems, rather than on programs, is a fundamentally different approach, and leads to entirely different organizational behaviors and operational methods.

Focusing on statistically significant crime reductions may not recognize or reward the best problem-solving performance The best performance, in a risk control setting, means spotting emerging problems early and suppressing them before they do much harm. The earlier the spotting the less significant (in a statistical sense) would be the resulting reductions. The very best risk-control performance, therefore, would fail to produce substantial reductions, and might not therefore be visible under the lenses of standard statistical inference.

Program evaluations focus on establishing causality; problem-solving focuses on reducing harms and then moving on quickly .

Evaluations focus on particular interventions, rather than on the broader problem-solving capabilities of an organization Even unsuccessful attempts to solve specific problems can provide valuable lessons and experience, enrich partnerships with community groups and other agencies of government, and build officers’ confidence and capabilities. For problem-solving to mature, attention must be paid to all these other forms of investment and progress.

This constitutes what I believe is a continuing and healthy debate. (Pawson and Tilley 1997 ; Black 2001 ; Paquet 2009 ) But notice that it is, curiously, a supply-side debate; almost “discipline-centric” in fact. The question mostly debated is “how well do the social-science methods of program-evaluation fit in this (problem-solving) space?” We should ask the demand-side question instead: “what kinds of analytic support might be required to properly support problem-solving?”

Defining analytic support for problem-solving

In my executive programs for senior regulators, I ask the class to imagine that all their functional programs are perfect—their detective units, their auditors, their inspection division—they are all expert, state of their art, competent, professional and efficient. And to imagine too that all their major processes are sweetly oiled engines, beautifully designed and handling transaction loads in a timely, accurate, and cost-efficient way. In other words, everything in the top right—major programs—is working perfectly. Then I ask them to identify the types of risk that nevertheless might not be well controlled. I let them ponder that. It doesn’t take them long to come up with a list. Here are the categories they most commonly nominate:

catastrophic risks things that don’t normally happen (or maybe have never happened yet), and which therefore are not represented in the normal workload.

emerging risks that were not known when the major programs were designed. These often involve technological innovation within regulated industries, which are therefore not covered by established programs.

invisible risks , where discovery rates are significantly below 100%. These are very well understood in the criminological literature: consensual crimes, white-collar crimes, crimes within the family. Issues with sufficiently low discovery or reporting rates that we don’t know the true scope, scale, or concentrations of the problem. The problem itself might be totally invisible. In less severe instances, available data might only show partial or biased views of the problem.

risks involving conscious adversaries or adaptive opponents , who deliberately circumnavigate controls and respond intelligently to defeat control interventions. Some of these opponents are technically sophisticated and clever: terrorists, thieves, hackers, cyber-criminals.

boundary spanning risks If the responsibility for controlling a risk (for example, juvenile delinquency) sits across several major public agencies, then it is inconceivable that a specific program owned by just one of those agencies could constitute an adequate solution. Such problems demand a collaborative approach to planning and action.

persistent risks We keep on seeing cases of a particular type, and maybe we handle each case perfectly—but the volume of cases stays high so we’re obviously not controlling the underlying problem. Now it’s time to think differently, and to move from a high-volume reactive process (which sits in the top right quadrant) and develop some thinking in the bottom left, to get to the underlying causes and factors, and address the pattern in a more systematic fashion.

I’m sure there are many other categories of risks one could add to this list, but these are the ones most commonly put forward as compelling reasons for acknowledging the need to develop a problem-oriented capability.

Each of these categories presents major demands for analytic and scholarly support—and not usually program evaluation, at least not upfront. Each category is peculiar and different in the kinds of analytic support required.

For catastrophic risk, there’s the work of imagining things that haven’t happened before, but could. There’s the work of collating experience from abroad, bringing home and learning from everyone else’s misery anywhere on earth, testing our readiness, re-assessing the probabilities, figuring out whether we should worry at all, and if so how much and in what way. Also, we should deliberately exploit near misses, which present major opportunities for cross agency learning exercises, and review of contingency plans. Such work needs to be recognized, set up, and organized.

Effective control of emerging risks puts a premium on anomaly detection. Spotting them early requires a range of pattern recognition methods to detect departures from normal loads and distributions, and then methods of inquiry to find out what the anomaly represents. We should also deliberately hunt for emerging risks based on the experience of other jurisdictions. That means first gathering up that experience from far afield, figuring out the algorithms that would detect those phenomena if present, then applying them and investigating what they reveal. This is a heavily analytic endeavor.

Agencies dealing with invisible risks are plagued by what I call the macro level circularity trap of underinvestment . Nobody really knows how extensive the problem is, so the controlling agency cannot build the case for much budget. Because they can’t spend much, they can’t spend much on discovery, so they don’t discover much. This reinforces the notion that the problem might not be so bad. That’s the circularity trap. I’ve already gone around the whole loop once. There’s a scholarly job to be done in breaking open that circularity trap by measuring the scale of the issue and putting some reliable facts and figures, or at least valid estimates, on the table.

With invisible risks, all the readily available metrics—the number of cases detected or reported—are ambiguous. Such metrics are the product of the prevalence multiplied by the discovery rate, and both are unknown. Therefore, whenever that product moves up or down one never knows which component changed, and whether that’s good news or bad news. It’s a scholarly job to decouple the prevalence from the discovery rates, in most settings by designing and carrying out systematic measurement programs. If, in certain circumstances, it’s not practical or possible to measure prevalence through random sampling, then one can measure the discovery rate instead, sometimes by testing discovery mechanisms deliberately, and sometimes through artful and creative cross matching using independent data sources.

Controlling risks that involve conscious opponents, or adaptive opposition, demands the use of sophisticated intelligence methods. To find out what opponents are thinking, agencies will use surveillance techniques, develop informants, make trades with convicted felons for information about what the industry is planning. And if we can’t figure out what they are actually thinking, then we should work out what they should be thinking. Pay honest people good money for dishonest thinking. What would we be thinking if we were in their shoes. For this work to get done, somebody needs to convene the meeting call, devote the time, and invest in the business of imagining what should be in the opponents’ heads. It’s a very specific type of work that pertains only to this class of risks.

What about boundary spanning risks ? Many of the presentations at the Stockholm Symposium have described issues that were not wholly owned by the police. The scholars involved in these problem-solving projects played an impressive and vital role in holding together multi-agency coalitions and binding them to an analytically rigorous process. Such groups often depend on somebody with academic standing and credibility who can establish procedural discipline and appropriate levels of analytic rigor.

The analysis of persistent risks typically involves cluster analysis of available (incident based) data. In the project presentations at this symposium we’ve seen many fascinating cases of such analytic work being done to establish the natural dimensionality, scale, and features of various crime patterns.

You can see, I trust, that I’m not opposed to analysis. In fact, I’m always stressing the importance of analysis in the problem-solving arena. My rule-of-thumb is that for any problem-oriented project an agency launches, probably 20% of the effort required will be analytical. Of course, it should scale with the size and complexity of the problem, but roughly 20% seems a useful guide. Sadly, that usually exceeds the analytic capacity agencies have available.

Problem-solving protocols and managerial infrastructure

To be sustainable, problem-solving needs to be formally managed. The necessary managerial machinery has two components, and clarifying those helps us figure out the necessary academic support. One is the protocol through which any problem-solving project progresses, and the other is the background managerial infrastructure that runs the whole system.

My impression regarding implementation within the police profession is that we’ve talked a lot about the protocols for projects [including the SARA model (Eck and Spelman 1987 )]; but we’ve talked much less about the background managerial infrastructure.

Figure  5 shows my standard problem-solving protocol, or project template. It shows, I believe, the absolutely minimal level of granularity. You’re all familiar with the SARA model. I’ve had to adjust this a little bit based on experience with other regulatory agencies. One reason this differs from SARA is that I’ve deliberately separated stage one—problem nomination—from everything that follows. It’s not wise to assume that the person who nominates the problem should necessarily lead or participate in a project. It will be your best and brightest staff offering things up, and if they discover that every time they do that it makes more work for them, they will stop doing it! The assumption that nominators become champions works for a very short period. For the method to be sustainable, staffing decisions must go back up through the HR system and a formal process for establishing project teams, selecting the right people, and balancing their workloads at the same time.

figure 5

Problem-solving protocol

I also emphasize the need to be able to close projects—stage 6—because often projects are launched with enthusiasm in the public sector, but then eventually they just peter out, or they stall because the team is dysfunctional, or we just forget about them when other priorities come up. Projects should be formally closed: either because they’re hopeless and you had better spend your scarce resources on something more promising; or because they’ve succeeded enough so that this risk, at this residual level, is now no longer the priority for special attention; or because a crisis emerges and the project must be shelved for a while, because it’s all hands on deck to deal with the crisis, after which you need an orderly process for resumption.

I also have learned to stress the long-term monitoring and maintenance that goes with project closure. We’ve seen several projects described this week where initial success brought an encouraging period with low incident levels, but then later the volume creeps up and we’re not sure why. In some cases, the project managers did not have the data or analysis to explain the subsequent rise. An essential twist in the tail of the problem-solving protocol is the requirement to put in place monitoring and alarms that will alert us quickly if the problem, or some variant of it, should re-emerge.

What is the background managerial infrastructure? I think at the minimum it includes the seven components in Fig.  6 . You need a nomination system for problems—a way of canvassing for them and funneling them to a central point so that they can be assessed and compared. You need a selection system that deploys a set of agreed criteria that should be considered by whoever is responsible for prioritization and selection. Most organizations also identify a few criteria that should not be considered, so as to avoid improper political interference or corrupt influence from industry. Then, once problems have been selected, the organization needs a system for assigning people, time, money, and analytic support. Project work should be recorded, and results channeled into the performance reports of the agency. And because staff and managers are being asked to do work of a type that’s unfamiliar to them and makes many of them feel quite insecure, they need support and advice from others more experienced in the problem-solving art.

figure 6

Managerial infrastucture

Many police agencies don’t have these formal mechanisms. In that case, problem-solving will be limited to a small number of ad-hoc projects driven by self-motivated champions, and lacking any formal support from the organization. In some departments problem-solving hasn’t matured beyond the beat-level version, where projects are conceived, conducted, and concluded by beat officers acting alone, if they are so minded; in which case no problem bigger than beat-sized can be effectively addressed. Substantial problems need substantial problem-solving investments, and a system for managing them.

