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Problem-Oriented Policing: From Innovation to Mainstream.

Problem-Oriented Policing: From Innovation to Mainstream by Johannes Knutsson, editor, Criminal Justice Press, Willan Publishing, Devon, United Kingdom, 2003.

Problem-oriented policing (POP), in some locales, has succeeded and supplemented existing crime prevention and community policing as main areas of law enforcement emphasis. POP is a police management philosophy that entails SARA: scanning to identify, specify, and describe specific problems to include analysis in which the causes of the identified problems are explored fully and response that refers to the search for "tailor made" solutions to remove the specific or general causes of the problems through implementation of concepts supported by assessment concerning the process where the solutions implemented are evaluated in terms of effectiveness and strategies. Many consider POP as a more analytical approach to conducting law enforcement business with a strategy to get away from a reactive, incident-driven mode to that of a preventive way of doing law enforcement business in general.

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Problem-Oriented Policing: From Innovation to Mainstream contains original research and papers compiled, written, and contributed by leading scholars on police activities from around the world and focuses on implementing the problem-oriented policing concept into the mainstream of law enforcement. These various noted authors present information ranging from the pro and con of the concept and its successes and failures to how an agency gets the concept funded and implemented.

As examples, the book highlights the efforts of the San Diego, California, Police Department concerning its implementation of the concept, as well as the outstanding results by the Charlotte, North Carolina, Police Department in its concept application against the crime of thefts from cars in center-city parking facilities. The book also provides an "A to Z" approach on the concept in the United Kingdom as to its application to repeat victimization and dealing with and closing drug markets. The research papers in the book present an abstract section and contact information for the authors, along with cited references. Some chapters have a proposal to their findings or a conclusion to the research with final end-of-paper notes to the reader. Overall, the book has four major strengths: 1) a matrix example of a question-based, problem-solving protocol for beat-level, problem-solving officers; 2) a POP flow schematic on the sequence of analysis and its techniques based on actual situational scenarios in communities; 3) a study of the British crime reduction program that fostered problem-oriented policing and how it received funding to implement the concept through competitive bidding; and 4) a listing of organizational impacting factors in terms of police staff turnovers, middle management emphasis, and prioritization of police resources as obstacles to concept implementation, as well as front-line factors, such as officer critical thinking in decision making, imagination in responses, partner agency support, and phobias and syndromes.

The book directly applies to preventive police patrols, criminal investigations, emergency responses, ancillary public services, prosecutors, and defense bar and judiciary representatives. Mayors, city managers, other elected and appointed officials, and academics, as well as police research organizations, government funding agencies, the media, private industry, and local community groups would benefit from reading Problem-Oriented Policing: From Innovation to Mainstream.

Reviewed by Larry R. Moore

Lifetime Certified Emergency Manager

International Association of Emergency Managers

Knoxville, Tennessee
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Author:Moore, Larry R.
Publication:The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 2005
Words:533
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