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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201837 Find in a Library
Title: Why Don't Problems Get Solved? (From Community Policing: Can it Work, P 185-206, 2004, Wesley G. Skogan, ed. -- See NCJ-201829)
Author(s): John E. Eck
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: Wadsworth Publishing Co
Belmont, CA 94002
Sale Source: Wadsworth Publishing Co
20 Davis Drive
Belmont, CA 94002
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines police problems.
Abstract: Problem-solving contains a number of possible objectives: problem handling, problem management, problem mitigation, problem reduction, and problem elimination. Problem-solving policing involves the need to give police guidance in handling situations that are commonly brought to their attention. The definition of a police problem is a group of events that are similar in one or more ways, that are harmful to members of the public, and that members of the public expect the police to handle. Evaluations of problem-oriented policing indicate that it can result in solutions to problems, and results in more prevented crime and disorder than do non-problem-oriented approaches with which it has been compared. It is obvious from reviewing problem-solving efforts in North America and Great Britain that few police agencies go beyond a shallow exploration of problems to examine creative methods for addressing them. There are several explanations for the difficulties police face in conducting in-depth problem-solving efforts. They do not have the analytical skills required to analyze problems. Police agencies resist change. There is too little involvement of communities, and communities often do not cooperate. Police do not know how to solve problems because they do not know much about the problems. The first approach to analyze and resolve problems is to systematically assemble research and experience on specific problems. The second approach is to develop generic analysis protocols that are grounded in theories of behaviors rather than on general principles of rigorous inquiry. There is a need for more and better evaluations of police interventions. Evaluations of problem-oriented policing serve three functions: (1) they offer some level of accountability; (2) they provide feedback to the problem solvers; and (3) they provide external validity. Researchers need to focus on police problems, develop a criminology of problems, and study police leadership and management, police organizational structure, and police deployment. 1 table, 39 references
Main Term(s): Police research; Problem-Oriented Policing
Index Term(s): Behavior patterns; Community policing; Future of policing; Police consultants; Policing innovation; Role perception
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