In 1997 COPS Problem Solving Partnership (PSP) grants provided police agencies and their community partners the opportunity to work together to address persistent crime and disorder problems. The program promoted the use of problem solving to identify crime problems, analyzed why (and where) they occurred, developed tailored responses based on the analysis, and assessed the impact of the responses.
All applicants were required to focus on one crime or disorder problem. Problems targeted included the following:
An important goal of the program was to promote collaborative problem solving. Each police agency was required to select a community-based entity to work with as its partner in the problem-solving effort.
PSP grants funded various resources that enhanced a community's ability to solve problems creatively, such as computer technology (including geographic information and mapping systems), crime analysis personnel, subject-matter experts, neighborhood and environmental surveys, victim and offender interviews, community organizers, and training and technical assistance in collaborative problem solving.
PSP grants were announced in May and September 1997. A total of 470 agencies were funded under the program for over $39 million. No local matching funds were required, but each agency was encouraged to contribute an in-kind match to its project.