Wednesday, March 19, 2014

POP Center closes - Combat cops score?

Mythical arsenal of the combat cop - POP Center latest to fall
"The best we could get out of them was more kind of tactical stuff, police officer safety, weapons and tactics kind of stuff..." - Mike Scott POP Center Director

A sign of the times: The Center for Problem Oriented Policing - the nexus for advanced policing tactical problem solving - is gone! The website remains, but the conference and all the research activities are now defunded by the US government.  

A news article describing the event says: 

"The center has been instrumental in changing the way police look at crime, focusing on root causes of crime trends and ways to prevent them, rather than merely reacting to incidents.

The philosophy underpinning the center's work stems from the work of  Herman Goldstein, a UW law professor who in 1979 introduced the concept of problem-oriented policing, which he later expanded into a 1990 book that has inspired the approach throughout the U.S. and in many places abroad."

Combat policing has never seemed so close.

5 Replies so far - Add your comment

  1. Too bad for Mike! Too bad for policing. At some point we are going to wake up and remind ourselves that a civil, intelligent, compassionate society will not tolerate combat approaches to community safety. I hope it is sooner rather than later. GCleveland - Perth Australia.

  2. Frightening development. I was planning to teach part of my 4th year crim course from part of it.

  3. Thanks Gerry. Agree...a compassionate society will not tolerate combat policing. I wonder sometimes how compassionate can a society be when it is also asleep?

    Thanks Mike. I think the website will remain with resources, at least for a time. So your class will still benefit from decades of police research.

  4. I am truly sad to read this. As an officer who has seen the dark side of policing, having shot a suspect during an armed robbery, I truly believe that a police force that works with a community to address problems before they happen, rather than see it as a combat zone that needs to be conquered can do a lot more to make communities safe.
    The Combat approach fundamentally requires the establishment of a battle ground otherwise the training, investment and actions aren’t justified, and so for the sake of validating how dangerous the job must be, since so much money and effort is spent on the combat approach, communities are viewed as combat zones and the relationship with the innocents, which are the majority of residents, become an accepted loss, for the sake of winning the “war”.
    My questions are, what war? And more specifically…who started it and worst of all, who is keeping it going?

  5. Thanks for your insight Syd. I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment. Sadly there are still many who just cannot grasp that this movement is well underway. For example, if you are on LinkedIn go to this blog post on Civic Protection Institute in the thread and read the thread "The highly regarded Economist magazine outing the Combat Cops". If you're not on LinkedIn you can see it here...


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