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On Further Developing Problem-Oriented Policing: The Most Critical Need, the Major Impediments, and a Proposal

Item

Title

On Further Developing Problem-Oriented Policing: The Most Critical Need, the Major Impediments, and a Proposal

Date

2003

Volume

15

Bibliographic Citation

15 Crime Prevention Studies 13 (2003)

Abstract

Problem-oriented policing is now a common term among police. Under the umbrella of the term, many commendable projects have been carried out ' especially by street-level officers. Continued support for the concept is most likely explained, in part, by the self-evident nature of the central premise: police practices in responding to common problems that arise in the community should be informed by the best knowledge that can be acquired about those problems and about the effectiveness of various strategies for dealing with them. But many projects under the problem-oriented policing label are superficial, and examples of full implementation of the concept, as originally conceived, are rare. This paper argues that if problem-oriented policing is to advance beyond its current state of development and reach its greater potential, a much larger investment must be made within police agencies in conducting more in-depth, rigorous studies of pieces of police business, in implementing the results of these studies, and in the evaluation of implementation efforts. The paper identifies five major impediments in reaching this goal. A specific proposal to overcome some of these impediments is offered. By concentrating commitment and resources, the proposal is designed to create the leadership, skills and momentum to produce, within policing, a critical mass of highquality studies that would: (1) inject a body of new knowledge into the overall field of policing of immediate value in upgrading practice; (2) serve as exemplars of the greater need; and (3) hopefully also serve to begin to build an institutional capacity to continue the effort.