Problem Oriented Policing

Recently, the Muscatine Police Department changed its philosophy in policing methods. This change has moved it away from the traditional law enforcement model, one of reacting to incidents and events to a more proactive variation. Though it goes by various names and is implemented in different ways the basic premise of Problem Oriented Policing is the same.

Problem Oriented Policing involves the analyzing of groups of incidents that relate to a specific crime problem and then developing a strategy to address future crimes of a similar nature.

In essence, a department determines why a particular type of crime is occurring and attempt to address the root cause. An example would be issues of criminal mischief, vehicle burglaries and disturbance complaints in a particular neighborhood that all can be traced back to late night juvenile offenders. Instead of responding to each crime and conducting a lengthy investigation, a department might determine that a more strict enforcement of their curfew ordinance may more effectively address the crime problem, even before they can occur.