History and Future of Problem-Solving

Assignment 1: History and Future of Problem-Solving

Problem-solving was first described by Professor Herman Goldstein. He authored the book Problem-Oriented Policing and has been at the forefront of this topic since its inception. Goldstein’s research concluded that police agencies generally respond only after something occurs.

He noticed that the police respond numerous times to the same crime or problem area and never ask questions as to why the crime or problem is reoccurring.

The need to look for the underlying cause, to analyze and respond in order to actually resolve the problem, and then to measure the success of the response became tenets of this problem-solving model. Goldstein, in a series of short interviews, describes the history and application of problem-solving in policing.

Visit the Center for Community-Oriented Policing website (the link is provided in the Webliography) and watch the eight video interviews of Goldstein.

Submission Details:

Post to the Discussion Area your responses to the following:

  • Describe the importance of problem solving as a key component of the community policing philosophy.
  • Provide an overview of the type of issues that can be addressed using the SARA problem-solving model.
  • Explain why you feel problem-solving emerged as a formalized method to resolve community problems.
  • By Wednesday, September 17, 2014, read and respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts. Comment on why a problem-solving approach would be more effective than a reactionary approach to the problem presented.

Assignment 2: Implementing Problem-Solving

Problem-solving is widely used as a formalized method of addressing community problems. Police agencies around the world have adopted the SARA problem-solving model or similar models.

The success of problem-solving, like any attempt to address a community issue or concern, falls upon the individuals responsible for solving the problem. As a police officer or as a member of the community, you can use the problem-solving method as a valuable tool.

This assignment will provide you with an opportunity to analyze a real problem to which the problem-solving method was applied.

Tasks:

Visit the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing website (the link is provided in the Webliography) and search for an actual problem solved in a community. Complete the attached questionnaire.

Click here to download the questionnaire.

In the questionnaire, respond to the following for each component:

  • Identify the actual responses that the agency performed during the problem-solving process.
  • Evaluate the actual response on the basis of what you have learned about problem-solving and suggest any improvements the agency could have considered in any area of the problem-solving process.

Note: Use proper APA formatted in-text citations. Include a separate page at the end of the questionnaire, in APA format style that links back to your in-text citations and supports your recommendations.

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