Free Problem-Oriented Policing Literature Review Example

Type of paper: Literature Review

Topic: Crime, Community, Social Issues, City, Violence, Police, Drugs, War

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/12/18

Problem-oriented policing (POP)

Problem-oriented policing is a police strategy that involves in the analysis and evaluation of a specific crime to create effective responses. This approach involves root cause analysis that identifies the reason/reasons behind the occurrence of a specific crime. The strategy then evolves on solving these reasons and eliminating the foundation for the crime. This strategy was formulated by Herman Goldstein in 1979. This model was expanded by John Eck and William Spelman in 1987. They jointly designed the SARA model. The SARA model is Scanning, Analysis, Response and Assessment (COPS, 2015).
This paper evaluates and analyses the possible implementation of a POP for the Detroit Police Department (Detroit PD). This paper also explores the reasons behind the failing in traditional policing procedures in the Motor city that is by far a crime-riddled wasteland nowadays. The following questions have been raised to evaluate and analyze the situation in Detroit city.

What is the problem-oriented policing goal for Detroit city?

What is the approach that the Detroit PD should adopt?
What is the key hurdle for the Detroit PD in implementing POP?
What is the problem-oriented policing goal for Detroit city?
The Detroit PD has not been unable to quell the criminal uprising in the city for decades. The rates for homicide, gun violence, gang violence, rape and drugs are the highest in the country. The city’s police department also has the lowest case closure rate. The POP goal for this city should be reduction in violent crimes and the elimination of their open market drug trade.

What is the approach that the Detroit PD should adopt?

The Detroit PD should take a two-phase approach in implementing POP. However, only the building of relationships with the communities of the city will eventually ensure that crimes do not make a comeback. They should also analyze the reason why specific crimes like gang violence and gun violence have commonalities. They should also cut off key supply sources that keep these criminal organizations afloat. This approach requires analysis and response in two phases. The first phase is to cut off the supply in workforce. Gang warfare and gun violence have a huge following among young people; especially dropped out high school students. The drug trade also recruits their workforce from this pool of young people. The Detroit PD should analyze why young people drop out of school. They should also work closely with the school district administration and youth organizations to build a new relationship with the young people of the city. Once the workforce depletes, criminal elements won’t be able to as successfully. An army is required to fight turf wars, drug wars and terrorize the neighborhoods; strength in numbers. If there are no soldiers, there will be no war to fight.
The next phase is to cut off supplies in raw materials. The Detroit PD should cut off two major components that allow violent crime to thrive; weapons and drugs. The drugs fund the turf wars and keep violent criminals afloat. The easy availability of weapons gives criminal elements success in scare mongering. The Detroit PD must identify pharmacy and other chemical supply dealers who supply the key ingredients required to manufacture the drugs. Then, along with legislatures, they should shutdown as many of these dealers through new regulations. This will only leave out legitimate players in the market. The open drug markets will perish due to cost effective constraints or due to the unavailability of raw materials. The closure of such markets allows a chance for industries to invest in such neighborhoods and provide an alternate revenue source. The Detroit PD should also partner with federal agencies such as the ATF to reduce the influx of assault rifles into the state.

What is the key hurdle for the Detroit PD in implementing POP?

All types of policing can be effective only if the law enforcement agencies have the support of the society. The measures mentioned above including the analysis require intelligence from members of the society. However the “No snitch” street code has made it impossible to acquire such information (Mack, 2009). The imposing problem of public distrust is the key hurdle for the Detroit PD in achieving their POP initiatives.

Conclusion: Implementation of POP

The city of Detroit is the ideal location to implement POP strategies however; the local police and the citizens should take joint responsibility to reclaim the city from criminals. This task is enormous especially due the fear of reprisals from criminals added to the distrust of the police force. The Detroit PD needs a trustworthy face for members of society to believe in and associate with. Detroit 300 has done just that.
(Napoleon, 2013)

Detroit 300

Detroit 300 is a community group that acts as an intermediate between the people of Detroit and the Detroit PD. Their aim is to enable the police fight crime by acquiring the much needed intelligence information. They are not police officers; hence the people tend to reach out to them. Detroit 300 was formed in 2010 during the spate of sexual assault cases among senior citizens. Detroit 300 took its name from the Hollywood movie 300 that follows the story of King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans who fought a million-strong Persian army. The proportions are real even for Detroit 300 should they choose to fight crime alongside the Detroit PD in the long run. The following questions analyze how Detroit 300 can stand in the gap effectively in the long haul. They also evaluate the possibility of negative reactions from the society.

What is the purpose of Detroit 300?

