Steve Elbow of the Capital Times in Madison, Wisc. wrote a follow-up on what’s been happening with the recently de-funded Problem Oriented Policing Center.
“The future of the influential UW-Madison-based Center for Problem-Oriented Policing is in doubt after federal officials pulled funding after 13 years. The center’s director and founder, Mike Scott, said the decision by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, an arm of the U.S. Department of Justice, came as a surprise. ‘I can’t figure it out,’ he said.
“The federal government has funded the center since its inception in 2002 to the tune of $300,000 to $400,000 a year, depending on what projects the center was working on, Scott said. At one point the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing provided 60 percent of the policing literature sent out by the Justice Department’s COPS program. 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.”
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As our nation’s police leaders stand mute, the most significant example of a “body of knowledge” for the art of policing will soon be lost in cyberspace…
Failing to fund the Center places yet another obstacle in the way of police development and eventually their professionalization.