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Jul 9th, 2015
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Investigative Efforts

To fully understand what kinds of investigative efforts are being made by police to address real-world problems, select two individual problem solving guides from the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing | Problem Guides and assess what police are using to succeed in their investigative and problem-solving efforts. Summarize then analyze both of the problem guides you selected, focusing on the positive aspects of the research. How can this information be utilized and applied in a law enforcement agency?

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 The two individual problem solving guides that police are using to investigate real world problems are Gun Violence among Serious Young Offenders and Domestic Violence. Gun violence in young adults is rising at an alarming rate, “Research has linked urban youth gun violence to gang conflicts, street drug markets, and gun availability.” (A. Braga, 2011). Recently the amount of school shootings has increased and during the investigative process after the incident it was discovered that the perpetrator had easy access to the weapons used. An important lesson to teach our children is that guns are not toys, they are not something you just leave laying around. If you have small children or any children, from a young age, you should teach them that guns are not toys and they are not to touch them as well as keeping them stored where they cannot access them. Police are processing why young offenders have a tendency to target a specific person or a specific group of people, “For police agencies, the most pressing concerns regarding youth gun violence are why offenders target particular people, at particular places, at particular times.” (A. Braga, 2011).

  One of the important things to remember about youth gun violence is that a lot of the time the problems that cause the episode are out of the realm of problem oriented policing, “However, it is also important to recognize that youth gun violence is often linked to a variety of risk factors beyond the scope of problem-oriented poling. For example….demographics, adverse economic conditions, family disruption, media violence, and poor parenting skills.” (A. Braga, 2011). One way that police are trying to solve this problem is by understanding the problem in their location, no two locations have the same exact problem. Use what you know already, “The experiences, observations, and historical perspectives of police officers, street workers, and others in routine contact with offenders, communities, and criminal networks are underused resources for describing, understanding, and crafting interventions aimed at crime problems.” (A. Braga, 2011). By simply researching the areas where gun violence in youth has been most active you can gain a great deal of understanding as to why it is occurring based on certain things such as location, gang activity, ect; “Crime mapping is also an important tool in assessing youth gun violence. It can provide important insights on the locations of gun crimes, gang turf, and drug markets.”( A. Braga, 2011).

  Police do what they can, often times the community shares the responsibility for the problem. The community is a good place to start when identifying ways to prevent youth gun violence because they can be a voice that people will listen to and they may be able to relate better to certain community members. Police try their hardest and sometimes that’s not enough, “Law enforcement responses alone are seldom effective in reducing or solving the problem. Do not limit yourself to considering what police can do: give careful consideration to who else in your community shared responsibility for the problem and can help police better respond to it.” (A. Braga, 2011).

  Domestic violence is something that the police get calls on every day. The problem with domestic violence is that more than likely the calls are from repeat offenders, “…they are likely to observe repetitive abuse against the same victims” (Sampson, 2007). Domestic violence “…accounts for about 20 percent of the nonfatal violent crime women experience and three percent of the nonfatal violent crime men experience.” (Sampson, 2007). A lot of people have a tendency to think that women are the victims of domestic violence/disputes and that is not true there are domestic violence cases where the men are the victims of the dispute, “…women report only one-quarter to one-half of their assaults to police, men perhaps less.” (Sampson, 2007). The level of harm goes from “.. Simple assault to homicide, with secondary harms to child witnesses.” (Sampson, 2007).

  Domestic violence is more than just a spouse hitting or slapping it can “include murder, rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated or simple assault.”(Sampson, 2007). Domestic violence also causes more than just physical damage, it causes emotional harm which can cause “…anxiety, stress, sleep deprivation, loss of confidence, social isolation, and fear.” (Sampson, 2007). One way to increase effective response to domestic violence is to understand the contributing factors in your area. One way to determine who are more likely to be involved in domestic violence is age, certain age groups have a higher domestic violence rate than others “The female age group at highest risk for domestic violence victimization is 16 to 24. Among one segment of this high-risk age group—undergraduate college students…” (Sampson, 2007). Another way to determine high risk areas is to look at the socioeconomic status “Victimization surveys indicate that lower-income women are, in fact, more frequently victims of domestic violence than wealthier women.” (Sampson, 2007). That’s not to say that wealthy people don’t fight but they may not have the same things to fight about as their less wealthy counterparts, “Women with family incomes less than $7,500 are five times more likely to be victims of violence by an intimate than women with family annual incomes between $50,000 and $74,000.” (Sampson, 2007).  

  It is important to understand what kind of people you are dealing with based on the location of the issue. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go round and some of those people are just more prone to violence than others. The more you know about your local offenders and the community the better prepared you can be. If you just take the time out to research the issue in your area and collect data via poll or other sources the more you will know and with that information you can handle these situations better. There is always a silver lining if you know where to look.


Center for Problem-Oriented Policing. (2011). Problem guides. Retrieved from http://www.popcenter.org/Problems/?action=alpha&type=pdf#webguides

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