Center for Problem-Oriented Policing

Please Note :

Due to the loss of financial support from the U.S. Department of Justice, the annual International Problem-Oriented Policing Conference and Herman Goldstein Awards for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing will not be held in 2014. We hope to resume them next year.

2013 Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing Submissions

Herman Goldstein Award

The award honors Professor Herman Goldstein, who conceived and developed the theory of problem-oriented policing. As professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin Law School, Professor Goldstein continues to advance POP and to inspire police officers around the world.

The Goldstein Award, to be presented at the annual conference, recognizes innovative and effective problem-oriented policing (POP) projects that have achieved measurable success in resolving recurring specific crime, disorder or public safety problems faced by police and the community. The winning, finalist, and other select submissions will be presented during plenary and panel sessions at the conference.

Problems may range in scope from a very specific problem in a specific neighborhood, to one that affects many people over a wide area. While many successful POP projects are geographically focused, other problems affect certain types of people or occur at a certain time. The award program seeks projects that successfully resolved any type of recurring crime or disorder problem faced by police. Examples from past projects include drug dealing in a strip mall, loitering day laborers, trespassers at a high school, 911 hang-ups, prostitution on a major thoroughfare, drug-dealing and gang activity in a neighborhood, drunk driving throughout a large metropolitan region, disorder and criminal activity in an apartment complex, gun violence, and thefts from construction sites.

Eligibility for Goldstein Award

All employees of governmental policing agencies worldwide who directly deliver police services to the public are eligible for the award. Agencies may submit for consideration as many projects as they wish. While problem-oriented policing is frequently associated with the term "community policing," this award is not designed to honor all policing initiatives that some believe may fall under the "community policing" heading. Rather, the Goldstein Award recognizes problem-oriented approaches to specific crime and disorder problems. Submissions must address all four phases of the SARA problem-solving model.

Previously submitted entries are not eligible, except that previous non-finalist and non-winning entries may be resubmitted if significant new work has been completed. To resubmit, the entry must include 1) a complete summary of all the changes from the prior submission, 2) a copy of the prior submission, and 3) a detailed explanation of why the resubmission is warranted (e.g., further analysis and assessment data, or new responses devised and used).

Submission Instructions for Herman Goldstein Award

You must upload your project to our Goldstein Submissions page on or before June 1st, 2013. Please take the following steps to prepare your submission:

  1. Make sure your entire project is in one file that is in any of Word (doc, docx, or rtf) or Adobe Acrobat (pdf) formats and is less than 10 megabytes in size.
  2. Double check that you have included everything needed to comply with the entry requirements listed below.
    Note that a nomination letter is no longer required, as certification of the project is accomplished during the online submission process.
  3. Upload and submit your project on the Goldstein Submissions page.

General Inquiries: Direct all inquiries to Goldstein Award at

By submitting your project, you agree to allow your work to be published on the POP Center web site. Because this web site is open to the public, please take care not to include any confidential information in your submission. If your project is selected as a finalist, you agree to present it at the Problem-Oriented Policing Conference. Conference fees will be waived but presenters are responsible for travel and lodging expenses.

Goldstein Award Advisor

The Center for Problem-Oriented Policing offers free advice on preparing a submission to the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. The award program advisor can provide you with the following assistance:

• an opinion on whether your project fits the definition of problem-oriented policing,
• recommendations for collecting, analyzing, and presenting data relating to your project,
• feedback on your draft project narrative.

The award program advisor has no influence over the judging of the final submissions, but can help you better present the good work done by your agency. The award program advisor is available to provide a reasonable degree of assistance to any prospective applicant.

The award program advisor, Dr. Rob Guerette, is a Problem-Oriented Guide author and is an expert in problem analysis and assessment. You can contact him by email at

See winning entries from previous years

Entry Requirements

  1. Summary: To be considered, each entry must begin with a summary of your project. The summary should be between 300 and 400 words. Begin with the project title, and then, using the four-stage SARA model, explain the nature of the problem addressed, give a brief account of the measures taken, and show results using the most important measures of success. You may use headings and bullet points.
  2. Description: In no more than 4,000 words (approximately 15 pages double-spaced), not including charts, tables and graphs, provide a detailed description of the project using the following four-step SARA problem-solving model outline. Submissions exceeding the length limitation will be penalized in the judges' scoring. Although you should cover as many of these questions as are applicable, they are intended to guide you, not to serve as a blueprint for your project description. In any case, tell the story of your POP project. Be aware that the committee is particularly interested in well-presented data, especially at the analysis and assessment stage. All tables, charts, graphs, and photos should be located in the appendices.