Back to the question of scholarly support. Which of these components of the managerial infrastructure in Fig.  6 present special opportunities for scholarly intervention? I would say numbers one, two and seven. Finding problems in the first place involves anomaly detection, scanning, gathering intelligence from other jurisdictions and conducting searches to see if a specific problem appears here. Comparative assessment is intensely analytical. Imagine you have fifteen different problem nominations, with an imperfect understanding of their nature and incomplete information about their scale, scope, or concentration. Much analytic work is required to enable managers to make sensible, informed decisions about which ones are more important. And it is often academics or consultants who can play the special role of coach or advisor, working with team leaders, sitting alongside managers as they conduct periodic project reviews, giving practitioners confidence to make the relevant decisions knowing they can change course later if necessary.

If those seven components were all necessities, then there are two additional ones I’d view as luxuries:

A reward system to provide recognition for project teams that achieve important results, and

A system for learning to provide broader access (within the organization and across the profession) to knowledge acquired: what worked, what didn’t, what resources are available within and outside the agency, contact information, keyword-searchable databases of projects, etc.

Here, I believe the police profession does far better than many others. Several award systems have been implemented around the globe, including the Tilley Award in the U.K. and the annual International Herman Goldstein Problem-Solving Award Program. The police profession has also worked diligently through conferences and research programs—notably including the Problem Oriented Policing Center—to build a knowledge base for the profession, available to all.

Broadening the range of scholarly support

To provide more rounded support for problem-oriented policing, in what direction should we push scholarship, and the nature of scholar/practitioner relationships? I think we need to:

Broaden the range of crime analysis and pattern recognition techniques, recognizing the multi-dimensional nature of crime problems (beyond place/time/etc.) and focussing on problems that are emerging, novel or unfamiliar.

Develop the interplay between data mining and investigative field craft, to support investigation of complex phenomena. One might develop from the data an idea about what might be happening, but then go and test the hypothesis on the street with undercover shopping, intelligence gathering, or some surveillance. Then come back and filter the data in a different way, adjust the hypothesis; go back and forth between these two modes of inquiry through multiple iterations. Investigation of complex problems seems to require that collaborative style of investigation.

Define and refine the supporting role for analysis for each stage of the problem-solving process.

Design and deliver quality analytic support throughout every level of the police organizations, because problems are small, medium or large, and a mature problem-solving organization should be able to organize projects at any or all of those levels. Analytic support should go to the scale of the issue.

Study intractable problems, with help from academics, where practitioners under the pressure of daily operations might not have the capacity.

Help elevate crime analysis and intelligence analysis to the level of a profession, without allowing it to be limited by a narrow focus on program evaluation.

Develop a theory of analytic vigilance, to avoid “failures of imagination,” knowing how much to keep looking & how to look, even when there might be nothing to find. These are complicated analytical question about the nature of vigilance. They do not lend themselves to strict mathematical solutions. These challenges are in part political, as much art as science, necessarily subjective to a degree, but our approach to these puzzles needs to be much more analytical than it has been so far.

These are some of the areas where academia could offer so much more.


I hope that in some way my peculiar perspective on these things has been useful to you all. My goal has been to establish the right balance among, and an appropriate role for, a broad range of diverse contributions that scholars and analysts can make to support effective problem-solving. I have contrasted the distinctive contributions of social science program evaluation with the broad range of scientific inquiry modes employed by natural scientists, so as to usefully “round out” the role that scholars are prepared to play in advancing best problem-solving practice.

I hope at least some of you will be prepared to consider a much broader range of scholarly contributions in support of crime control. I also hope you will find it exciting to know that the methodologies you already use, and the modes of interaction between scholars and practitioners that we have begun to develop in the context of crime control—these same skills and methods are applicable across a vast field of social harms, way beyond the field of policing.

Although this paper is based directly on the 2018 Jerry Lee Lecture, the process of editing for publication necessitated widespread deletions. The paper is best presented as “edited excerpts”: readers wanting the fuller experience are referred to the link below, where they are able to view the entire lecture in video format: https://sites.hks.harvard.edu/fs/msparrow/videos/Stockholm%20Criminology%20Symposium%202018--Malcolm%20Sparrow--the%20Jerry%20Lee%20Lecture--High%20Resolution.mp4

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Community-Oriented Policing and Problem-Oriented Policing

In 1979, Hermon Goldstein observed from several studies conducted at the time on standard policing practices that law enforcement agencies seemed to be more concerned about the means rather than the goals of policing. He argued that law enforcement agencies should shift away from the traditional, standard model of policing and that police become more proactive, rather than reactive, in their approaches to crime and disorder (Hinkle et al., 2020; Weisburd et al., 2010). Goldstein’s work set the stage for the development of two new models of policing: community-oriented policing (COP) and problem-oriented policing (POP).

COP is a broad policing strategy that relies heavily on community involvement and partnerships, and on police presence in the community, to address local crime and disorder. POP provides law enforcement agencies with an analytic method to develop strategies to prevent and reduce crime and disorder, which involves problem identification, analysis, response, and assessment (National Research Council, 2018).

Although COP and POP differ in many ways, including the intensity of focus and diversity of approaches (National Research Council, 2004), there are several important similarities between them. For example, COP and POP both represent forms of proactive policing, meaning they focus on preventing crime before it happens rather than just reacting to it after it happens. Further, both COP and POP require cooperation among multiple agencies and partners, including community members (National Research Council, 2018). In addition, POP and COP overlap in that each involves the community in defining the problems and identifying interventions (Greene, 2000).

Although few studies focus on youth involvement in COP and POP, youths can play an important role in both strategies. In COP, youths often are part of the community with whom police work to identify and address problems. Youths can be formally involved in the process (i.e., engaging in local community meetings) or informally involved in efforts to strengthen the relationship between the police and members of the community. For example, a police officer on foot patrol may decide to engage with youths in the community through casual conversation, as part of a COP approach (Cowell and Kringen, 2016). Or police might encourage youth to participate in activities, such as police athletic leagues, which were designed to prevent and reduce the occurrence of juvenile crime and delinquency, while also seeking to improve police and youth attitudes toward each other (Rabois and Haaga, 2002). Using POP, law enforcement agencies may specifically focus on juvenile-related problems of crime and disorder. For example, the Operation Ceasefire intervention, implemented in Boston, MA, is a POP strategy that concentrated on reducing homicide victimization among young people in the city (Braga and Pierce, 2005).

This literature review discusses COP and POP in two separate sections. In each section, definitions of the approaches are provided, along with discussions on theory, examples of specific types of programs, overlaps with other policing strategies, and outcome evidence.

Specific research on how police and youth interact with each other in the community will not be discussed in this review but can be found in the Interactions Between Youth and Law Enforcement literature review on the Model Programs Guide.  

Community-Oriented Policing Definition

Community-oriented policing (COP), also called community policing, is defined by the federal Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services as “a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies that support the systemic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime” (Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services, 2012:3). This policing strategy focuses on developing relationships with members of the community to address community problems, by building social resilience and collective efficacy, and by strengthening infrastructure for crime prevention. COP also emphasizes preventive, proactive policing; the approach calls for police to concentrate on solving the problems of crime and disorder in neighborhoods rather than simply responding to calls for service. This model considerably expands the scope of policing activities, because the targets of interest are not only crimes but also sources of physical and social disorder (Weisburd et al., 2008).

After gaining acceptance as an alternative to traditional policing models in the 1980s, COP has received greater attention and been used more frequently throughout the 21st century (Greene, 2000; National Research Council, 2018; Paez and Dierenfeldt, 2020). The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 articulated the goal of putting 100,000 additional community police officers on the streets and established the federal Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services. Research from 2013 suggests that 9 out of 10 law enforcement agencies in the United States that serve a population of 25,000 or more had adopted some type of community policing strategy (Reaves, 2015).

COP comprises three key components (Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services, 2012):

  • Community Partnerships. COP encourages partnerships with stakeholders in the community, including other government agencies (prosecutors, health and human services, child support services and schools); community members/groups (volunteers, activists, residents, and other individuals who have an interest in the community); nonprofits/service providers (advocacy groups, victim groups, and community development corporations); and private businesses. The media also are an important mechanism that police use to communicate with the community.
  • Organizational Transformation. COP emphasizes the alignment of management, structure, personnel, and information systems within police departments to support the philosophy. These changes may include increased transparency, leadership that reinforces COP values, strategic geographic deployment, training, and access to data.
  • Problem-Solving. Proactive, systematic, routine problem-solving is the final key component of COP. COP encourages police to develop solutions to underlying conditions that contribute to public safety problems, rather than responding to crime only after it occurs. The SARA model (which stands for Scanning, Analysis, Response, and Assessment) is one major conceptual model of problem-solving that can be used by officers (for a full description of the SARA model, see Problem-Oriented Policing below).

At the heart of COP is a redefinition of the relationship between the police and the community, so that the two collaborate to identify and solve community problems. Through this relationship, the community becomes a “co-producer” of public safety in that the problem-solving process draws on citizen expertise in identifying and understanding social issues that create crime, disorder, and fear in the community (Skolnick and Bayley, 1988; Gill et al., 2014; National Research Council, 2018).

COP is not a single coherent program; rather, it encompasses a variety of programs or strategies that rest on the assumption that policing must involve the community. Elements typically associated with COP programs include the empowerment of the community; a belief in a broad police function; the reliance of police on citizens for authority, information, and collaboration; specific tactics (or tactics that are targeted at particular problems, such as focused deterrence strategies) rather than general tactics (or tactics that are targeted at the general population, such as preventive patrol); and decentralized authority to respond to local needs (Zhao, He, and Lovrich, 2003). One Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA) survey of MCCA members found that some of the most common COP activities were officer representation at community meetings, bicycle patrols, citizen volunteers, foot patrols, police “mini-stations” (see description below), and neighborhood storefront offices (Scrivner and Stephens, 2015; National Research Council, 2018).

Community members who engage in COP programs generally report positive experiences. For example, residents who received home visits by police officers as part of a COP intervention reported high confidence in police and warmth toward officers, compared with residents who did not receive visits (Peyton et al., 2019). Notably, however, those who participate in COP–related activities, such as community meetings, may not be representative of the whole community (Somerville, 2008). Many individuals in communities remain unaware of COP activities, and those who are aware may choose not to participate (Adams, Rohe, and Arcury, 2005; Eve et al., 2003). Additionally, it can be difficult to sustain community participation. While police officers are paid for their participation, community members are not, and involvement could take time away from family and work (Coquilhat, 2008).

Specific Types of COP Programs

Because COP is such a broad approach, programs that involve the community may take on many different forms. For example, some COP programs may take place in a single setting such as a community center, a school, or a police mini-station. Other COP–based programs, such as police foot patrol programs, can encompass the entire neighborhood. The following are different examples of specific types of COP programs and how they can affect youth in a community.

