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  Become An Informed Decision-Maker and Problem-Solver       

Become An Informed Decision-Maker and Problem-Solver

Most of us relate to the crime and disorder problems that are most visible to us. Maybe it's the abandoned cars or parking-related problems on our block. Or the loitering or street drug dealing in the local park. But many of the crime problems on the beat tend to be less visible -- unless we or our family or friends have been a victim.

It is critical, however, that CAPS participants be informed decision-makers.

At each beat community meeting, ask the beat team to make a presentation on the current crime conditions on the beat. This presentation should include the distribution of "Top Ten" charts and/or crime maps from your district's ICAM system (Information Collection for Automated Mapping). This information will ensure that you and your neighbors have a handle on the entire crime picture before you decide which specific problems to address.

Once you become aware of all the problems on your beat, you may have additional information that would be helpful to residents and police as they analyze the problems and work on solutions.

Focus on the Chronic Problems

In determining what problems to discuss at the meeting, ask the following questions about each problem:

Is the problem of concern to a number of residents and the beat team?

(Answer should be yes.)

Is the problem likely to go away on its own?

(Answer should be no.)

Does the problem persist or return despite traditional law enforcement efforts?

(Answer should be yes.)

Is the problem something that community, police and City agencies can impact with available resources?

(Answer should be yes.)

Only those problems that meet these four criteria are considered to be "chronic" -- and, therefore, serious enough to be included on the Beat Plan (the form that documents problem-solving activity on the beat). You might spend some time at beat community meetings discussing other, less serious issues that do not meet these criteria. However, to be effective at problem solving, you should focus your attention and resources on the chronic problems on the beat.


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