Course: Introduction / Policing
Herman Goldstein is a policing reformer known as the “Father of Problem-oriented Policing.”
Herman Goldstein was an influential figure in the world of policing, known for his contributions to the development of problem-oriented policing. He was born in 1931 in Brooklyn, New York, and received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1955. After practicing law for a few years, he turned his attention to policing and began teaching at the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1964.
Goldstein was interested in improving policing practices and believed that traditional policing methods were often ineffective in addressing the root causes of crime and disorder. He believed that police should focus on preventing crime by addressing the underlying issues that lead to it, rather than simply responding to criminal incidents after they occur.
In 1979, Goldstein published an influential article in the journal Police Executive Research Forum titled “Toward a Theory of Police Problems.” In the article, he proposed a new approach to policing called problem-oriented policing, which focused on identifying and addressing the underlying causes of crime and disorder in specific geographic areas. He believed that this approach would be more effective than traditional policing methods, which focused primarily on responding to criminal incidents.
Goldstein’s approach to policing emphasized the importance of collaboration between police and other community organizations in identifying and addressing the root causes of crime and disorder. He also emphasized the need for police to use data and analysis to identify specific problems and develop targeted solutions.
Goldstein’s ideas about problem-oriented policing were widely influential and helped to shape modern policing practices. His work inspired the development of the Community-oriented Policing (COP) movement in the 1980s, which emphasized community partnerships, problem-solving, and a focus on prevention rather than simply responding to crime.
Goldstein received numerous awards and accolades for his contributions to policing, including the O.W. Wilson Award from the Police Executive Research Forum in 1991 and the Stockholm Prize in Criminology in 2008. He passed away in 2020, but his ideas continue to shape the way that police departments approach crime and disorder. Today, many police departments around the world use problem-oriented policing and other community-oriented strategies to improve public safety and build stronger relationships with the communities they serve.
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Last Modified: 04/11/2023