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New Model for Institutionalizing Problem Analysis in Police Agencies

NCJ Number
Geography & Public Safety Volume: 1 Issue: 3 Dated: October 2008 Pages: 14-16
Date Published
September 2008
3 pages

This article summarizes the features of the Integrated Model of Problemsolving, Analysis, and Accountability implemented in the Port St. Lucie Police Department (Florida), along with the comments and suggestions offered at a forum that discussed the pros and cons of implementing the model in other law enforcement agencies.


The model overcomes the barriers present in earlier models of police problem-solving, such as the inadequate definition of a “problem,” the use of weak and underdeveloped problem analysis, and a lack of accountability for problem-solving at all levels. The integrated model allows for a varied and integrated response at all levels of problem-solving, from small, incident-centered activity to broad patterns of routine behavior. Problems are assigned to specific levels within the police agency in accordance with their complexity. Problem-solving responsibility is assigned across the rank structure instead of being assigned to line officers. Problems that require more work to solve are analyzed by officers with more resources available to them. Further, the model provides direction for appropriate officer supervision during problem-solving efforts. The forum that assessed the model as it is used in the Port St. Lucie Police Department agreed that the model could be adapted to a variety of agencies of varying types and sizes, although large agencies with high crime rates might have a difficult time implementing the model in its entirety. The forum also agreed that the model helps overcome the communication barriers among different agency divisions by providing specific guidelines for problem-solving, analysis, and responses. The forum recommended that standard crime analysis products be developed and that training on how to use the model be conducted at all levels of the agency. 8 references and 6 notes

Date Published: September 1, 2008