School Resource Officers (SROs) are an example of a commonly implemented COP program in schools. SROs are trained police officers who are uniformed, carry firearms and a police department badge, and have arrest powers. They are tasked with maintaining a presence at schools to promote safety and security (Stern and Petrosino, 2018). The use of SROs is not new; SRO programs first appeared in the 1950s but increased significantly in the 1990s as a response to high-profile incidents of extreme school violence and the subsequent policy reforms (Broll and Howells, 2019; Lindberg, 2015). SROs can fulfill a variety of roles. They are intended to prevent and respond to school-based crime; promote positive relationships among law enforcement, educators, and youth; and foster a positive school climate (Thomas et al., 2013).

The National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), the largest professional organization of SROs, formally defines the SRO roles using a “triad model,” which aligns with community policing models (May et al., 2004), and includes the three primary functions of SROs: 1) enforcing the law; 2) educating students, school staff, and the community; and 3) acting as an informal counselor or mentor (Broll and Howells, 2019; Fisher and Hennessy, 2016; Javdani, 2019; Thomas et al., 2013). There may be significant variability in how these roles and responsibilities are balanced, as they are usually defined through a memorandum of understanding between the local law enforcement agency and the school district (Fisher and Hennessy, 2016). Even with the SRO responsibilities formally spelled out, there may still be tensions and ambiguities inherent to the SRO position based on their positioning at the intersection of the education system and the juvenile justice system, which often have competing cultures and authority structures (Fisher and Hennessy, 2016). As members of the police force, the SROs may view problematic behaviors as crimes, whereas educators view them as obstacles to learning. Another ambiguity is that as an informal counselor/mentor, the SRO is expected to assist students with behavioral and legal issues, which may result in a conflict of interest if the adolescent shares information about engaging in illegal activities (Fisher and Hennessy, 2016).

Evaluation findings with regard to the effectiveness of the presence of SROs in schools have been inconsistent. In terms of school-related violence and other behaviors, some studies have found that SROs in schools are related to decreases in serious violence (Sorensen, Shen, and Bushway, 2021; Zhang, 2019), and decreases in incidents of disorder (Zhang, 2019). Others have found increases in drug-related crimes (Gottfredson et al., 2020; Zhang, 2019) associated with the presence of SROs in schools, and other studies have shown no effects on bullying (Broll and Lafferty, 2018; Devlin, Santos, and Gottfredson, 2018). In terms of school discipline, one meta-analysis (Fisher and Hennessy, 2016) examined the relationship between the presence of SROs and exclusionary discipline in U.S. high schools. Analysis of the seven eligible pretest–posttest design studies showed that the presence of SROs was associated with rates of school-based disciplinary incidents that were 21 percent higher than incident rates before implementing an SRO program. However, in another study, of elementary schools, there was no association found between SRO presence and school-related disciplinary outcomes, which ranged from minor consequences, such as a warning or timeout, to more serious consequences such as suspension from school (Curran et al., 2021).

Further, several studies have been conducted on the effects of SROs on students’ attitudes and feelings. One example is a survey of middle and high school students (Theriot and Orme, 2016), which found that experiencing more SRO interactions increased students’ positive attitudes about SROs but decreased school connectedness and was unrelated to feelings of safety. Conversely, findings from a student survey, on the relationship between awareness and perceptions of SROs on school safety and disciplinary experiences, indicated that students’ awareness of the presence of SROs and their perceptions of SROs were associated with increased feelings of safety and a small decrease in disciplinary actions. However, students belonging to racial and ethnic minority groups reported smaller benefits related to SROs, compared with white students (Pentek and Eisenberg, 2018).

Foot Patrol is another example of a program that uses COP elements. Foot patrol involves police officers making neighborhood rounds on foot. It is a policing tactic that involves movement in a set area for the purpose of observation and security (Ratcliffe et al., 2011). The primary goals of foot patrol are to increase the visibility of police officers in a community and to make greater contact and increase rapport with residents. Officers sometimes visit businesses on their beat, respond to calls for service within their assigned areas, and develop an intimate knowledge of the neighborhood. Additionally, police officers on foot patrols may offer a level of “citizen reassurance” to community members and may decrease a resident’s fear of crime by bringing a feeling of safety to the neighborhood (Wakefield, 2006; Ratcliffe et al., 2011; Walker and Katz, 2017). Another duty of foot patrol officers is to engage youth in the community, and some are instructed to go out of their way to engage vulnerable youth. For example, if an officer sees a group of youths hanging out on a street corner, the officer may stop and initiate casual conversation in an effort to build a relationship (Cowell and Kringen, 2016).

Though foot patrols limit the speed at which an officer can respond to a call (compared with patrol in a vehicle), research has found that community members are more comfortable with police being in the neighborhood on foot. Residents are more likely to consider an officer as “being there for the neighborhood” if they are seen on foot (Cordner, 2010; Piza and O’Hara, 2012).

While there are mixed findings regarding the effectiveness of foot patrols on crime (Piza and O’Hara, 2012), improved community relationships are one of the strongest benefits. Research has shown that foot patrol improves the relationships between community members and police officers through increasing approachability, familiarity, and trust Ratcliffe et al. 2011; Kringen, Sedelmaier, and Dlugolenski, 2018). Foot patrols can also have a positive effect on officers. Research demonstrates that officers who participate in foot patrol strategies have higher job satisfaction and a higher sense of achievement (Wakefield, 2006; Walker and Katz, 2017).

Mini-Stations are community-forward stations that allow police to be more accessible to members of a community. Mini-stations (also known as substations, community storefronts, and other names) can be based in many places—such as local businesses, restaurants, or community centers—and can be staffed by police officers, civilian employees, volunteers, or a combination of these groups, and have fewer officers stationed in them (Maguire et al., 2003). These stations allow officers to build on existing relationships with businesses in the area and give citizens easier access to file reports and share community concerns. Additionally, they are a means to achieving greater spatial differentiation, or a way for a police agency to cover a wider area, without the cost of adding a new district station (Maguire et al., 2003). Residents can also go to mini-stations to receive information and handouts about new policing initiatives and programs in the community. Police mini-stations also increase the overall amount of time officers spend in their assigned patrol areas. The concept of mini-stations stems from Japanese kobans , which gained prominence in the late 1980s. Officers who worked in kobans became intimately familiar with the neighborhood they served and were highly accessible to citizens (usually within a 10-minute walk of residential homes) [Young, 2022].

Mini-stations can also be helpful to youth in the community. For example, Youth Safe Haven mini-stations are mini-stations that are deployed in 10 cities by the Eisenhower Foundation. These mini-stations were first developed in the 1980s and are located in numerous youth-related areas, including community centers and schools (Eisenhower Foundation, 2011). In addition to crime outcomes (such as reduced crime and fear of crime), goals of youth-oriented mini-stations include homework help, recreational activities, and providing snacks and social skills training. Older youths can be trained to be volunteers to assist younger youths with mentoring and advocacy. There are mixed findings regarding mini-stations and their effect on crime rates, but research has shown that adults and older youths who participate in mini-station community programs (or have children who participate) are more likely to report crime, and younger youths are more comfortable speaking with police (Eisenhower Foundation, 1999; Eisenhower Foundation, 2011).

Theoretical Foundation

COP approaches are usually rooted in two different theories of crime: broken windows theory and social disorganization theory (Reisig, 2010; National Research Council, 2018). Both focus on community conditions to explain the occurrence of crime and disorder.

Broken Windows Theory asserts that minor forms of physical and social disorder, if left unattended, may lead to more serious crime and urban decay (Wilson and Kelling, 1982). Visual signs of disorder (such as broken windows in abandoned buildings, graffiti, and garbage on the street) may cause fear and withdrawal among community members. This in turn communicates the lack of or substantial decrease in social control in the community, and thus can invite increased levels of disorder and crime (Hinkle and Weisburd, 2008). In response, to protect the community and establish control, the police engage in order maintenance (managing minor offenses and disorders). Four elements of the broken windows strategy explain how interventions based on this approach may lead to crime reduction (Kelling and Coles, 1996). First, dealing with disorder puts police in contact with those who commit more serious crimes. Second, the high visibility of police causes a deterrent effect for potential perpetrators of crime. Third, citizens assert control over neighborhoods, thereby preventing crime. And finally, as problems of disorder and crime become the responsibility of both the community and the police, crime is addressed in an integrated fashion. COP programs rooted in broken windows theory often use residents and local business owners to help identify disorder problems and engage in the development and implementation of a response (Braga, Welsh, and Schnell, 2015).

Social Disorganization Theory focuses on the relationship between crime and neighborhood structure; that is, how places can create conditions that are favorable or unfavorable to crime and delinquency (Kubrin and Weitzer, 2003). Social disorganization refers to the inability of a community to realize common goals and solve chronic problems. According to the social disorganization theory, community factors such as poverty, residential mobility, lack of shared values, and weak social networks decrease a neighborhood’s capacity to control people’s behavior in public, which increases the likelihood of crime (Kornhauser, 1978; Shaw and McKay, 1969 [1942]). Researchers have used various forms of the social disorganization theory to conceptualize community policing, including the systemic model and collective efficacy (Reisig, 2010). The systemic model focuses on how relational and social networks can exert social controls to mediate the adverse effects of structural constraints, such as concentrated poverty and residential instability. The model identifies three social order controls with decreasing levels of influence: 1) private, which includes close friends and family; 2) parochial , which includes neighbors and civic organizations; and 3) public, which includes police (Bursik and Grasmick, 1993; Hunter, 1985). Community policing efforts based on the systemic model can increase informal social controls by working with residents to develop stronger regulatory mechanisms at the parochial and public levels (Kubrin and Weitzer, 2003; Resig, 2010). Collective efficacy, which refers to social cohesion and informal social controls, can mitigate social disorganization. Community policing can promote collective efficacy by employing strategies that enhance police legitimacy in the community and promote procedurally just partnerships, to encourage residents to take responsibility for public spaces and activate local social controls (Resig, 2010).

Outcome Evidence

Although there are numerous programs that incorporate COP, there are limited examples of COP programs that directly target youth, and fewer that have been rigorously evaluated (Forman, 2004; Paez and Dierenfeldt, 2020). The following programs, which are featured on CrimeSolutions , are examples of how COP has been implemented and evaluated in different cities.

The Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS , developed in 1993, incorporates aspects of both community and problem-oriented policing (see Problem-Oriented Policing, below). The CAPS approach has been implemented by dividing patrol officers into beat teams and rapid response teams in each of the districts. Beat teams spend most of their time working their beats with community organizations, while rapid response teams concentrate their efforts on excess or low-priority 911 calls. Meetings occur monthly for both teams, and they receive extensive training. This structure enables officers to respond quickly and effectively to problems that they have not been traditionally trained to handle but have learned how to do by receiving training, along with residents, in problem-solving techniques. Civic education, media ads, billboards, brochures, and rallies have been used to promote awareness of the program in the community (Skogan, 1996; Kim and Skogan, 2003).

