One important tool for making community policing effective in Chicago is the five-step problem-solving model. This model can also help you and the members of your block club focus on issues and activities specific to your block.

The five steps of problem solving area:

  1. Identify and Prioritize – Through a democratic process of brainstorming and voting, select the most important issue for you and your neighbors from a list of issues that your block club is willing to work on. Some things to consider when you are prioritizing are, how many people does the issue affect, and if it is something that you will be able to impact in a reasonable amount of time.
  2. Analyze – Using a “Crime Triangle” of location, victims and offenders will help focus your efforts. Ask “the who”, “the what”, “the where”, “the when”, “the why” and “the how” questions about all three sides of the triangle. A thorough analysis will help you develop more effective solutions.
  3. Design strategies – Again, through a process of brainstorming and group discussion, plan what you are going to do about the issue and who is going to do it. Remember, everyone should have a role to play. Make sure that the strategies you chose are legal, feasible and won’t take too long.
  4. Implement strategies – This is the time when you put your strategies in action. Particularly with respect to crime-related issues, the community, police and other City departments need to help each other to follow through and complete the tasks.
  5. Evaluate and celebrate – This is the time to review with everyone how the strategies worked, what challenges may have been encountered, what strategies might need to be changed, and whether the issue has been completely addressed. Once you have evaluated the results you have achieved, always remember to celebrate your successes.

See an example of the problem solving process..