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Problem-Oriented Policing(Pop) And Broken Windows

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The main topic being discussed is problem-oriented Policing also known as POP and Broken Windows. Problem-Oriented Policing was first Designed to identify and remove the cause of recurring crime and disorder problems that harm communities. Not only that POP is also part of the means over ends syndrome, meaning that it focus’ greater attention to the effect that police efforts have on problems within their purview. Officers have been using this process by placing more emphasis on organizing than on the substantive outcome of their work. On the other hand, there’s Broken Windows, which discuss Critics who argue that fear of crime stems from violent crime not order or disorder. This study was brought into play when Newark research found that order did reduce fear. Outsiders can’t make this assumption for other neighborhoods. In this paper I will be discussing how both ways are broken down and implemented in today’s society.

What is Problem-Oriented Policing (POP)?

The first way I will be discussing is the Problem-Oriented Policing (POP), As I stated earlier the Problem-Oriented Policing (POP) is known as an analytical method that was first implemented in 1979 by Herman Goldstein to assist police officers by developing strategies that can stop and reduce crime. Not only that he created this system to reconsider police practices at the time by observing that they were more focused on the “means” of policing than its “ends.” Until the 1960’s all focus was placed on improving & applying internal management because around that time there was an increased request on police officers to be analysis because of increased crime, civil rights demonstrations, & political protest. As a result, Complaints of indifferent attitudes & failure to respond to community caused change to finally happen.

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Pressures that Caused Policies to Change

Complaints towards the protective system were not the only reasoning for a change in the assessments of police officials, there are five others that pushed for a shift on the legal system. The first push was because of a financial crisis. Less money was being given to police departments without return forces causing administrators to think of ways to prioritize. The second being, research findings, which concerns preventive patrol and investigations to look for a new look at the way things are to be done. Third is growth of consumer orientation, this has to do with interest groups such as MADD and against domestic violence wanting results prompting change in police tactics. Next we have, Questioning Effectiveness of the Best Managed Agencies; Some agencies have implemented all management changes and introduced and used technology but still have issues like agencies who have not. Finally, there’s Increased resistance to Organizational Change Which rank personnel’s have resisted changes toward problem-oriented policing. This prompts leaders to want change.

Things to Consider while using Problem-Oriented Policing (POP)

While using this process to re-assess police officers you must consider a few things such as Physical and Technical Changes meaning opportunity reduction, target hardening, CPTED Changes in the Provisions of Government Service. Conveying reliable information is critical too, you must know the victims of the situation, neighbors reporting the issue, etc. while in situations like these there should be process implemented, SARA. Which stands for Scanning, Analysis ,Response, Assessment. Scanning refers to recognizing recurring issues and the outcomes. Analysis has to do with analyze, need to identify and understand the problem at hand and collect data. Response; response by research is meant to brainstorm ideas for intervention which is then implemented. Assessment correlates with an assessment that requires evaluating the success of their plan.

End Result of Problem-Oriented Policing (POP)

Many think the main occupation of police officers is to enforce the law. We do not require them to fix problems and go about their day, we require them to fix issues and give long lasting results. Enforcing code is the main means to an end to this situation. To achieve this goal officers must research the problem; the significance of the problem and various forms must be established. You can’t just use police files or ask administrators you need to accompany officers on the job over time. On top of that, there’s always alternative ways. Officers can look for better ways of dealing with the problem: Broader than just targeting offenders and arresting them.

Broken Windows

This criminological theory was first introduced in 1982 by James Q. Wilson and George Kelling. This system was a Newark Foot Patrol Experiment that was funded by the NJ State to get officers out of cars and into streets and neighborhoods. However, it did not reduce crime, but it did reduce levels of fear of crime and increased safety. Critics argue that fear of crime came from violent crime not order or disorder. Newark research found that order did reduce fear whatsoever.

It was discovered that disorder & crime are linked in a developmental sequence. The broken window theory resulted in one deterioration leading to another and causes areas to becomes more susceptible to crime. This caused a disorder which created fear in the mindset of citizens who were convinced it wasn’t safe in their neighborhood. We often think of justice for individuals such as my rights, his behavior, that officer, this harm and by doing so we assume that what is right for the individual is right for the community. Communities that place communal needs above individual must be satisfied.

Fixing Broken Windows

Since the broken windows assessment was somewhat failing, Kelling and Coles developed ways to fix the issue in 1996. The strategy was known as ‘The Four Elements of Broken Windows.’ First, the Order Maintenance Protects “Good Kids” and controls “Wannabes”. This means that kids will follow violent groups in order to protect themselves from certain situations. If police officers can control about 6% they can lower the use of protection and controlling the situation will send a positive message to the 6%. Another strategy is increasing citizen control over public space. This strategy is to have the community govern themselves and hold the community up after officials have assisted. Order must be restored and controlled; this should not be the responsibility of only policies but the community. Finally, there must be order maintenance and crime preventing through problem solving. This is a vague strategy that requires unity between communities, police officials and others, such as schools and businesses to work together to achieve a common goal which is safety.


All in all, maintaining a crime in certain areas are not always easy but there is always solutions on how to do so such as Problem-Oriented Policing and Broken Window. One being designed to identify and remove the cause of recurring crime and problems that affect communities. Another being a patrol experiment to get officers in the streets and communities. Even though the broken Window was less successful than the Problem-Oriented Policing it still showed promising results when giving alternate assistance. These strategies and theories are not perfect, but they were able to make a dent on how our police legal system is shaped today.


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