To evaluate the effects of the CAPS program, one study (Kim and Skogan, 2003) examined the impact on crime rates and 911 calls. Data were collected from January 1996 to June 2002, using a time-series analysis. The study authors found statistically significant reductions in crime rates and 911 calls in police beats that implemented the CAPS program, compared with police beats that did not implement the program.

Some studies have found that foot-patrol interventions make varying impacts on different types of street violence. Operation Impact , a saturation foot-patrol initiative in the Fourth Precinct of Newark, NJ, was selected as the target area based on an in-depth analysis of the spatial distribution of street violence. The initiative primarily involved a nightly patrol of 12 officers in a square-quarter-mile area of the city, which represented an increase in police presence in the target area. Officers also engaged in proactive enforcement actions that were expected to disrupt street-level disorder and narcotics activity in violence-prone areas. One study (Piza and O’Hara, 2012) found that the target area that implemented Operation Impact experienced statistically significant reductions in overall violence, aggravated assaults, and shootings, compared with the control area that implemented standard policing responses. However, there were no statistically significant differences between the target and control areas in incidents of murder or robbery.

With regard to community-based outcomes, other studies have shown that COP programs have demonstrated positive results. A COP intervention implemented in New Haven, CT , consisted of a single unannounced community home visit conducted by uniformed patrol officers from the New Haven Police Department. During the visits, the patrol officers articulated their commitment to building a cooperative relationship with residents and the importance of police and residents working together to keep the community safe. One evaluation found that residents in intervention households who received the COP intervention reported more positive overall attitudes toward police, a greater willingness to cooperate with police, had more positive perceptions of police performance and legitimacy, had higher confidence in police, reported higher scores on perceived warmth toward police, and reported fewer negative beliefs about police, compared with residents who did not receive home visits. These were all statistically significant findings. However, there was no statistically significant difference in willingness to comply with the police between residents in households that received home visits, compared with those who did not (Peyton et al., 2019).

Problem-Oriented Policing Definition

Problem-oriented policing (POP) is a framework that provides law enforcement agencies with an iterative approach to identify, analyze, and respond to the underlying circumstances that lead to crime and disorder in the community and then evaluate and adjust the response as needed (Braga et al., 2001; Hinkle et al., 2020; National Research Council, 2004). The POP approach requires police to focus their attention on problems rather than incidents (Cordner and Biebel, 2005). Problems, in this model, are defined “as chronic conditions or clusters of events that have become the responsibility of the police, either because they have been reported to them, or they have been discovered by proactive police investigation, or because the problems have been found in an investigation of police records” (National Research Council, 2004:92).

The POP strategy contrasts with incident-driven crime prevention approaches, in which police focus on individual occurrences of crime. Instead, POP provides police with an adaptable method to examine the complicated factors that contribute and lead to crime and disorder, and develop customized interventions to address those factors (National Research Council, 2018).

As noted previously, the idea behind the POP approach emanated several decades ago (Goldstein, 1979) from observations that law enforcement agencies seemed to be more concerned about the means rather than the goals of policing, or “means-over-ends syndrome” (Goldstein, 1979; Eck, 2006; MacDonald, 2002). In 1990, this work was expanded to systematically define and describe what it meant to use POP approaches in policing. During the 1990s, law enforcement agencies in the United States and other countries (such as Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom) began to implement POP strategies (Scott, 2000).

The traditional conceptual model of problem-solving in POP, known as the SARA model, consists of the following four steps (Weisburd et al., 2010; Hinkle et al., 2020; National Research Council, 2004):

  • Scanning. Police identify problems that may be leading to incidents of crime and disorder. They may prioritize these problems based on various factors, such as the size of the problem or input from the community.
  • Analysis. Police study information about the identified problem or problems, using a variety of data sources, such as crime databases or surveys of community members. They examine information on who is committing crimes, victims, and crime locations, among other factors. Police then use the information on responses to incidents — together with information obtained from other sources — to get a clearer picture of the problem (or problems).
  • Response. Police develop and implement tailored strategies to address the identified problems by thinking “outside the box” of traditional police enforcement tactics and creating partnerships with other agencies, community organizations, or members of the community, depending on the problem. Examples of responses in POP interventions include target hardening, area cleanup, increased patrol, crime prevention through environmental design measures, multiagency cooperation, and nuisance abatement.
  • Assessment. Police evaluate the impact of the response through self-assessments and other methods (such as process or outcome evaluations) to determine how well the response has been carried out and what has been accomplished (or not accomplished). This step may also involve adjustment of the response, depending on the results of the assessment.

The SARA model was first defined by a POP project conducted in Newport News, VA, during the 1980s. The Newport News Task Force designed a four-stage problem-solving process . A case study of the project revealed that officers and their supervisors identified problems, analyzed, and responded to these problems through this process, thus leading to the SARA model (Eck and Spelman, 1987).

Since the creation and development of SARA, other models have been established, in part to overcome some noted weaknesses of the original model, such as an oversimplification of complex processes or a process in which problem-solving is nonlinear. These other models include the following 1) PROCTOR (which stands for PROblem, Cause, Tactic or Treatment, Output, and Result); 2) the 5I’s (Intelligence, Intervention, Implementation, Involvement, and Impact); and 3) the ID PARTNERS (which stands for I dentify the demand; D rivers; P roblem; A im, R esearch and analysis; T hink creatively; N egotiate and initiate responses; E valuate; R eview; and S uccess) [Sidebottom and Tilley, 2010]. However, compared with these models, the SARA model appears to be used more often by agencies that apply a POP approach to law enforcement (Sidebottom and Tilley, 2010; Borrion et al., 2020).

A POP approach can be used by law enforcement agencies to address youth-related issues, including offenses committed by youths (such as gun violence, vandalism, graffiti, and other youth-specific behaviors such as running away from home or underage drinking.

For example, in the 2019–20 school year, about one third of public schools experienced vandalism (Wang et al., 2022). If a police agency wanted to tackle the problem of school vandalism , often committed by youth, they could apply the SARA model to determine the scope of the problem, develop an appropriate response, and conduct an overall assessment of efforts. A problem-oriented guide, put together by the Problem-Oriented Policing Center at Arizona State University, outlines the steps that law enforcement agencies can take to use the SARA model and address the issues of vandalism committed specifically at schools (Johnson, 2005).

Thus, during the scanning step of the SARA model, to identify the problem police would focus on the specific problem of school vandalism by examining multiple sources of data, including information gathered from both police departments and school districts. During the analysis step, police would ask about the specific school vandalism problems they are targeting, such as 1) how many and which schools reported vandalism to the police, 2) which schools were vandalized, 3) what are the characteristics (such as the age, gender, school attendance rate) of any youth identified as committing the vandalism, and 4) on what days and times the vandalism occurred. The analysis step also should include information from various data sources, including official reports to the police of school vandalism incidents, interviews with SROs, and information from students at the school (Johnson, 2005).

Once police have analyzed the school vandalism problem and have a clear picture of the issue, they would then move on to the response step. The response depends on what police learn about the vandalism problem at schools. For example, if police find that vandalism occurs because youths have easy access to school grounds, especially after school hours, they might suggest a response that improves building security. Finally, during the assessment stage, police would determine the degree of effectiveness of their response to school vandalism through various measures of success, such as the reduction in the number of incidents of vandalism, the decrease in the costs for repair of damaged property, and the increase of incidents (when they do occur) in which the person or persons who engaged in vandalism are identified and apprehended (Johnson, 2005).

Overlap of POP With Other Policing Strategies

POP shares several similarities and overlapping features with other policing models, such as focused deterrence strategies and hot-spots policing. Hot-spots policing involves focusing police resources on crime “hot spots,” which are specific areas in the community where crime tends to cluster. Hot-spots policing interventions tend to rely mostly on traditional law enforcement approaches (National Research Council, 2004; Braga et al., 2019). Focused deterrence strategies (also referred to as “pulling levers” policing) follow the core principles of deterrence theory. These strategies target specific criminal behavior committed by a small number of individuals who repeatedly offend and who are vulnerable to sanctions and punishment (Braga, Weisburd, and Turchan, 2018).

While POP, focused deterrence, and hot spots policing are three distinct policing strategies, there can be an overlap in techniques. For example, a POP approach can involve the identification and targeting of crime hot spots, if the scanning and analysis of the crime problems in a community reveal that crime is clustering in specific areas. Further, a hot-spots policing intervention may use a problem-oriented approach to determine appropriate responses to address the crime in identified hot spots. However, POP can go beyond examination of place-based crime problems, and hot-spots policing does not require the detailed analytic approach used in POP to discern which strategy is appropriate to prevent or reduce crime (Hinkle et al., 2020; National Research Council, 2018; Gill et al., 2018). Similarly, POP involves targeting resources to specific, identified problems, in a similar way that focused deterrence strategies target specific crimes committed by known high-risk offenders. However, focused deterrence strategies tend to rely primarily on police officers to implement programs, whereas POP may involve a variety of agencies and community members (National Research Council, 2004).

Although POP, focused deterrence, and hot-spots policing differ in some distinct ways (such as intensity of focus and involvement of other agencies), these strategies may often overlap (National Research Council, 2004).

POP draws on theories of criminal opportunity to explain why crime occurs and to identify ways of addressing crime, often by altering environmental conditions (Reisig, 2010). While much criminological research and theory are concerned with why some individuals offend in general, POP strategies often concentrate on why individuals commit crimes at particular places, at particular times, and against certain targets (Braga, 2008; Goldstein, 1979; Eck and Spelman, 1987; Eck and Madensen, 2012). Thus, POP draws on several theoretical perspectives that focus on how likely individuals (including those who may commit a crime and those who may be victimized) make decisions based on perceived opportunities. These include rational choice theory, routine activities theory , and situational crime prevention (Braga, 2008; Braga et al., 1999; Eck and Madensen, 2012; Hinkle et al., 2020; McGarrell, Freilich, and Chermak, 2007). These three theories are considered complements to one another (Tillyer and Eck, 2011).

Rational Choice Theory focuses on how incentives and constraints affect behavior (Cornish and Clark 1986; Gull, 2009). In criminology, rational choice theory draws on the concepts of free will and rational thinking to examine an individual’s specific decision-making processes and choices of crime settings by emphasizing their motives in different situations. The starting point for rational choice theory is that crime is chosen for its benefits. Thus, rational choice theory informs POP by helping to examine and eliminate opportunities for crime within certain settings. Eliminating these opportunities should help to intervene with a potential offender’s motives to commit a crime (Karğın, 2010).

