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Develop a process model for analysis in addressing public safety administration challenges.

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While researching this question, I came across SARA in most of the situations, especially when it is dealing with police.  I was not able to use the link for infracritical because it stated the site was down so I did a bit of my own research and came across this story, Enhancing SARA: a new approach in an increasingly complex world (Burton & McGregor, 2018).  Although this story is about solving problems in the UK, it works here in the United States as well.

The acronym SARA is Scanning, Analysis, Response and Assessment.  Reminds me of Operational Risk Management as well since it is about process improvement by identifying a problem, analyzing the problem, developing solutions, and then finding out if the solutions work or not.  Just about any research paper we have ever written has a format that can be used even in everyday life.

Establishing partnerships in communities between the population and the police is very important.  With all of the negative publicity surrounding officer-involved shootings, I find it frustrating that more police departments do not do more to improve their image within their own community.  Let us use the SARA model to analyze this challenge.

Scanning:  Distrust between the police and the community they serve.  How can the department improve its image so that the community can trust them to keep them safe.  Sometimes how they engage the community can have a social impact on how they respond to them.  If the community gets a negative response from police, the police responds negatively was well bringing about a circle of negativity around.

Analysis:  Members of the community assume the police goes out of their way to make their lives miserable.  Tired person driving home from work accidentally drives through a red light.  Police officer pulls him over for running through a stop light.  

Another person who lives in an apartment building gets the police called on him all the time because his music is too loud.

Another person who has had a history of committing crime is trying to keep himself out of trouble but when police officers see him, they harass him because they suspect he is up to no good.

Response:  Person running through a stop light - Police officer, instead of immediately writing a ticket begins to ask the person why they ran the red light. 

 The person explains that they have had a long and horrible day.  With all of the troubles he had to go through, he was not paying attention to the stop light and proceeded to go through the intersection because the car in front of him was moving as well.  Police officer knows he has had those days before so instead of writing a ticket, he decides to give the person just a warning because the person has a clean driving record.  

Person who plays loud music has officers respond.  Instead of assuming that the person's music is playing too loud, they instead decide to talk to some of the other residents in the building since it appears most of the calls are coming from one particular apartment.  The officers find out that this person works during the night shift and although the music is not extremely loud, it is annoying him and preventing him from getting sleep he needs.  Police come up to the person playing the music and let him know what the situation is.  The person feels guilty for this and decides to play music through his headphones during the day when he knows his neighbor is sleeping.  

Person who is trying to keep himself out of trouble is spotted by the police.  The police stop him and, instead of assuming he is up to no good, decide to strike up a conversation about how things are going.  Come to find out, he has not been able to keep any of his jobs because his managers see that the police is constantly harassing him which intimidates the managers because they think he is always up to no good.  The police realize that while trying to ensure he stays out of trouble, they are only making the situation worse.  The police decide to let the other officers know to lay off the guy since he is trying his best to stay out of trouble.  The police also talk to the guys manager to assure him that they do not suspect he is a bad guy but instead are asking him how he is doing.  

Assessment:  Person who received warning instead of ticket does not have a worse day now because he was let off the hook.  Getting a ticket would have only added to his stress but instead he is relieved and now has a bit less stress while finishing his drive home.  Person also has a greater amount of respect for police because the officer did not go out of his way to write a ticket and instead decided to have compassion for the hard workers who do make mistakes sometimes.

Person who plays his music too loud now knows that although he may assume the music is not loud, his neighbor who is trying to go to sleep thinks it is. 

 Because the officer decided to spend a bit of time to investigate, he was able to solve the situation without upsetting either party.  Both people have a greater respect for the police because the officer solved the problem without having to anger the person playing the loud music.

Guy who is trying to keep himself out of trouble is able to keep his job, which allows him to make an honest living.  Instead of having a grudge that no matter what he does, he is always getting into trouble, he is now able to live a normal life, keeping himself out of trouble.  This guy has a newfound respect for the police because they understood what they did to him and made amends to ensure he was able to keep his job.  Both have been able to build a positive relationship while also boosting both of their images.

The police also decide to have a fair where they have a few police cars in a parking lot while selling burgers and hotdogs to the public.  People come over and bring their kids to have some food and conversation.  People are able to have a positive event alongside the police, and are able to let their children see the "human" side of the police so they can understand they are people too.

My thoughts.  News like this will spread around.  When each of these individuals talk to their friends about their interactions about the police, their positive experiences allow their friends to have a different point of view with the police. 

 When police departments are able to have events where people are able to come up and speak to them, having normal conversations that do not revolve around breaking the law, it allows people to see them in a different light.  Although hypothetical, Virginia Beach does this quite a bit which allows the community to see them in a different light.  1.5 Recommendation is one of the ways they have been able to promote a positive relationship such as charity events and National Night Out (Hungerford & Pastrana, 2017).  Every time I am driving around, I see so many different things the police does for our community. 

 I have seen them play basketball with some of the kids in my neighborhood.  I have also seen them talk to children who were in cars that had just been involved in an accident, and because of the calm interaction, the police was able make a frightening event for such a small child into a less stressful event.


Burton, S., McGregor, M.  (2018) Enhancing SARA: a new approach in an increasingly complex world. Crime Sci 7, 4. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40163-018-0078-4

Hungerford, Kelley E. & Pastrana, Nathalie M. F.  (2017).  Virginia Beach Police Department in the 21st Century.  A Response to the President’s Task Force Report.  Retrieved from vbgov: https://www.vbgov.com/government/departments/police/Documents/VBPD%20President%27s%20task%20force%20on%2021st%20century%20policing.pdf

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