ABSTRACT

The complexity of modern policing requires the adoption of a problemsolving approach to public safety, as opposed to a more traditional, incidentdriven orientation. Even so, policing from its very beginning has been a profession based upon solving problems. A typical police officer’s day, probably more than a day in any other profession, is composed of a series of problems he or she is asked or required to solve. Thus, being effective as a police officer depends on the ability to effectively solve problems. And while many problems that arise daily demand immediate solutions and split-second responses, others allow time for thought and coordinated responses. This chapter offers a review of the principal approaches to problem solving in use by contemporary law enforcement agencies.