Routine Activity Theory , formulated by Cohen and Felson (1979), is the study of crime as an event, highlighting its relation to space and time and emphasizing its ecological nature (Mir ó–Llinares , 2014). It was originally developed to explain macro-level crime trends through the interaction of targets, offenders, and guardians (Eck, 2003). The theory explains that problems are created when offenders and targets repeatedly come together, and guardians fail to act. Since its formulation, routine activity theory has expanded. In terms of POP, routine activity theory implies that crime can be prevented if the chances of the three elements of crime (suitable target, motivated offender, and accessible place) intersecting at the same place and at the same time are minimized (Karğın, 2010). The SARA problem-solving methodology allows law enforcement agencies to examine and identify the features of places and potential targets that might generate crime opportunities for a motivated offender and develop solutions to eliminate these opportunities, thereby preventing future crime (Hinkle et al., 2020).

Situational Crime Prevention was designed to address specific forms of crime by systematically manipulating or managing the immediate environment with the purpose of reducing opportunities for crime. The goal is to change an individual’s decisionmaking processes by altering the perceived costs and benefits of crime by identifying specific settings (Clarke, 1995; Tillyer and Eck, 2011). Situational crime prevention has identified a number of ways to reduce opportunity to commit crime, such as: 1) increase the effort required to carry out the crime, 2) increase the risks faced in completing the crime, 3) reduce the rewards or benefits expected from the crime, 4) remove excuses to rationalize or justify engaging in criminal action, and 5) avoid provocations that may tempt or incite individuals into criminal acts (Clarke 2009). Certain POP strategies make use of situation crime prevention tactics during the response phase, such as physical improvements to identified problem locations. These may include fixing or installing street lighting, securing vacant lots, and getting rid of trash from the streets (Braga et al., 1999).

Although the POP approach is a well-known and popular approach in law enforcement, there have been a limited number of rigorous program evaluations, such as randomized controlled trials (National Research Council 2018; Gill et al. 2018), and even fewer evaluations specifically centered on youth. 

One meta-analysis (Weisburd et al., 2008) reviewed 10 studies, which examined the effects of problem-oriented policing on crime and disorder. These included various POP interventions and took place in eight cities across the United States (Atlanta, GA; Jersey City, NJ; Knoxville, TN; Oakland, CA; Minneapolis, MN; Philadelphia, PA; San Diego, CA; and one suburban Pennsylvania area.) and six wards in the United Kingdom. The studies evaluated interventions focused on reducing recidivism for individuals on probation or parole; interventions on specific place-based problems (such as drug markets, vandalism and drinking in a park, and crime in hot spots of violence); and interventions that targeted specific problems such as school victimization. Findings across these studies indicated that, on average, the POP strategies led to a statistically significant decline in measures of crime and disorder.

The following programs, which are featured on CrimeSolutions, provide a brief overview of how POP has been implemented and evaluated in the United States. Programs with examined youth-related outcomes or a specific focus on youth are noted; however, most of the research on POP interventions does not focus on youth.

Operation Ceasefire in Boston (first implemented in 1995) is a problem-oriented policing strategy that was developed to reduce gang violence, illegal gun possession, and gun violence in communities. Specifically, the program focused on reducing homicide victimization among young people in Boston (Braga and Pierce, 2005). The program involved carrying out a comprehensive strategy to apprehend and prosecute individuals who carry firearms, to put others on notice that carrying illegal firearms faces certain and serious punishment, and to prevent youth from following in the same criminal path. The program followed the steps of the SARA model, which included bringing together an interagency working group of criminal justice and other practitioners to identify the problem (scanning); using different research techniques (both qualitative and quantitative) to assess the nature of youth violence in Boston ( analysis ); designing and developing an intervention to reduce youth violence and homicide in the city, implementing the intervention, and adapting it as needed ( response ); and evaluating the intervention’s impact ( assessment ). An evaluation of the program found a statistically significant reduction (63 percent) in the average number of youth homicide victims in the city following the implementation of the program. There were also statistically significant decreases in citywide gun assaults and calls for service (Braga et al., 2001). Similarly, another study found a statistically significant reduction (24.3 percent) in new handguns recovered from youth (Braga and Pierce, 2005).

Another program implemented in the same city, the Boston Police Department’s Safe Street Teams (SSTs) , is an example of a place-based, problem-oriented policing strategy to reduce violent crime and includes some components targeting youth. Using mapping technology and violent index crime data, the Boston Police Department identified 13 violent crime hot spots in the city where SST officers could employ community- and problem-oriented policing techniques such as the SARA model. SST officers implemented almost 400 distinct POP strategies in the crime hot spots, which fell into three broad categories: 1) situational/environment interventions, such as removing graffiti and trash or adding or fixing lighting, designed to change the underlying characteristics and dynamics of the places that are linked to violence; 2 ) enforcement interventions, including focused enforcement efforts on drug-selling crews and street gangs, designed to arrest and deter individuals committing violent crimes or contributing to the disorder of the targeted areas; and 3) community outreach/social service interventions, designed to involve the community in crime prevention efforts. Examples of these activities included providing new recreational opportunities for youth (i.e., basketball leagues), partnering with local agencies to provide needed social services to youth, and planning community events. One evaluation (Braga, Hureau, and Papachristos, 2011) found that over a 10-year observation period areas that implemented the SSTs interventions experienced statistically significant reductions in the number of total violent index crime incidents (17.3 percent), in the number of robbery incidents (19.2 percent), and in the number of aggravated assault incidents (15.4 percent), compared with the comparison areas that did not implement the interventions. However, there were no statistically significant effects on the number of homicides or rape/sexual assault incidents. The study also did not examine the impact on youth-specific outcomes.

The Problem-Oriented Policing in Violent Crime Places (Jersey City, N.J.) intervention used techniques from hot spots policing and POP to reduce violent crime in the city. The program and evaluation design followed the steps of the SARA model. During the scanning phase, the Jersey City Police Department and university researchers used computerized mapping technologies to identify violent crime hot spots. During the analysis phase, officers selected 12 pairs of places for random assignment to the treatment group, which received the POP strategies, or to the control group. During the response phase, the 11 officers in the department’s Violent Crime Unit were responsible for developing appropriate POP strategies at the hot spots. For example, to reduce social disorder, aggressive order maintenance techniques were applied, including the use of foot and radio patrols and the dispersing of groups of loiterers. During the assessment phase, the police department evaluated the officers’ responses to the problems, and either adjusted the strategies or closed down the program to indicate that the problem was alleviated. An evaluation found statistically significant reductions in social and physical incivilities (i.e., disorder), the total numbers of calls for service, and criminal incidents at the treatment locations that implemented POP techniques, compared with the control locations (Braga et al., 1999).

COP and POP are two broad policing approaches that, while sharing many characteristics, are still distinct—owing to the focus of their respective approaches. COP’s focus is on community outreach and engagement and does not necessarily rely on analysis methods such as the SARA model. For POP, the primary goal is to find effective solutions to problems that may or may not involve the participation of the community (Gill et al., 2014).

Though COP and POP may differ in their approaches, the end goal is the same in both models. Both are types of proactive policing that seek to prevent crime before it happens. COP and POP also both rely on cooperation from numerous different parties and agencies, including community members (National Research Council, 2018). The two models are similar enough that they often overlap in implementation. For example, the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) incorporates elements from both models. Using aspects of COP, police officers divide into beat teams and spend most of their time working with community organizations. With regard to POP, CAPS trains officers and residents to use problem-solving techniques that stem from its theoretical basis (Skogan, 1996; Kim and Skogan, 2003).

There are, however, limitations in the research examining the effectiveness of these models. For example, evaluation studies on COP and POP tend to focus on results related to crime and disorder; other outcomes, such as collective efficacy, police legitimacy, fear of crime, and other community-related outcomes are often overlooked or not properly defined (Hinkle et al., 2020; Gill et al., 2014). Exploring other community-related outcomes would be useful, as community involvement is an important component to both models. Further, some researchers have noted specific limitations to the implementation of COP and POP interventions. With regard to COP programs, for example, the definition of “community” is sometimes lacking. This can be an important factor to define, as community may mean something different across law enforcement agencies (Gill et al., 2014). Regarding POP programs, it has been noted that the rigor of the SARA process is limited and that law enforcement agencies may take a “shallow” approach to problem-solving (National Research Council, 2018:193; Borrion et al., 2020). To date, the research on both models has lacked focus on youth; only a few evaluations have focused on youth in either in the implementation process or in examined outcomes (Braga et al., 2001; Gill et al., 2018). Despite these limitations, however, the outcome evidence supports the effectiveness of COP and POP interventions to reduce crime and disorder outcomes.

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Johnson, K.D. 2005. School vandalism and break-ins. Problem-Oriented Guides for Police, Problem-Specific Guides Series. No. 35. Washington, DC: Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services.

Karğın, V. 2010. Does problem-oriented policing prevent crime? Polis Bilimleri Dergisi 12(3).

Kelling, G.L. 1999. Broken Windows and Police Discretion . Research Report. Washington, DC: DOJ, OJP, NIJ.

Kelling, G.L., and Coles, C.M. 1996. Fixing Broken Windows. New York, NY: Free Press.

Kim, S.Y., and Skogan, W.G. 2003. Community Policing Working Paper 27: Statistical Analysis of Time Series Data on Problem Solving. Chicago, IL: Illinois Criminal Justice Informational Authority.

Kornhauser, R.R. 1978. Social Sources of Delinquency: An Appraisal of Analytic Models. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Kringen, J.A., Sedelmaier, C.M., and Dlugolenski, E. 2018. Foot patrol: The impact of continuity, outreach, and traditional policing activities. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice 14:218–227.

Kubrin, C.E., and Weitzer, C. 2003. New directions in social disorganization theory. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 40(4):374–402.

Lindberg, M. 2015. False sense of security: Police make schools safer—right? Teaching Tolerance Spring: 22–25.

MacDonald, J.M. 2002. The effectiveness of community policing in reducing urban violence. Crime & Delinquency 48(4):592–618.

Maguire, E.R., Y. Sin, S. Zhao, and K.D. Hassell. 2003. Structural change in large police agencies during the 1990s. Policing: An International Journal 26(2):251–275.

May, D.C., Fessel, S.D., and Means, S. 2004. Predictors of principals’ perceptions of School Resource Officer effectiveness in Kentucky. American Journal of Criminal Justice 29:75–92.

McGarrell, E.F.; Freilich, J.D. and Chermak, S.M., 2007. Intelligence-led policing as a framework for responding to terrorism. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 23(2):142–158.

Miró–Llinares, F. 2014. Routine activity theory.  The Encyclopedia of Theoretical Criminology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 1–7.

National Research Council. 2004. Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing: The Evidence. Washington, DC: National Academics Press.

National Research Council. 2018. Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime and Communities. Washington, DC: National Academics Press.

Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services. 2012. Community-Oriented Policing Defined. Washington, DC: DOJ, Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services.

