Tackling Neighborhood Problems

Wesley G. Skogan

in Police and Community in Chicago

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780195154580
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199944033 | DOI:


Tackling Neighborhood Problems

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In the CAPS (Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy) model of community policing, police are to move beyond driving to the scene quickly in response to individual 911 calls, and instead, have to adopt a proactive, prevention-oriented stance toward neighborhood problems. Their first step is to identify problems and prioritize them, and then to analyze their locations, victims, and offenders. Subsequently, police design strategies that might deal with the chronic character of priority problems, thinking “outside the box” of traditional police-enforcement tactics. They then implement their strategies and assess their effectiveness. This widely used model of problem solving was developed to address traditional crimes. However, an important feature of Chicago's community-oriented approach to problem solving is that the police have taken responsibility for a wide range of neighborhood problems. The police took on new responsibilities because they needed to be able to respond to the concerns expressed by residents at beat meetings and other public venues, and because Chicago took seriously the “broken windows” view of crime and neighborhood decline.

Keywords: Chicago; police; community policing; CAPS; crime; problem solving; broken windows; neighborhood problems

Chapter.  12830 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Theory

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