For centuries, law enforcementfocused on crime and punishment, with a greater emphasis on punishment. However,those harsh and humiliating punishments were believed to deter other would-becriminals (Burke, 2010).Through the evolution of law enforcement, practices began to changedramatically after the introduction of the concept of problem-oriented policingin 1979 by Herman Goldstein.
Goldstein’s ideas spread rapidly throughout lawenforcement in the United States and allowed law enforcement to learn a new conceptthat is now recognized as community-oriented policing. Community-orientedpolicing (COP) ended up as a culmination of the work of criminology researchersand practitioners alike (Burke,2010). This concept shifted the focus from law enforcement beingreactive to being pro-active. In prior policing models, police departmentsspent a great amount of manpower and resources reacting to crimes that hadalready been committed.
Instead, law enforcement implemented a problem-solvingpolicing concept to emphasize building relationships to prevent crimes. Today’s key concepts ofcommunity-oriented policing rely on two core components: community partnershipsand problem-solving (Burke, 2010).The community-oriented policing model brings together police, governmentofficials, the community, and the neighborhood leaders to identify, evaluate,and solve problems that are in that community. This model takes intoconsideration not only police perceptions of problems but also thedesires, needs, and expectations of the community when creating an appropriateresponse to an issue or crime. Through these type of community partnerships, lawenforcement agencies are able to build trust and rapport within the communitiesthat they serve.
This model has proven many times over, in obtaining supportfrom groups that in the past that cared little for law enforcement and whatthey had did. Community-oriented policing employs the “SARA” model ofproblem-solving to come up with long-term solutions to crime that have less todo with the criminal justice system and more to do with changing perceptions. S.A.R.A.(Burke, 2010) is anacronym that stands for Scanning, Analysis, Response, and Assessment, andrefers to the main steps in the problem-solving processes. There are many pros and cons to thecommunity policing model, but surprisingly there are more pros than cons.
Thismodel creates a cooperation with in the community members and law enforcement, causingboth to become closer to each other when they work to achieve a common goal. Thevisibility of law enforcement and the vigilance of the community together is agreat crime deterrence. Based on this connection it would be highly unlikely thatcriminals would attempt crimes such as break-ins because they know they arebeing watched.
If that community is connected to that law enforcement, they aremore trusting, and this can lead to a better education in the duties andresponsibilities of law enforcement. This education can also aide in teachingthe community about better reporting or how to react in indifferent situations.With many of these pros listed itis hard to contemplate what some cons would be. First, we see that sometimesthere is a power struggle with in the community and can show that somecommunity members sometimes may through around their weight in a community unfairlyby use of law enforcement. In certain communities some crimes are consideredmanufactured when there is little to no criminal active in that community. Thiscan cause specific details in a crime to be over looked or incorrect handlingof the case, thus causing the wrong outcome.
Sometimes, members in thesecommunities find it unnecessary to have law enforcement presence within thecommunity. One such example is law enforcement looking for something that isnot there, like looking for a suspected citizen that has been suspected of DWIviolation or guilty of it.Community Oriented Policing hasshown improvements in many communities and it is very easy to show so many examples.The City of San Diego (2018) has listed 4 major examples of COP. They havestated that they have seen a revitalized neighborhood watch program consistingon community coordinators, watch coordinators, and block captains that all worktoward a common goal.
They also have shown that they now have citizen patrolgroups throughout the city acting as eyes and ears to observe suspiciousactivity and eliminate problems. Problem-oriented policing (POP) is amodel that is used by law enforcement in today’s communities to developstrategies that prevent and attempt to reduce crime. Under this model, law enforcementagencies systematically analyze the problems in a community, search foreffective solutions for the problems, and then evaluate the impact of theirefforts after the actions have been implemented. POP represents police-ledefforts to change the underlying conditions at hot spots that lead to recurringcrime problems. This model also requires law enforcement change fromtraditional strategies and consider other avenues of approaches for addressing thatcommunity’s crime issues.
POP in today’s era is one of the most commonly usedstrategies among adaptable law enforcement agencies.The POP concept (Goldstein, 1990)wasintroduced by Herman Goldstein in 1979, who argued that the standard model ofpolicing (which is primarily reactive and incident driven) needed to bereplaced with a more effective approach to identifying and targeting problemsthat contribute to crime, disorder in a community. Later the framework for howto use the POP model was in conjunction with the S.A.R.
A. (Scanning, Analysis,Response, and Assessment) model. The POP model approaches can vary in a varietyof forms. These strategies may focus on crime hot spots or they may targetnongeographic concentrations in crime and other problems, including repeatoffenders, repeat victims, and repeat times. The key ingredients in POP are theselection of a narrowly defined problem type and the application of a widerange of targeted responses intended to reduce the incidence or severity ofthat problem type (Goldstein, 1990). Pros and cons for the POP modelrelies a wide range of tightly focused policing strategies, some of which can involvetraditional law enforcement approaches and some of which involve alternativeapproaches. The POP model overlaps to some extent with other recent innovationsin policing such as community policing, and hot spots policing. Nonetheless,POP’s central elements are distinctive.
Problem-oriented policing combines theresource targeting strategies of hot spots policing with the diverse approachesof community policing (Goldstein, 1990). Community policing (Burke, 2010) draws on a varietyof approaches to address crime and disorder issues, including partnershipsbetween police and other organizations and community groups. However, communitypolicing does not necessarily involve the intense degree of focus on a specificproblem type like POP. Focused deterrence strategies often rely heavily onproblem-oriented policing approaches, but they have several distinctiveelements that fall outside the most common definitions of POP (OJJDP,2010).
Though they can relate, POP has its draw backs also thus showing itsevolution to community policing. Some draw backs can include dysfunctional relationshipswith the community, power struggles, loss of trust between law enforcement andmany more outlining issues. Problem Oriented Policing has showna different type of improvements in communities in the United States has many examples.The City of San Diego (2018) has listed 3 main examples of POP. They have publishedthat they have seen the police, community and city council working together toattack drug and gang problems in the Skyline and Meadowbrook community. Theyhave said that these efforts have led to an organized community association,and a reduction in crime. A second example they had said that a squad ofofficers collected information to show the local transit board that the designof a certain trolley station contributed to certain crimes such as gang fights,narcotic activities and other violent crimes.
Based on the careful work of theofficers, the board had the trolley station redesigned. One last example theystated that calls of narcotic activities at an 80-unit apartment complexalerted officers to try a problem-solving approach. Officers worked with theresidents, the on-site manager, and the management company to evict the problemresidents and stop the drug dealing in that community. There are many pros and cons of both,but law enforcement will have minor problems when facing each type of model. ThePOP model can take direct control of a situation and at minimum reduce aproblem or certain crime, over a relatively short amount of time in compared tothe COP model.
The COP (Burke, 2010)model tends to take too much time to create a working trusting relationshipbetween a community and the police to decrease crime over all in an efficientamount of time. A community-oriented problem relationship can be easilydecreased just as fast if not faster than it can be increased (Goldstein, 1990).The problem oriented policing model has four steps that are used to quicklydecrease the amount of crime in an area. The steps are simple, it starts withscan; where the police identify a problem and prioritizes them. Then thoseproblems are analyzed; when police study information about offenders, victims,and crime locations and create a plan.
The police then “respond”; theyimplement strategies that address the chronic problems. Lastly, they assess;police end up evaluating the effectiveness of the strategy throughself-assessments to determine how well the plan worked and was good wasaccomplished by it.