Paez, R.A., and Dierenfeldt, R. 2020. Community policing and youth offending: A comparison of large and small jurisdictions in the United States. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth 25(1):140–153.

Pentek, C., and Eisenberg, M.E. 2018. School Resources Officers, safety, and discipline: Perceptions and experiences across racial/ethnic groups in Minnesota secondary schools. Children and Youth Services Review, 88:141–148.

Peyton, K., Sierra–Arévalo, M., and Rand, D.G. 2019a. A field experiment on community policing and police legitimacy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116(40):19894–19898.

Piza, E.L., and O’Hara, B.A. 2012. Saturation foot-patrol in a high-violence area: A quasi-experimental evaluation. Justice Quarterly 31(4):693–718.

Rabois, D., and Haaga, D.A.F. 2002. Facilitating police–minority youth attitude change: The effects of cooperation within a competitive context and exposure to typical exemplars. Journal of Community Psychology 30(2):189–195.

Ratcliffe, J.H., Taniguchi, T., Groff, E.R., and Wood, J.D. 2011. The Philadelphia foot patrol experiment: A randomized controlled trial of police patrol effectiveness in violent crime hotspots. Criminology 49(3):795–831.

Reaves, B.A. 2015. Local Police Departments, 2013: Personnel, Policies, and Practices. Washington, DC: DOJ, OJP, Bureau of Justice Statistics.  

Reisig, M.D. 2010. Community and problem-oriented policing.  Crime and Justice 39(1):1–53.

Scott, M. 2000. Problem-Oriented Policing: Reflections on the First 20 years . Washington, DC: DOJ, Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services.

Scrivner, E., and Stephens, D.W. 2015. Community Policing in the New Economy. Washington, DC: DOJ, Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services.

Shaw, C.R., and McKay, H. 1969 [1942]. Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Areas. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Sidebottom, A., and Tilley, N. 2010. Improving problem-oriented policing: The need for a new model? Crime Prevention and Community Safety .

Skogan, W.G. 1996. Evaluating Problem-Solving Policing: The Chicago Experience . Evanston, IL: Northwestern University, Institute for Policy Research.

Skolnick, J.K., and Bayley, D.H. 1988. Theme and variation in community policing. In Crime and Justice: A Review of Research , edited by M. Tonry and N. Morris. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Somerville, Paul. 2008. Understanding community policing. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management 32(2):261–277.

Sorensen, L.C., Shen, Y., and Bushway, S.D. 2021. Making schools safer and/or escalating disciplinary response: A study of police officers in North Carolina schools. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 43(4):495–519.

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Theriot, M.T., and Orme, J.G. 2016. School Resource Officers and students’ feelings of safety at school. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice 14(2):130–146.

Thomas, B., Towvim, L., Rosiak, J., and Anderson, K. 2013. School Resource Officers: Steps to Effective School-Based Law Enforcement. Arlington, VA: National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention.

Tillyer, M.S., and Eck, J.E. 2011. Getting a handle on crime: A further extension of routine activities theory.  Security Journal 24(2):179 – 193.

Wakefield, A. 2006. The Value of Foot Patrol: A Review of Research. London, England: Police Foundation.

Walker, S., and Katz, C.M. 2017. The Police in America: An Introduction, 9th ed. New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Wang, K., Kemp, J., and Burr, R. 2022. Crime, Violence, Discipline, and Safety in U.S. Public Schools in 2019–20: Findings From the School Survey on Crime and Safety . NCES 2022–029. Washington, DC: U.S Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.

Weisburd, D.L., Telep, C.W., Hinkle, J.C., and Eck, J.E. 2010. Is problem-oriented policing effective in reducing crime and disorder? Criminology & Public Policy 9(1):139–172.

Weisburd, D.L., Telep, C.W., Hinkle, J.C., and Eck, J.E. 2008. The effects of problem-oriented policing on crime and disorder. In Campbell Systematic Reviews, edited by M.W. Lipsey, A. Bjørndal, D.B. Wilson, C. Nye, R. Schlosser, J. Littell, G. Macdonald, and K.T. Hammerstrøm. Oslo, Norway: Campbell Corporation.

Wilson, J.Q., and Kelling, G.L. 1982. Broken windows: The police and neighborhood safety. Atlantic Monthly 29–38.

Young, A. 2022. Architecture as affective law enforcement: Theorising the Japanese koban. Crime, Media, Culture 18(2):183-202.

Zhang, J.S. 2019. The effects of a school policing program on crime, discipline, and disorder: A quasi-experimental evaluation. American Journal of Criminal Justice 44:45–62.

Zhao, J.S., He, N., and Lovrich, N.P. 2003. Community policing: Did it change the basic functions of policing in the 1990s? A national follow-up study. Justice Quarterly 20(4):697–724.

About this Literature Review

Suggested Reference: Development Services Group, Inc. January  2023. “Community-Oriented Policing and Problem-Oriented Policing.” Literature review. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  https://ojjdp.ojp.gov/model-programs-guide/literature-reviews/community-oriented-problem-oriented-policing

Prepared by Development Services Group, Inc., under Contract Number: 47QRAA20D002V.

Last Update: January 2023


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Problem-Oriented Policing in Practice

This study examined the extent to which problem-oriented policing (POP) strategies were used by ordinary police officers in one police agency.

POP is widely described as one of the most challenging policing strategies implemented at the local level and many wonder whether ordinary police officers have the time and knowledge to engage in the POP process, which combines scanning, analysis, response, and assessment (SARA). This study sought to describe the reality of everyday, street-level POP as it is practiced by generalist patrol officers of the San Diego Police Department (SDPD). Interviews were conducted with 320 patrol officers assigned to regular patrol duties during 2000-2001; interviews focused on POP activities and attitudes. Questionnaire data were also obtained from 267 patrol officers and sergeants who answered questions about attitudes and beliefs about the effectiveness of POP in practice. Overall, the findings indicated that police officers tended to engage in small-scale problem-solving rather than the full-fledged SARA process recommended by POP. Responses to disturbances generally included traditional enforcement strategies coupled with one or two nontraditional initiatives. The results indicate that after 15 years of POP promotion and implementation efforts within the SDPD, POP use by patrol officers was scant and resembled something other than the ideal SARA model. The authors suggest a clearer distinction between everyday problem solving and problem-oriented policing needs to be made in order to further the use of POP strategies within police departments. Table, figures, footnotes, references

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#482 - Problem-Oriented Policing Part II: The Process

Problem-oriented policing involves a systematic process of identifying, analyzing, and responding to crime and disorder that breed serious crime. The prior Training Key® examined the conceptual basis upon which problem solving is based. The present Key® explores the process that officers and agencies can use to employ problem solving to address a variety of problems including those involving crime.

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  • Establishing Community Agreements and Classroom Norms
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  • Problem-Based Learning Clearinghouse of Activities, University of Delaware

Problem-Based Learning

Problem-based learning  (PBL) is a student-centered approach in which students learn about a subject by working in groups to solve an open-ended problem. This problem is what drives the motivation and the learning. 

Why Use Problem-Based Learning?

Nilson (2010) lists the following learning outcomes that are associated with PBL. A well-designed PBL project provides students with the opportunity to develop skills related to:

  • Working in teams.
  • Managing projects and holding leadership roles.
  • Oral and written communication.
  • Self-awareness and evaluation of group processes.
  • Working independently.
  • Critical thinking and analysis.
  • Explaining concepts.
  • Self-directed learning.
  • Applying course content to real-world examples.
  • Researching and information literacy.
  • Problem solving across disciplines.

Considerations for Using Problem-Based Learning

Rather than teaching relevant material and subsequently having students apply the knowledge to solve problems, the problem is presented first. PBL assignments can be short, or they can be more involved and take a whole semester. PBL is often group-oriented, so it is beneficial to set aside classroom time to prepare students to   work in groups  and to allow them to engage in their PBL project.

Students generally must:

  • Examine and define the problem.
  • Explore what they already know about underlying issues related to it.
  • Determine what they need to learn and where they can acquire the information and tools necessary to solve the problem.
  • Evaluate possible ways to solve the problem.
  • Solve the problem.
  • Report on their findings.

Getting Started with Problem-Based Learning

  • Articulate the learning outcomes of the project. What do you want students to know or be able to do as a result of participating in the assignment?
  • Create the problem. Ideally, this will be a real-world situation that resembles something students may encounter in their future careers or lives. Cases are often the basis of PBL activities. Previously developed PBL activities can be found online through the University of Delaware’s PBL Clearinghouse of Activities .
  • Establish ground rules at the beginning to prepare students to work effectively in groups.
  • Introduce students to group processes and do some warm up exercises to allow them to practice assessing both their own work and that of their peers.
  • Consider having students take on different roles or divide up the work up amongst themselves. Alternatively, the project might require students to assume various perspectives, such as those of government officials, local business owners, etc.
  • Establish how you will evaluate and assess the assignment. Consider making the self and peer assessments a part of the assignment grade.

Nilson, L. B. (2010).  Teaching at its best: A research-based resource for college instructors  (2nd ed.).  San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 

More From Forbes

What’s the problem a different approach to problem solving.

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J. Todd Phillips , Founder & CEO, Parson Partners.

Surely you have experienced this scenario: An employee walks into a manager’s office and declares, “We have a problem.” The manager, not at all phased by this statement, replies calmly, “Well, I know you have the solution, right?” Everyone knows that they must bring a solution to every problem they identify.

For decades, managers have implored their team members to focus on solutions. Many argue that this empowers employees to think critically, solve problems independently, and communicate good news (a.k.a. “solutions”) not just bad news (a.k.a. “problems”). A quick Google search will produce hundreds of articles on this “solution-oriented” approach, touting it as one of the most effective management tools. These articles consistently repeat the chorus: “Focus on the solution, not the problem.”

However, as a lifelong problem-solver, I believe that taking a “problem-oriented” approach can be far more effective than many of these authors have been willing to admit. Business leaders, in particular, could benefit from being more problem-oriented, and much less solution-oriented.

Just what do I mean by a problem-oriented approach?

Let’s talk about it.

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The problem-oriented approach is a different way of thinking. It encourages leaders and teams to examine every possible aspect of any problem they may be facing before hammering out any possible approach to solving that problem. While it can easily be viewed as a time suck, or a costly delay when action is needed, I wager that it is much better to pause to examine a problem than risk failure with solutions adopted in haste.

Here are four steps that could get you to the right solution.

Step One: Get The Facts

This is an examination of what actually happened. Before jumping immediately to asking “what is the solution,” ask:

• Is it really a problem? How big is this problem?

• What actually happened? Who or what was impacted by the problem?

• What are we doing about it right now?

• What risks does the problem pose? What happens if we do nothing?

