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The Griffin Police Force: an organization of problem solvers.

The Fort Hood Directorate of Emergency Services and leaders of the 89th Military Police Brigade (Griffins) recognized the need to change policing strategies at Fort Hood, Texas. Junior military police leaders had gained abundant combat skills through multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, but they had little garrison policing experience. Griffin leaders needed to find a policing model that could replicate conditions similar to combat, but could easily be applied to the garrison mission. They recognized that a shift from reactive to preventive policing was required in order to solve complex crime problems. The Fort Hood Police Department made cutting edge changes in military policing by adopting a professional policing model, conducting police performance management, shifting to the use of criminal intelligence (CRIMINT), and assigning company sectors to solve garrison policing problems.

Professional Policing Model

A professional policing model helped provide a philosophy and strategy to prevent crime on Fort Hood. Installation leaders elected to transition from a community policing model to a problem-oriented policing model. Problem-oriented policing models address how police should perceive their function and approach their work, and they offer specific mechanisms for doing so. Problem-oriented policing requires a commitment to implementing the new strategy, rigorously evaluating its effectiveness and, subsequently, reporting the results in ways that will benefit other police agencies. This method of policing focuses on statistical concentrations--places, times, offenders, and victims. (1) Problem-oriented policing helped to significantly reduce crimes committed on the installation.

Police Performance Management

Conducting police performance management helped to improve police performance by setting standards focused on outcomes. Effectiveness was not only measured by the number of patrols or case closures, but also by reductions in crime, disorder, and fear levels on and off the installation. The Fort Hood Police Department established four goals for police performance:

* Goal 1. Prevent, reduce, and control crime.

* Goal 2. Prevent, reduce, and control disorder.

* Goal 3. Prevent, reduce, and control the fear of crime.

* Goal 4. Improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and fairness of police operations.

Measures of effectiveness were used to evaluate police patrol performance at the tactical level. Each of the measures can be statically tracked and compared using a statistical comparison process introduced by the New York City Police Department in 1994. The process, which has supported a paradigm shift in modern policing, allows statistics to drive police messages, responses, and allocations. The implementation of police performance management initiatives helped hold police managers (company commanders) accountable for their measured performance. (2)


The area of police intelligence operations has always been a military police battlefield function that supports the operations process and protection activities by providing exceptional police information and intelligence to enhance situational understanding, the protection of the force, and homeland security. (3) Police intelligence operations integrate and support military police and Army operations in combat environments, but they do not provide enough focus for the garrison environment. Griffin leaders realized that a shift to the use of CRIMINT was necessary to professionalize the force in garrison policing.

CRIMINT, which has been successfully used by national and international policing agencies for more than 20 years, is the result of the collection, analysis, and interpretation of all available information concerning known and potential criminal threats and vulnerabilities of supported organizations. (4) Shifting from police intelligence operations to the use of CRIMINT signaled Fort Hood senior leaders that military police are professionals in analyzing crime using industry standards. The focus on crime analysis helped develop patterns, seasonal trends, and actionable intelligence in support of the garrison policing mission. The crime analysis framework was structured along two levels of planning:

* Tactical. Tactical-level planning emphasized options and flexibility. Companies developed CRIMINT cells to collect and analyze information from their sectors. The function of the CRIMINT cells in garrison policing was similar to that of company intelligence support teams during deployment.

* Operational. Operational-level planning linked tactics and strategy. The intelligence section of the police division conducted crime analysis in support of commanders who were planning crime reduction activities. Monthly meetings that were held to compare statistics supported more detailed crime analysis to focus policing efforts. Desired outputs included patrol distribution plans, patrol scripts, and strategic communication messages.

The Scan, Analysis, Response, and Assessment (SARA) Model was applied to assist with problem solving at each level. The purpose of the model is to help "ensure that the necessary steps are undertaken in proper sequence--for example, that solutions are not adopted before an analysis of the problem has been undertaken." (5)

Company Sectors

Griffin leaders realized that, after more than 10 years of war, some junior leaders were unfamiliar with garrison policing. Consequently, they implemented a sector concept, which replicated the way in which military police were arrayed in theater. The assignment of company sectors helped establish ownership and reinforce accountability to the commander. Because the military police on patrol were familiar with their sectors, they were better equipped to recognize crimes within those sectors. The sector concept also helped establish better relationships between military police and the citizens and improved citizen participation in town hall meetings.


The Fort Hood Police Department made cutting edge changes in military policing by adopting a professional policing model, conducting police performance management, shifting to the use of CRIMINT, and assigning company sectors to solve garrison policing problems. The guidance and direction of the leadership helped support putting the "P" back in "MP," according to Military Police Strategy 2020. (6)

Police Management Capability: How It Works

Unit Level Problem Approach Model: SARA

Scanning: Identify crime problems and sources of public discontent.

C-Community: Public must experience harmful events.

H-Harmful: People or institutions must suffer harm.

E-Expectation: Police are expected to address the causes of the harm.

E-Events: Police must be able to describe the event that makes up the problem.

R-Recurring: These events must recur.

S-Similarity: Recurring events must have something in common.

Response: Develop and implement solutions.

* Increase the effort of crime.

* Increase the risks of crime.

* Reduce the rewards of crime.

* Remove excuses for crime.

* Find the owner of the problem.

Analysis: Understand conditions that cause problems to occur.

Crime analys is the systematic collection of information that describes crime trends and patterns.

Assessment: Determine the impact.

* Was the plan implemented?

* Are we making progress toward the goal(s)?

* How do you know?

The SARA Model


(1) Michael S. Scott and Stuart Kirby, "Implementing POP: Leading, Structuring, and Managing a Problem-Oriented Police Agency," Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, September 2012, < /pdfs/0512154721_Implementing_POP_FIN_092019.pdf>, accessed on 6 January 2016.

(2) Jon M. Shane, "Performance Management in Police Agencies: A Conceptual Framework," Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2010, < _Performance_management_in_police_agencies_a_conceptual _framework>, accessed on 6 January 2015.

(3) Army Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (ATTP) 3-39.20, Police Intelligence Operations, 29 July 2010.

(4) Michael Chesbro, "The Criminal Intelligence Function in the U.S. Army," The International Association of Crime Analysts, 13 August 2009, < /CriminalIntelligenceFunctionintheUSArmy.pdf>, accessed on 7 January 2015.

(5) Ronald V. Clarke and John E. Eck, "Crime Analysis for Problem Solvers in 60 Small Steps," Center for Problem Oriented Policing, 8 August 2005, p. 12, < /library/reading/PDFs/60steps.pdf>, accessed on 7 January 2015.

(6) "Military Police Force Strategy 2020," < .mil/article/97162/MP_Strategic_Plan_2020/>, accessed on 7 January 2015.

Major Howard is the chief of police, Directorate of Emergency Services, Fort Hood. He holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical (A&M) University, Normal, Alabama, and a master's degree in business and organizational security management from Webster University.
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Author:Howard, Early, Jr.
Publication:Military Police
Date:Mar 22, 2015
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