    A. Scanning:

    • What was the nature of the problem?
    • How was the problem identified?
    • Who identified the problem (e.g., community, police managers, officers, politicians, press, etc.)?
    • Far more problems are identified than can be explored adequately. How and why was this problem selected from among problems?
    • What was the initial level of diagnosis/unit of analysis (e.g. crime type, neighborhood, specific premise, specific offender group, etc.)?

    B. Analysis:

    • What methods, data and information sources were used to analyze the problem (e.g., surveys, interviews, observation, crime analysis, etc.)?
    • History: How often and for how long was it a problem?
    • Who was involved in the problem (offenders, victims, others) and what were their respective motivations, gains and losses?
    • What harms resulted from the problem?
    • How was the problem being addressed before the problem-solving project? What were the results of those responses?
    • What did the analysis reveal about the causes and underlying conditions that precipitated the problem?
    • What did the analysis reveal about the nature and extent of the problem?
    • What situational information was needed to better understand the problem (e.g., time of occurrence, location, other particulars re: the environment, etc.)?
    • Was there an open discussion with the community about the problem?

    C. Response:

    • What range of possible response alternatives were considered to deal with the problem?
    • What responses did you use to address the problem?
    • What, specifically, did you learn from your analysis of the problem that led to your choice of a new response to the problem?
    • What evaluation criteria were most important to the department before implementation of the response alternative(s) (e.g., legality, community values, potential effectiveness, cost, practicality, etc.)?
    • What did you intend to accomplish with your response plan (i.e., project goal and corresponding measurable objectives)?
    • What resources were available to help solve the problem?
    • What was done before you implemented your response plan?
    • What difficulties were encountered during response implementation?
    • Who was involved in the response to your problem?

    D. Assessment:

    • What were the results? What degree of impact did the response plan have on this problem?
    • What were your methods of evaluation and for how long was the effectiveness of the problem-solving effort evaluated?
    • Who was involved in the evaluation?
    • Were there problems in implementing the response plan?
    • If there was no improvement in the problem, were other systemic efforts considered to handle the problem?
    • What response goals were accomplished?
    • How did you measure your results?
    • What data supported your conclusions?
    • How could you have made the response more effective?
    • Was there a concern about displacement (i.e., pushing the problem somewhere else)?
    • Will your response require continued monitoring or a continuing effort to maintain your results?
  3. Agency and Officer Information:
    • Key Project Team Members
    • Project Contact Person. Include:


The Judging Process

Once all submissions have been received, a few of the judges screen all the submissions. The screening judges independently read and score each project using the same score sheet used at the conference. The awards coordinator then tallies and ranks the screening judges' scores. Those projects ranked in the top cluster are designated as award finalists and invited to present their project at the conference to determine which will be the winner. This process is completed by mid-July.

At the conference, all the judges watch and score the project presentations. Conference attendees who watch project presentations are invited to score them also, with the average audience score counting as the equivalent of one judge's score. The project with the highest score is the winner. The other projects are deemed finalists, but are not ranked. The judges do not debate or decide collectively which project will be the winner. Only their individual and separate scoring of each project is used to determine the results. The judges base their score both on the written project submission and on the presentation of the project at the conference. The audience members score only on the basis of the conference presentation. The winner of the Goldstein Award will be announced on the last day of the conference.

The winning project's agency will be awarded a trophy, certificates for project team members, and vouchers covering registration fees and travel expenses (airfare and hotel) for three (3) people to attend a future POP Conference, and those projects' agencies selected as finalists will each receive a trophy, certificates for project team members, and vouchers covering registration fees for two (2) people to attend a future POP Conference.

Judging Criteria

All submissions are judged according to a standard set of criteria. The Analysis and Assessment dimensions of the submission are weighted more heavily than the Scanning, Response, and Presentation dimensions.

1. Scanning (Problem Identification)

2. Analysis

3. Response

4. Assessment (Evaluation)

5. Presentation

The 2013 Selection Committee

Stuart Kirby, Lecturer in Criminology, Lancaster University, and Chief Superintendent (ret.), Lancashire Constabulary (Lancashire, United Kingdom)

Gary Cordner, Professor, Kutztown University (Kutztown, PA)

Ron Glensor, Deputy Chief (ret.), Reno Police Department (Reno, NV)

Johannes Knutsson, Director of Research and Professor, Norwegian Police University College (Oslo, Norway)

Andy Mills, Lieutenant, San Diego Police Department (San Diego, CA)

Greg Saville, Policing and Crime Prevention Consultant (Port Townsend, WA)

Mike Scott, Clinical Professor, University of Wisconsin Law School and Director,Center for Problem-Oriented Policing (Madison, WI)

Deborah Lamm Weisel, Assistant Research Professor and Director of Police Research, North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC)