History of Problem-Oriented Policing (POP) / Community-Oriented Policing (COP)

Traditionally, law enforcement departments have been reactive to problems within the communities they serve. This means that a citizen would report a problem and an officer would respond, usually dealing only with that particular incident that presents itself at that time. While this method is effective, it can at times fail to address root issues or causes which may result in repeated responses to the same location or similar types of calls. The theory of POP takes the traditional law enforcement role further, by training select officers to assess problem areas, engage the public, community leaders and business organizations, as well as alternative government services in finding long term solutions which foster community ownership and pride.

POP programs are designed to include the effected community in the solution, thereby increasing the likelihood of a permanent solution, or at least community participation in further prevention. For more information visit the Center for POP Site.

Broken Window Theory

This theory holds that addressing minor problems quickly and effectively will reduce and deter crime. “Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it's unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or ignite fires inside. Now, consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates and soon others begin to discard trash, and the area is ripe for additional littering, graffiti etc." View the full article (PDF).

The Effects of Problem-Oriented Policing on Crime & Disorder

View the full report (PDF).