Center for Problem-Oriented Policing

Goldstein Awards 1995

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Winner! Blue Hole Park Project

Georgetown Police Services Division, Georgetown, TX US – 8 Pages

Blue Hole Park was plagued with alcohol-related crimes and accidents, litter, and ecological problems. A narrow road to the park created traffic problems and delayed emergency vehicles responding to calls. The lack of a designated parking area led to ecological damage to the riverbank. The police enacted a "zero tolerance" policy for Blue Hole Park and strictly enforced city ordinances and state laws. The cliffs, where intoxicated visitors would then jump off and climb back up, were located on private property and "No Trespassing" signs were posted. Boulders were used to designate roadways and prevent vehicles from parking on the riverbank. Ordinances were passed to alleviate parking and traffic problems. Blue Hole Park was transformed into a safe, family park, virtually free of crime and disorder.

Winner! The Barrow Temperance Project

North Slope Borough Department of Public Safety, North Slope, AK US – 6 Pages

The North Slope borough of Alaska was experiencing substantial problems with alcohol-related crime and disorder. The costs of alcohol abuse were damaging the entire community. The alcohol-related incidents were attributed to alcohol legally sold in the community and were more prevalent at social functions. The public safety director and the mayor initiated a campaign to ban alcohol from the borough. The electorate of Barrow voted to ban the importation, sell, and possession of alcoholic beverages. The ban immediately and substantially decreased alcohol-related incidents.

6100 Block of Charlotte Project

Kansas City Police Department, Kansas City, MO US – 5 Pages

A drug house and a house of prostitution/massage parlor were diminishing the quality of life for the residents of the 6100 block of Charlotte. Drug dealing teenagers inhabited a residence owned by an elderly man, who was oblivious to the problems his residence was causing and refused to cooperate with the police to resolve the situation. The house of prostitution was operating under the guise of a "message parlor." The police cultivated relationships with area residents to gather information about the drug house. The police used the abatement process to sell the house to a responsible owner. The house of prostitution was closed and four suspects were arrested and convicted for prostitution. The residents' quality of life increased substantially, while calls for police service decreased.

Alexandria Alcohol Interdiction Program

Alexandria Police Department, Alexandria, VA US – 7 Pages

Public drunkenness plagued businesses, residents, and city agencies. Arrest data revealed that a few offenders were involved in a disproportionate number of the arrests. The police cooperated with government agencies and local taverns to create an Alcohol Interdiction Program. An existing law allowed the court to prohibit alcohol sales to chronic offenders. Alcohol-related court referrals were reduced by 80%.

Anti-Panhandling Strategy

Evanston Police Department, Evanston, IL US – 9 Pages

Aggressive panhandlers threatened local businesses by provoking safety concerns among patrons. The police devised a program to encourage citizens to make donations to those in need through established charitable organizations, rather than giving money directly to panhandlers, and informed them of the program using interviewers and brochures. Police presence was increased, and panhandling was decreased.

Check Fraud Initiative

Scottsdale Police Department, Scottsdale, AZ US – 3 Pages

Due to budget cuts, the Maricopa County Attorney's office had to eliminate the Check Enforcement Bureau, which had a backlog of 26,000 checks awaiting prosecution. The backlog was turned over to the responsible police agency. P atrol officers met with local merchants to discuss ways of preventing the merchants from becoming victims. The Check/Fraud Unit developed a packet of information for victims of bad checks on how to proceed with a civil action or prosecution. Police officers reviewed the merchant's policy on accepting checks and presented each merchant with a letter reviewing the policy decision from the Chief of Police. Most of the merchants were satisfied with the department's efforts. Many businesses have opted to no longer accept checks for payment. Many who continue to do so, are requiring better forms of identification.

Crime Suppression Unit

Savannah Police Department, Savannah, GA US – 3 Pages

A community survey revealed that citizens feared for their safety because vagrants engaged in offensive behaviors. The police modified their working hours in order to increase police presence during specific times and in certain places selectively enforcing laws against behaviors that aroused the most concern in the citizenry. A second survey revealed citizens perceived less panhandling and more police presence.

Otay River Valley

San Diego Police Department, San Diego, CA US – 13 Pages

A large population of homeless persons living in a river valley drew complaints from neighborhood residents. Data revealed that many of the transients were committing crimes, starting fires, panhandling, loitering, and illegally disposing of trash. The transients were served trespass notices, ordered to vacate the camps, and informed of homeless shelters in the area. The camps were vacated, and volunteers and prisoners were used to remove 68 tons of garbage from the valley. Access to the valet was limited to official business. Crime decreased, and the quality of life increased.

The Klondiker Hotel Project

Edmonton Police Service, Edmonton, AB CA – 6 Pages

The Klondiker Hotel was generating a large number of calls for service for drug and alcohol related problems. Absentee owners, irresponsible management, and a low priority being assigned to hotel problems compounded the problems. Informants and undercover agents were used to arrest drug dealers. The owners were informed about the drug dealers and corrupt staff. Persons involved in criminal activity were banned from the premises, and corrupt staff members were fired. Drug sales and calls for service decreased, while the hotel's legitimate revenues have increased.

The River Street Bollards

Savannah Police Department, Savannah, GA US – 7 Pages

Large festivals in a city created traffic control problems on a popular two-way street. Traditionally, eight police officers were used to man wooden gates in order to restrict vehicle traffic and allow pedestrians and emergency vehicles to pass safely. A survey revealed that a permanent system to close ramps and control traffic would be a cheaper and efficient way to control traffic. A "bollard" system was devised that could be manned by one or two police officers, and the street was converted to a one-way street saving tax dollars and police manpower.