Once you’ve established the facts and have a legitimate problem, move on to the following steps.

Step Two: Examine Your Environment

Conventional wisdom advises us not to ask why something happened. In contrast, it’s really healthy to ask “why” repeatedly. This is a critical step that will help you get to the root causes of a problem. Go on a broad exploration to find out:

• Why did this happen?

• What conditions made it possible for this to occur?

• What conditions should have been in place?

• How could this have been avoided?

Step Three: Dig Into Your Processes

This step gets into the nitty gritty, the uncomfortable truth, of how you got to the point of having a problem in the first place. Take the time to work your way through:

• How exactly did this happen?

• What is not working?

• At what point did things go astray?

• What could we have done to avoid this?

Step Four: Consider The Human And Organizational Implications

This is perhaps the most critical step because it affects the welfare of your team. Try hard to avoid looking through the lens of assigning blame and ask:

• Who is responsible for the problem?

• Who is accountable for the problem?

• Who will be affected by the problem?

• Who should be informed about the problem?

• Who can assist with solving the problem?

Depending on the size of your organization and the nature of the problem, you might run through these questions with dispatch. Large, systemic problems may require a more significant investment of time. Whatever the circumstances, it is important to flip the paradigm and try the problem-oriented approach.

Once you have worked through these steps, either self-guided or with the help of a consultant, developing a solution—if indeed one is needed—becomes the easy part.

Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?

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25 August 2023

How to Develop Solution-Oriented Mindset in Your Life and in Your Team?

Throughout human history, survival was the primary concern, and addressing problems and challenges was crucial for our existence. This instinct is deeply ingrained in our psyche, even in modern times it leads us to focus on potential threats and issues much more than on potential opportunities and solutions. Apart from our natural inclinations we are surround by the media that tend to prioritize reporting on problems, conflicts, disasters, and negative events as they grab attention and increase viewership. This constant exposure to negative news can reinforce our problem-oriented way of thinking and can even create the perception of the problem-centric world. However, human progress is driven by identifying and solving problems not thinking about them. We should work towards solutions and improvements, promoting a more balanced view of the world. Acknowledging the positive aspects and celebrating achievements can help shift our perception away from a solely problem-focused lenses. 

Negativity bias  

Our cognitive biases, such as the negativity bias, make us more attentive to negative information . We tend to remember and emphasise negative experiences over positive ones, reinforcing the idea that problems are more prevalent. Even though we may no longer need to be on constant alert as our ancestors had to be in order to survive, the negativity bias still has a main role in our brain operations. It has a huge effect on how we think, feel and act. 

Source: https://www.instagram.com/theawkwardyeti

Understanding the negativity bias can help you be more aware of your thought patterns and emotional responses. While it may be challenging to completely eliminate this bias, you may use some strategies to minimalise it. Among the techniques you can find some simples ones such as practising gratitude, limiting expose to negative news (and negative people 😉), evaluating the validity of native thoughts or expressing appreciation.  

What does it mean to be solution-oriented  

People who are solution-oriented have a mindset that focuses on finding practical and effective solutions to problems and challenges. It involves a proactive and positive attitude, and taking action to overcome obstacles rather than dwelling on the problems themselves . Being solution-oriented often leads to more productive and constructive outcomes in various aspects of life - not only at work. 

Among the main traits of solution-oriented approach we can see:

  • positive mindset even in the face of setbacks,
  • concentration on identifying creative approaches to tackle the issue at hand, 
  • proactiveness and initiative to seek ways to implement solutions,
  • thinking outside the box,
  • seeking support from others and recognizing diverse perspectives,
  • quick adjusting of an approach if the initial solution does not yield the desired results,
  • seeing failure as a learning opportunity and motivation to keep trying. 

How to become more solutions-oriented

Becoming solution-oriented requires developing a particular mindset and adopting specific practices.

  • First of all, you should acknowledge that negativity bias exists and you have to become aware of its impact on your thoughts and actions. Without building self-awareness it is rather impossible to change anything. If you are not sure whether you have a tendency to focus excessively on problems, ask your family and friends - they can sometimes say about your behaviours much more than you yourself.
  • If gaining self-awareness is not an issue and you understand the effect of negativity bias on your life, you should start the whole practical process. Whenever you encounter a problem, shift your focus from dwelling on the issue to exploring potential solutions. Avoid getting stuck in a loop of complaining or ruminating about the problem. Remember also to clearly articulate the problem you are facing. A well-defined problem is halfway to being solved. Then try to generate as many potential solutions as you can , regardless of how unconventional they may seem initially. In the end assess the potential solutions based on their effectiveness, practicality, and alignment with your goals.
  • Seek input and support from others. Collaboration with friends, family or your team members can provide fresh perspectives and insights. Stay open to exploring ideas that may challenge your initial assumptions. Sometimes the best solutions come from unexpected sources.
  • Invest time in enhancing your problem-solving abilities. Read books, take courses, or engage in activities that promote critical thinking and creative problem-solving. Becoming solution-oriented is an approach that requires practice and consistency. Be patient with yourself as you develop and reinforce this new way of thinking.
  • Cultivate a habit of expressing gratitude for what you have and the progress you make. Gratitude can foster a positive attitude. As a grateful individual you can often cope better with stress and adversity and counteract the negative impact of stressors, leading to improved emotional resilience. 

A solution-oriented team  

The focus on solutions can empower any organisation and make better use of our time and resources. The key to success here is being clear and transparent what kind of behaviours you want to have in your team and which ones you really disapprove of. 

🙌 If solution-oriented thinking is a skill that you want to be learned and possessed by each member of your team, you had better set the right example how to act and provide a person with appropriate feedback in real time. It is important to catch inappropriate behaviour just when it happens and help explain the situation to the team members who are struggling. If a problem seems to be overwhelming to your team members, break it down into smaller, more manageable components. This can make it easier to identify potential solutions for each part.

🚀 Another thing you can do is to encourage creative thinking during your team’s meetings . Understand that not every solution may work as intended, but the brainstorming process and looking for different options is also a valuable part of problem-solving skill. If a solution doesn't succeed, view it just as a learning opportunity and use the experience to refine your approach.

🎉 Don not forget about acknowledging and celebrating successes, no matter how small they may seem. Focus on improving relationships through expressing appreciation and thankfulness among team members. It fosters feelings of connectedness and trust, leading to more fulfilling and supportive relationships. Positive reinforcement can reinforce a solution-oriented mindset in your team as well. When people are not afraid of expressing their views openly and know they can rely on each other, solving problems seems to be a natural and smooth part of their daily life and work. 

Solution-focused communication  

There is one special solution-oriented therapy that is worth mentioning here. Steve de Shazer together with Insoo Kim Ber , two developed a type of brief therapeutic approach that focuses on identifying and building solutions to a person’s problems rather than dwelling on the problems themselves. It is based on the belief that people have the resources and strengths to overcome challenges, and the therapist's role is to help them tap into those resources and find effective solutions.

The same we can do with our everyday communication. We can put a strong emphasis on identifying and amplifying solutions rather than analyzing problems in depth. To do that we can talk with the details about a preferred future where our problems have been resolved.  

As during the therapy we can use a series of questions designed to think about the problematic situation in new more constructive ways. These questions often begin with "how" or "what" and encourage us to explore our strengths, exceptions to the problem, and potential solutions. For example, we can ask ourselves - what worked for us in similar situations in the past? Or what could work for our friend/colleague in a similar situation? Identify and explore previous “exceptions,” e.g. times when you have successfully coped with or addressed previous difficulties and challenges.

Steve de Shazer made a valid point saying that very often the solution is not directly related to the problem and the language we use to describe the solution is different than that needed to describe a problem.  

Summary - solutions as small miracles  

While describing SFT I did not mention one important question that is used in the therapy. One of the key techniques is "Miracle Question." Clients with a problem is asked to imagine that a miracle has occurred overnight, and their problem is solved. They are then prompted to describe what their life would be like, how they would feel, and what they would be doing differently. This exercise can help them clarify their goals and identify steps toward achieving them. I believe that it is a very simple and opening technique we can use in our organisations to make a switch from problem-orientation to solution-orientation. Make sure to keep the focus on what is wanted, not what is not wanted.  

By highlighting strengths, exceptions, and potential solutions we can be empowered to make positive changes and achieve desired outcomes. Henry Ford said that “most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them” - I believe the emphasis should be always placed on identifying and building solutions to problems, rather than getting stuck in a cycle of dwelling on the problems themselves. There are three guiding principles you can use every time you start creating problems:

Source: https://slideplayer.com/slide/14741507

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Problem-solving or Goal-oriented?

Regarding the direction that people tend to move when it comes to the things they value, they tend to find themselves in one of two basic positions, Toward or Away from .  

Every individual will find themselves moving somewhere in the continuum between Toward and Away from . Usually, people will tend to move either more Towards or Away from what they value. Their position will significantly define the way they think and how they communicate. 

Some people have the basic orientation of moving Towards values. These values are called Pull values , values consisting of positive, desired results, and benefits one can have and achieve in the future. Pull values are values an individual finds important and attractive, and these values are pulling the person into the future. Therefore, people with Towards orientation are future-oriented and motivated by goals they value most. 

On the other hand, people with orientation Away from tend to move away from undesired values (problems). These values are called Push values, values consisting of negative, undesired results, and costs one can avoid in the present. Push values are values that create a sense of aversion from the undesired. As a result, people with Away from orientation are present-oriented and motivated by problems that might arise and require their full attention and concentration in order to be solved.

People, who tend to gravitate towards the Away from direction, are widely known as Problem-solving Thinkers or Solution-oriented Thinkers as they prefer to think, talk, learn about solving problems and spend time on different types of problems. They look for problems and feel the most comfortable when having issues to resolve. For them, all life is problem-solving and the best type of entertainment is brain-work (e.g. engineers, quality assurance experts, finance and controlling specialists). They will always talk and focus on avoiding problems and risk, trying their best to get rid of undesired results. They live in a world of infinite ’’what could go wrong’’ options. 

On the other hand, some people are all about setting and/or achieving goals. They tend to move in the Towards direction and they are known as Goal-oriented Thinkers. When working, managing or communicating with a goal-oriented person, it can be seen and heard that goals are above everything. Every day, they will do something to get closer to their final destination and to get what they want and truly value.  The clear picture of the desired, future outcome is what motivates them the best. For instance, sales professionals, business development experts, entrepreneurs, and business leaders are strongly goal-oriented thinkers.

It is often said that problem-oriented thinkers will see problems even when there are no existing or potential problems. By contrast, goal-oriented people are often ’’blinded’’ by the end goals can easily fall into the trap of thinking that there is nothing that can stop them, and nothing can stand in their way to achieve their goals. No matter in which position we find ourselves, it is important to know that there is no good or bad and there is no right or wrong position. Both types of thinkers are equally valuable. Our main concern should be finding the position precisely and directing our natural way of thinking and acting in order to deliver valuable results.

