The form of policing I believe is most effective is problem-oriented policing due to it being able to pinpoint exact solutions for certain situations. First defined by Goldstein (1979, 1990) “problem-oriented policing required law enforcement to identify, research, and explore alternative solutions to a given problem, often having to rely on noncriminal justice–related resources” (Carson & Wellman, 2018, p.141). This way of policing has resulted in creating a more proactive response which causes more prescriptive and preventative interventions rather than a reactive response would. While problem-oriented policing does involve creativity, officers are expected to approach problems in a structured and disciplined way. Officer can turn to the Scan, Analyze, Respond, and Assessment (SARA) model that requires officers to identify and prioritize problems, analyze the problems to design reasonable responses, implement the interventions, and assess what worked and what did not.
Ever since the philosophy of problem-oriented policing became about police agencies have created several approaches ranging from addressing street-level prostitution, and gang graffiti, to homeless outreach teams. Tactics such as, increasing presence through mini-substations, police patrol routes, and narcotics intelligence to decrease drug, property, and violent crime were created as well. “Techniques used to supplement and improve traditional policing measures through a combination of civil remedies, environmental design, and situational crime prevention techniques have also indicated progress” (Carson & Wellman, 2018, p.143). Problem-oriented policing in low-income housing also found that strategies such as altering public phone access, providing additional lighting, and increasing surveillance did reduce crime.
A study the Colorado Springs Police Department (one of the national leaders of problem-oriented policing in the United States) conducted presents findings from an analysis of problem-oriented policing. “The major form of evidence used is an organized content analysis of case summaries and reports completed by police officers in 753 problem-oriented policing cases in Colorado Springs in all three of the department’s geographic divisions from 1995 to 1999” (Maguire, Uchida, & Hassell, 2015, p.71). The results point to a set of common roadblocks in the implementation of problem-oriented policing, suggesting that it was not as successful and rather the influence of the implementation of police reform needs to occur.
In the case United States v. Carloss, appellant Ralph Carloss believes that two police officers violated the fourth amendment by knocking on his front door seeking to speak with him. “Ordinarily a police officer, like any citizen, has an implied license to approach a home, knock on the front door, and ask to speak with the occupants” (North Carolina Law Review, 2018, p. 548). Carloss claims that due to signage of “No Trespassing” posted around his house and on the front door of his home it revoked that implied license. Based on the evidence found in his home, the United States prosecuted Carloss for drug and weapons offenses. “The courts then concluded, that under the circumstances presented here, those “No Trespassing” signs would not have conveyed to an objective officer that he could not approach the house and knock on the front door seeking to have a consensual conversation with the occupants” (North Carolina Law Review, 2018, p.550). The lower court sentenced him to forty-nine months in prison and three years’ supervised release. Carloss’ guilty plea allowed for this appeal to be reviewed but the appellate court ruled that mere signage, no matter how obvious or clear is not sufficient to revoke the license.
I believe the appellate court decision was right due to the fact that Mr.Carloss opened the door to speak to the agents as well as invited them into his household. Where he knew he possessed drug paraphernalia and drug residue in plain view. He did not have to invite agents into his house as there was no imminent threat at the time for them to enter the house. Nor at the time did they have a warrant to search his home. Mr. Carloss allowed for himself to get put in this situation as soon as he opened the door for the agents.
Carson, J. V., & Wellman, A. P. (2017). Problem-Oriented Policing in Suburban Low-Income Housing: A Quasi-Experiment. Police Quarterly, 21(2), 139-170. doi:10.1177/1098611117744005
Maguire, E. R., Uchida, C. D., & Hassell, K. D. (2015). Problem-Oriented Policing in Colorado Springs. Crime & Delinquency, 61(1), 71-95. doi:10.1177/0011128710386201
Mayer, P. D. (2018). The Fourth Amendment’s de facto physical barrier requirement: A movement toward a true totality of the circumstances test after United States V.Carloss. North Carolina Law Review, 96(2), 542-572.