Community problem solving is not a simple task; one of the reasons is that the average community is terrified of threatening terrors inside the community, with or without the help of others in the community. The community is scared of corrupt police that have a bond with criminal activities within their district, not knowing who they are. Also, the community is afraid of the gang members, and the criminals with bad reputations. Crimes such as property theft, and drug related dealings, are just a few examples of the problems communities have on a daily basis.
Conjuring up one member of the community is not enough to change a community’s mind on eliminating its problems, but a task to encourage all citizens in the community who is willing and able of making a change; is progress! In this paper I will address one of the problems that infest our community, and what the police are trying to do about it. Community Problem-Solving Just a few months ago I approached an officer I know, Officer Beckles, a friendly police officer, and asked him several questions concerning the problems that our community was having and what was the police planning to do on this particular matter?
Officer Beckles amazing answer actually surprised me. He was familiar with John E. Eck and William Spelman’s Problem-Solving: Problem-oriented Policing technique. This knowledge is called Scanning, Analysis, Response, and Assessment, (SARA), (Peak, K. J. , 2010). He said that they were aware of the multiple break-ins of peoples home. Scanning and Analysis Page 3 In order to solve any criminal problem contaminated in a community one needs to first make preliminary preparations. Observing through the lens of an officer, or administrator, one must take preliminary inquiries; knowing where to go and who to question.
The Huntsville Police Department is a fine and highly regarded department, and for its small size does a wonderful job fighting and trying to prevent crime. One of the officers got wind of a house being broke into in two locations; one within the city limits, and the other outside the city limits. The officer started asking questions, and while being careful not to alarm anybody, even asked certain people who were in trouble with the law for information, and even offered deals with them in order to find the exact location of the house braking.
The deals were to lighten their sentences and reduce the charges held against him or her. The officer did not want the information circulated; neither did he want anyone to have a clue that he was out to shut down the ring of thieves. Once finding out both locations the job was yet not complete. He had to gather more evidence by watching the places in the area before going to the chief of police. The location that was located out of the city limits he would need to get the chief to get in touch with the county sheriff, but the houses within the city, the information has started to accumulate.
The officer gathered information from police reports of some of the older houses that was broke into; also data from both the computer and word of mouth, and anonymous phone calls helped out solving the exact whereabouts of the last location. The best friend to the police officer lives within the community where the anonymous phone calls and tips were made from. This is why an exceptional reputation is a must within law Page 4 enforcement agencies. Before making any arrest officers must gather all data, even the faintest, and go over every detail to reassure that the arrest is established.
The Huntsville police department arrested every person in the first house breaking, but the second attempt was headed by the Madison County Police Department; more were arrested and the house breakings has seized since, well, at least as far as the community and the law enforcements are concern. Some of the details are confidential, and many of the names have been withheld for lawful reasons. The next thing that is on their list is making an effort to stopping the illegal making of meth that happens to be very bad in this area. It is not just the police’s job to stop crime, but the communities to help also.
The community just needs to inform the officers of certain valuable information whenever they can and not be scared. If breaking into homes can be stopped in a community, than stopping the making of meth is not impossible, though, admittedly, it would definitely be a challenge.
John E. Eck and William Spelman, Problem-Solving: Problem-Oriented Policing in Newport News (Washington, DC: U. S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, 1987), p. 43. Peak, K. J. , Justice Administration: Police, Courts, and Corrections Management, Sixth Edition, 2010.