Knowing our own patterns of thinking and behavior can help us choose the right profession, career development, or exploring opportunities for entrepreneurship. Knowing other people’s thinking patterns is essential for finding the right coworkers or team members and directing their further development. While raising self-awareness regarding our own and other’s patterns, we can learn to communicate more effectively. 

We cannot change from Problem-solving thinker to Goal-oriented thinker or vice versa, but we can learn how to communicate in a language that often differs from our own.

How to learn reading thinking preferences regarding direction?

Just listen! Ask the right questions! Here are some examples: 

  • Start with a question like “We are starting with a new project. Would you like to know more about what we want to achieve?” Depending on the answer, you will be able to lead the further conversation in the language of a problem-oriented or goal-oriented thinker. If the person is interested in the problems we aim to solve with the project, with minimizing possible risks, they will have everything ready because they will see problems in different forms and they will want to hear that there will be a lot of problems coming their way, waiting to be solved. Interest in problems can vary from person to person; make sure to follow a pattern as much as you can if you go too far and ‘’lose’’ the pace and connection, start pacing again till the connection is strong enough to continue the conversation. 
  • With goal-oriented people use the main and the most important weapon you can, GOALS. Talk about goals, help them see the goals clearly and try to get them excited for those goals
  • You can try with different questions, for example: What is it important to you when looking for a company to work for? What kind of organizational culture do you value? When choosing the next destination for your vacation, what is the most important to you? When deciding to attend a global learning and development event, what do you want to achieve? 

There is no better way to learn about your own and other people’s thinking patterns than by practice. Start with a question, listen to the answer and lead the conversation in the right direction to find out more about someone’s thinking patterns, this time, regarding the direction.

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Accelerate Problem Solving with Full-Stack Observability

In recent years, observability has become a crucial capability for IT teams to integrate into their technology stacks. Many organizations seek clarity on the differences between observability and automation; while distinct, these concepts are closely related. The primary goal of observability is to facilitate automation by providing enhanced visibility into IT errors, events, and incidents.

Full-stack observability builds upon traditional network and systems monitoring, allowing IT teams to resolve issues more quickly. As organizations strive to achieve more with fewer resources, this capability becomes increasingly vital. Automating issue resolution can significantly extend the effectiveness of small IT teams.

Problem-Oriented: Adds Background Information to Telemetry data

Typically, alerts received by IT teams from technology resources, such as those in network operating centers, lack context, making it challenging to understand the actual problem. As a result, employees often only intervene when problems escalate to affect customer experience or other critical areas. At this point, a positive response based on the problem is very important. If the lack of contextual information leads to various departments denying their responsibility, this will only affect the efficiency of problem-solving.

The next generation of observability addresses these challenges by adding contextual information to telemetry data. For instance, if a construction crew accidentally cuts a fiber cable, causing a data center outage, alarms will trigger everywhere. Observability allows relevant data to be fed into a context-and-correlation engine, identifying the root cause: the internet is down, prompting the wide area network team to resolve the issue while everyone else resumes work. This shift fosters a culture focused on resolution rather than blame.

While a dark data center requires human intervention, other issues can be managed by automated tools. For example, if an organization's cloud instances are overtaxed, an automated solution can detect resource shortages and automatically provision additional resources. When organizations reach the stage of automating such workflows and making real-time adjustments, they can start resolving issues before they impact the business.

Powerful Network Management Solution: AmpCon™

As data centers continue to evolve, there is an increasing focus on network management solutions that accelerate problem resolution. The FS AmpCon™ management platform is a powerful network management solution that can better adapt to the current trend of network observability and automation:

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Increase IT efficiency and accelerate service delivery: The AmpCon™ management platform automates the tedious tasks associated with common network operations, such as configuration backups, configuration updates, RMA replacements, scheduled software upgrades, custom (user-defined) workflows, and switch visibility (port statistics, health checks). This increases IT productivity and speeds up service delivery.

Achieve optimal automation efficiency with agentless Ansible action manuals: The AmpCon™ management platform provides common features for daily network operations and supports custom workflows using the Ansible playbook for scheduled tasks and easy-to-read reports. It can use Ansible for remote automatic configuration and management of switch devices, and realize the most basic configuration management operations through the built-in network module.

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  1. When is problem-oriented policing most effective? A systematic

    Abstract. This article presents results from a systematic review and meta-analysis of problem-oriented policing (POP). The results show an overall 33.8% relative reduction in crime/disorder in treatment groups relative to controls, which adds to evidence that POP is an effective strategy that police leaders should adopt.

  2. Problem‐oriented policing for reducing crime and disorder: An updated

    These submissions document the use of a wide array of problem-solving responses to document crime, disorder and a host of other issues police are tasked with addressing, highlighting the utility of the POP model for a wide variety of problem types (see also, Scott, 2000; Scott & Clarke, 2020). As our review is focused on impacts on crime and ...

  3. Problem-Oriented Policing

    There is a growing body of evaluation evidence that problem-oriented policing generates noteworthy crime control gains. The US National Academy of Sciences' Committee to Review Research on Police Policy and Practices recently concluded that problem-oriented policing is a promising approach to deal with crime, disorder and fear and recommended that additional research was necessary to ...

  4. Problem-Oriented Policing: Principles, Practice, and Crime Prevention

    Problem-oriented policing seeks to identify the underlying causes of crime problems and to frame appropriate responses using a wide variety of innovative approaches (Goldstein 1979).Using a basic iterative approach of problem identification, analysis, response, assessment, and adjustment of the response, this adaptable and dynamic analytic approach provides an appropriate framework to uncover ...

  5. The Key Elements of Problem-Oriented Policing

    The Key Elements of Problem-Oriented PolicingA problem is the basic unit of police work rather than a crime, a case, calls, or incidents.A problem is something that concerns or causes harm to citizens, not just the police. Things that concern only police officers are important, but they are not problems in this sense of the term.Addressing problems means more than quick fixes: it means dealing ...

  6. PDF The Center for Problem-oriented Policing, Inc

    problem-oriented policing within police agencies and across the police profession. Finally, it explores the perspectives of those who critically evaluate police performance, and considers ways to modify those per-spectives and expectations consistent with problem-oriented policing. Problem-oriented policing (POP), introduced to the police profes-

  7. Improving problem-oriented policing: The need for a new model?

    Problem-oriented policing is widely advocated in both the United States and United Kingdom. Evidence suggests it is an effective means of tackling substantive crime and disorder problems. Despite its appeal, recurrent difficulties have been encountered trying to implement and mainstream the problem-oriented approach. Several problem-solving models have been developed to translate the basic ...

  8. Problem-oriented policing

    Problem-oriented policing (POP) - also known as problem-solving policing - is an approach to tackling crime and disorder that involves: identification of a specific problem. thorough analysis to understand the problem. development of a tailored response. assessment of the effects of the response. POP is an approach to develop targeted ...

  9. PDF Identifying and Defining Policing Problems

    A policing problem is different from an incident or a case. Under problem-oriented policing a problem has the following basic characteristics: A problem is of concern to the public and to the police. A problem involves conduct or conditions that fall within the broad, but not unlimited, responsibilities of the police.

  10. Problem-oriented policing: matching the science to the art

    4. Design and deliver quality analytic support throughout every level of the police organizations, because problems are small, medium or large, and a mature problem-solving organization should be able to organize projects at any or all of those levels. Analytic support should go to the scale of the issue. 5.

  11. Community-Oriented Policing and Problem-Oriented Policing

    Community-oriented policing (COP), also called community policing, is defined by the federal Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services as "a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies that support the systemic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder ...

  12. PDF U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services

    The Problem-Oriented Guides for Police are produced by the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, whose officers are Michael S. Scott (Director), Ronald V. Clarke (Associate Director) and Graeme R. Newman (Associate Director). While each guide has a primary author, other project team members, COPS Office staff and anonymous peer reviewers

  13. PSPBL

    We promote the evolution of policing toward community-oriented policing and problem solving through problem-based learning. PSPBL instructors are certified in PBL facilitation and the PTO program through a unique, rigorous certification process. PSPBL is the only organization with such a certification process.

  14. Problem-Oriented Policing in Practice

    The authors suggest a clearer distinction between everyday problem solving and problem-oriented policing needs to be made in order to further the use of POP strategies within police departments. Table, figures, footnotes, references. Additional Details Grant Number(s) 98-IJ-CX-0080. Agencies.

  15. #482

    Training Key. Problem-oriented policing involves a systematic process of identifying, analyzing, and responding to crime and disorder that breed serious crime. The prior Training Key® examined the conceptual basis upon which problem solving is based. The present Key® explores the process that officers and agencies can use to employ problem ...

  16. PDF Problem Solving and Object-Oriented Programming

    n A program typically takes input data, e.g., ¡ input keywords to a browser. ¡ mouse clicks as input to the operating system. n It also produces output, e.g., ¡ the display of search results in a browser ¡ launching a program. n The program is stored in memory. It is read and executed by the CPU.

  17. Problem-Based Learning

    PBL is often group-oriented, so it is beneficial to set aside classroom time to prepare students to work in groups and to allow them to engage in their PBL project. Students generally must: Examine and define the problem. Explore what they already know about underlying issues related to it. Determine what they need to learn and where they can ...

  18. Mastering Problem-Solving: Strategies for Building a Solution-Oriented

    Struggling with problem-solving in your business? The key to success lies in acknowledging the problem before focusing on solutions. Reframe problems as grow...

  19. What's The Problem? A Different Approach To Problem Solving

    The problem-oriented approach is a different way of thinking. It encourages leaders and teams to examine every possible aspect of any problem they may be facing before hammering out any possible ...

  20. How to Develop Solution-Oriented Mindset in Your Life and in Your Team?

    Invest time in enhancing your problem-solving abilities. Read books, take courses, or engage in activities that promote critical thinking and creative problem-solving. Becoming solution-oriented is an approach that requires practice and consistency. Be patient with yourself as you develop and reinforce this new way of thinking.

  21. Problem-solving or Goal-oriented?

    As a result, people with Away from orientation are present-oriented and motivated by problems that might arise and require their full attention and concentration in order to be solved. People, who tend to gravitate towards the Away from direction, are widely known as Problem-solving Thinkers or Solution-oriented Thinkers as they prefer to think ...

  22. Accelerate Problem Solving with Full-Stack Observability

    Problem-Oriented: Adds Background Information to Telemetry data. Typically, alerts received by IT teams from technology resources, such as those in network operating centers, lack context, making it challenging to understand the actual problem. ... this will only affect the efficiency of problem-solving. The next generation of observability ...