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U.S. Department of Justice

Banner: Problem Solving

Community policing emphasizes proactive problem solving in a systematic and routine fashion. Rather than responding to crime only after it occurs, community policing encourages agencies to proactively develop solutions to the immediate underlying conditions contributing to public safety problems. Problem solving must be infused into all police operations and guide decision-making efforts. Agencies are encouraged to think innovatively about their responses and view making arrests as only one of a wide array of potential responses. A major conceptual vehicle for helping officers to think about problem solving in a structured and disciplined way is the scanning, analysis, response, and assessment (SARA) model.

cops office resources

Analyzing Crime Displacement and Diffusion
Presents the basic steps in building a regional communications plan to improve interoperability and, ultimately, joint response to emergencies

Assessing Responses to Problems: An Introductory Guide for Police-Problem Solvers
Summarizes knowledge about information gathering and analysis techniques that might assist police at any of the four main stages of a problem-oriented project: scanning, analysis, response, and assessment

Crime Analysis for Problem Solvers in 60 Small Steps
Covers the basics of problem-oriented policing and shows how many new concepts developed to analyze crime patterns can sharpen understanding of crime and disorder problems

Enhancing the Problem Solving Capacity of Crime Analysis Units
Offers several recommendations for consideration when developing a group of skilled problem-solving crime analysts

How To Correctly Collect and Analyze Racial Profiling Data: Your Reputation Depends on It
Helps law enforcement agencies collect and analyze racial profiling data

Implementing Responses to Problems
Deals with the process of implementing responses to problems in problem-oriented policing initiatives

Police Enforcement Strategies to Prevent Crime in Hot Spot Areas
Summarizes the findings from all rigorous academic studies evaluating police enforcement strategies in hot spot areas

Problem-Solving Tips: A Guide to Reducing Crime and Disorder through Problem-Solving Partnerships
Contains information and insights into the problem-solving approach

Using Analysis for Problem-Solving
Provides law enforcement practitioners with a resource for conducting problem analysis

Using Crime Prevention through Environmental Design in Problem Solving
Explains the basic principles of crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) and outlines a process for identifying problems, evaluating the physical environment, and identifying strategies that will remove or reduce opportunities for crime

Center for Problem-Oriented Policing
Nonprofit advancing the concept and practice of problem-oriented policing in open and democratic societies

Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research Summer Program in Quantitative Methods
A comprehensive, integrated program of studies in research design, statistics, data analysis, and spatial data analysis at the University of Michigan

International Association of Crime Analysts
Nonprofit that helps crime analysts around the world improve their skills and make valuable contacts, helps law enforcement agencies make the best use of crime analysis, and advocates for standards of performance and technique within the profession itself

International CPTED Association
International association supporting crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED), an approach to crime that relies upon the ability to influence offender decisions that precede criminal acts by affecting the built, social, and administrative environment

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
Nonprofit that equips struggling communities with the capital, strategy, and know-how to become places where people can thrive

Police Society for Problem-Based Learning
Nonprofit created by law enforcement professionals for the purpose of improving the quality of training

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