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For centuries, law enforcement
focused on crime and punishment, with a greater emphasis on punishment. However,
those harsh and humiliating punishments were believed to deter other would-be
criminals (Burke, 2010).
Through the evolution of law enforcement, practices began to change
dramatically after the introduction of the concept of problem-oriented policing
in 1979 by Herman Goldstein. Goldstein’s ideas spread rapidly throughout law
enforcement in the United States and allowed law enforcement to learn a new concept
that is now recognized as community-oriented policing. Community-oriented
policing (COP) ended up as a culmination of the work of criminology researchers
and practitioners alike (Burke,
2010). This concept shifted the focus from law enforcement being
reactive to being pro-active. In prior policing models, police departments
spent a great amount of manpower and resources reacting to crimes that had
already been committed. Instead, law enforcement implemented a problem-solving
policing concept to emphasize building relationships to prevent crimes.

Today’s key concepts of
community-oriented policing rely on two core components: community partnerships
and problem-solving (Burke, 2010).
The community-oriented policing model brings together police, government
officials, the community, and the neighborhood leaders to identify, evaluate,
and solve problems that are in that community. This model takes into
consideration not only police perceptions of problems but also the
desires, needs, and expectations of the community when creating an appropriate
response to an issue or crime. Through these type of community partnerships, law
enforcement agencies are able to build trust and rapport within the communities
that they serve. This model has proven many times over, in obtaining support
from groups that in the past that cared little for law enforcement and what
they had did. Community-oriented policing employs the “SARA” model of
problem-solving to come up with long-term solutions to crime that have less to
do with the criminal justice system and more to do with changing perceptions. S.A.R.A.
(Burke, 2010) is an
acronym that stands for Scanning, Analysis, Response, and Assessment, and
refers to the main steps in the problem-solving processes.

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There are many pros and cons to the
community policing model, but surprisingly there are more pros than cons. This
model creates a cooperation with in the community members and law enforcement, causing
both to become closer to each other when they work to achieve a common goal. The
visibility of law enforcement and the vigilance of the community together is a
great crime deterrence. Based on this connection it would be highly unlikely that
criminals would attempt crimes such as break-ins because they know they are
being watched. If that community is connected to that law enforcement, they are
more trusting, and this can lead to a better education in the duties and
responsibilities of law enforcement. This education can also aide in teaching
the community about better reporting or how to react in indifferent situations.

With many of these pros listed it
is hard to contemplate what some cons would be. First, we see that sometimes
there is a power struggle with in the community and can show that some
community members sometimes may through around their weight in a community unfairly
by use of law enforcement. In certain communities some crimes are considered
manufactured when there is little to no criminal active in that community. This
can cause specific details in a crime to be over looked or incorrect handling
of the case, thus causing the wrong outcome. Sometimes, members in these
communities find it unnecessary to have law enforcement presence within the
community. One such example is law enforcement looking for something that is
not there, like looking for a suspected citizen that has been suspected of DWI
violation or guilty of it.

Community Oriented Policing has
shown 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 have
stated that they have seen a revitalized neighborhood watch program consisting
on community coordinators, watch coordinators, and block captains that all work
toward a common goal. They also have shown that they now have citizen patrol
groups throughout the city acting as eyes and ears to observe suspicious
activity and eliminate problems.

Problem-oriented policing (POP) is a
model that is used by law enforcement in today’s communities to develop
strategies that prevent and attempt to reduce crime. Under this model, law enforcement
agencies systematically analyze the problems in a community, search for
effective solutions for the problems, and then evaluate the impact of their
efforts after the actions have been implemented. POP represents police-led
efforts to change the underlying conditions at hot spots that lead to recurring
crime problems. This model also requires law enforcement change from
traditional strategies and consider other avenues of approaches for addressing that
community’s crime issues. POP in today’s era is one of the most commonly used
strategies among adaptable law enforcement agencies.

The POP concept (Goldstein, 1990)was
introduced by Herman Goldstein in 1979, who argued that the standard model of
policing (which is primarily reactive and incident driven) needed to be
replaced with a more effective approach to identifying and targeting problems
that contribute to crime, disorder in a community. Later the framework for how
to 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 variety
of forms. These strategies may focus on crime hot spots or they may target
nongeographic concentrations in crime and other problems, including repeat
offenders, repeat victims, and repeat times. The key ingredients in POP are the
selection of a narrowly defined problem type and the application of a wide
range of targeted responses intended to reduce the incidence or severity of
that problem type (Goldstein, 1990).

Pros and cons for the POP model
relies a wide range of tightly focused policing strategies, some of which can involve
traditional law enforcement approaches and some of which involve alternative
approaches. The POP model overlaps to some extent with other recent innovations
in policing such as community policing, and hot spots policing. Nonetheless,
POP’s central elements are distinctive. Problem-oriented policing combines the
resource targeting strategies of hot spots policing with the diverse approaches
of community policing (Goldstein, 1990). Community policing (Burke, 2010) draws on a variety
of approaches to address crime and disorder issues, including partnerships
between police and other organizations and community groups. However, community
policing does not necessarily involve the intense degree of focus on a specific
problem type like POP. Focused deterrence strategies often rely heavily on
problem-oriented policing approaches, but they have several distinctive
elements that fall outside the most common definitions of POP (OJJDP,
2010). Though they can relate, POP has its draw backs also thus showing its
evolution to community policing. Some draw backs can include dysfunctional relationships
with the community, power struggles, loss of trust between law enforcement and
many more outlining issues.

Problem Oriented Policing has shown
a 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 published
that they have seen the police, community and city council working together to
attack drug and gang problems in the Skyline and Meadowbrook community. They
have 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 of
officers collected information to show the local transit board that the design
of a certain trolley station contributed to certain crimes such as gang fights,
narcotic activities and other violent crimes. Based on the careful work of the
officers, the board had the trolley station redesigned. One last example they
stated that calls of narcotic activities at an 80-unit apartment complex
alerted officers to try a problem-solving approach. Officers worked with the
residents, the on-site manager, and the management company to evict the problem
residents 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. The
POP model can take direct control of a situation and at minimum reduce a
problem or certain crime, over a relatively short amount of time in compared to
the COP model. The COP (Burke, 2010)
model tends to take too much time to create a working trusting relationship
between a community and the police to decrease crime over all in an efficient
amount of time. A community-oriented problem relationship can be easily
decreased 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 quickly
decrease the amount of crime in an area. The steps are simple, it starts with
scan; where the police identify a problem and prioritizes them. Then those
problems are analyzed; when police study information about offenders, victims,
and crime locations and create a plan. The police then “respond”; they
implement strategies that address the chronic problems. Lastly, they assess;
police end up evaluating the effectiveness of the strategy through
self-assessments to determine how well the plan worked and was good was
accomplished by it.

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