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Patrol Officer Problem Solving and Solutions.

Patrol Officer Problem Solving and Solutions by John M. Memory and Randall Aragon (editors), Carolina Academic Press, Durham, North Carolina, 2001.

Patrol Officer Problem Solving and Solutions constitutes a much-needed and timely book devoted to a subject that has grown in importance, popularity, and application in American policing. Even though Herman Goldstein first introduced the problem-solving approach to policing in 1979, it has taken many years for police organizations to acknowledge and operationalize the strategy. It is very likely that in the more progressive and contemporary police departments, problem-oriented policing will become even more evident in the day-to-day activities of their police officers. In this regard, Patrol Officer Problem Solving and Solutions should make an important contribution to this anticipated growth in the problem-solving strategy.

The authors bring an interesting blend of experience to the book. John Memory served in the Judge Advocate General's Corps in the U.S. Army Reserve and retired as a lieutenant colonel, while Randall Aragon recently retired as the chief of police of the Lumberton, North Carolina, Police Department. Chief Reuben Greenberg of the Charleston, South Carolina, Police Department authored the book's forward and characterizes the text as one that "...explores policing not only from a perspective of what it is today but, more interestingly, from a perspective of what it could be."

Considerable variation exists in the sources of the 33 chapters. Some were authored specifically for the book, while others were reproduced by permission from publications produced by organizations, such as the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The book also has about 40 appendices located at the end of those chapters to which they relate, rather than at the end of the book. This arrangement makes for easy and ready access to informative materials. Model policies from the IACP's National Law Enforcement Policy Center appear in abundance throughout the text.

Although all of the chapters are relevant in some manner to the subject of patrol officer problem solving, some seem more directly involved than others. For example, such chapters as "Learning the Skills of Policing," "Patrol Officer Problem-Solving Techniques," and "Proven Problem-Oriented Policing Approaches" all focus on critical aspects of patrol officer problem solving. Other chapters, however, such as "Criminal Law as Problem Solutions," "Problem Solution During Preliminary Investigations," and "Police Pursuit Policies: Problems and Innovations," although of significance in and of themselves, offer a broader examination of the overall topic.

The book is very well documented with a reference list and bibliography of approzimately about 140 entries. Another strength is its listing of over 100 Web sites concerned with law enforcement, criminal justice, and juvenile justice, including specific community policing and crime prevention sites. All in all, Patrol Officer Problem Solving and Solutions will make an important contribution to the anticipated growth of the problem-solving strategy in law enforcement.
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Author:Eisenberg, Terry
Publication:The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Feb 1, 2002
Words:487
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