Can the arming of a community group have an adverse in encouraging community cooperation?
Is this initiative sustainable?
What is the purpose of Detroit 300?
Detroit 300 is a community group that is represented by several social and religious groups. Their sole purpose is to act as a bridge between the society and the Detroit PD in gathering intelligence. This intelligence allows police to apprehend perpetrators who indulge in violent crime.

Can the arming of a community group have an adverse in encouraging community cooperation?

The community faces threats from criminal elements that are heavily armed with assault rifles such as the AK-47 and M16s. The community fears their threat on “No Snitch” for fear of their houses being sprayed by such weapons. They however, want their city back and are cooperating with the Detroit 300. The arming of this group is understandable and accepted within the communities since they have seen the firepower that Detroit 300 members might have to face in future confrontations. A .357 magnum is not going to adversely affect the mindset of community members. However, the members of Detroit 300 should show maximum restraint in discharging their firearms even when threatened. They are trying to send the message that law enforcement wants the gun culture disappear and should be careful not to start a new war (Briggs, 2014).

Is this initiative sustainable?

The Detroit 300 is a great initiative for now however, there is no sustainable progress if their duties are not replaced by specially trained police officers in the long run. The militia styled organization is a temporary solution to aid a depleted Detroit PD. The Detroit PD should form a new police division to replace Detroit 300 from being the frontline intelligence gathering mechanism. The key is in forming committees that enable and encourage young people to rejoin school. They should also encourage recruitment of such students into the Detroit PD for its special division. It is always easier to trust a known face; somebody who grew up in the neighborhood can contribute more effectively.

Conclusion: Is Detroit 300 the answer to the crime prevention program in Detroit city?

The answer to effective crime prevention programs in Detroit is community relationships. The Detroit 300 is a mediating stopgap strategy. It cannot succeed in the long run. For now, it is a creative path for citizens to contribute in the city’s crime fighting mechanism. In the long term solution, the Detroit PD has to fill this gap.

Research for expanding POP in Detroit

POP has commenced in Detroit city and has started to gain modest progress. However, Detroit city is not going to witness any change through modest gains. The crime rate is so significant; it’s very difficult to ascertain small gains. The community might not even feel the effect and could suffer a relapse into the “No Snitch” code. The relationship with the community should benefit both parties for successful POP strategy implementations. This section analyzes the previous sections and draws conclusions on how POP can be effectively implemented. The following questions analyze and evaluate the success of POP implementation in Detroit city.

Is community cooperation the only way to POP in Detroit city?

Can social organizations sustain the community’s trust?
What are the other ways to discourage violent crime?
Is community cooperation the only way to POP in Detroit city?
The success to fighting crime anywhere is through responsible contribution from the community. The implementation of POP should extend further than procuring intelligence. Solving cases alone will not stop crime from happening. The root cause of Detroit’s crime problem is the economic backwardness. In a way both these problems inflict negatively on each other. The economy dwindles due to crime and lack of investment; crime stems from the lack of legitimate opportunity to avail sustenance. Unless the economic problems of the community are taken up by the Detroit PD and Detroit 300, the aftermath would not only be drying up of intelligence reports but also trust for the entire Detroit 300 strategy.

Can social organizations sustain the community’s trust?

The Detroit 300 should don a more social development organization and limit its militia style outfit. The only way to sustain the community’s trust is by accommodating the financial needs of the community. Jobs have to be created to accommodate new high school graduates, admissions should be provided for those choosing to study further, student loans should be made simpler to avail and easy to repay, housing needs have to be met and the open market for drugs should be eliminated. These are probably the expectations of the residents already (Lengel, 2013).

What are the other ways to discourage violent crime?

The development of the community and provision of infrastructure can deter violent crimes. An act of crime occurs because it benefits the perpetrator and the risk of getting caught is low to nonexistent. If these conditions are changed, the perpetrator might not indulge in the act. Provision of proper roads, street lights, well-lit housing complexes, the installation of closed-circuit television cameras at vantage points and the presence of regular police patrols increase the risk for the perpetrator. However, nothing beats the act of an individual who dials 911 to report a crime in progress or to say he/she recognized someone from a crime scene.


Godbee, Jr.Ralph L. (2011). Enough is enough! Retrieved from:
Briggs, Billy (2014). On the city streets with the Detroit 300 community police force's armed A-team. Retrieved from:
Sands, David (2012). Detroit 300 Issues ID Cards For Members. Retrieved from:
Napoleon, Benny (2013). We Must Affirm Detroit as a Safe City. Retrieved from:
COPS Staff (2015). Problem-oriented policing. Retrieved from:
Mack, Kristen (2009). Stigma of 'snitching' creates a street code of silence that hampers Chicago cops. Retrieved from:
Lengel, Allan (2013). Napoleon Vows to Reduce Crime 50%: Dream or Reality? Retrieved from:

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