2019 Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing Submissions

The award honors Professor Emeritus Herman Goldstein who conceived and developed the theory of problem-oriented policing. 

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, 911 hang-ups, prostitution and human trafficking, neighborhood drug-dealing and gang activity, drunk driving, school violence, police responses to chronically mentally ill people, gun violence, thefts from construction sites, and street robbery. 

Eligibility for Herman 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, and 2) a detailed explanation of why the resubmission is warranted (e.g., further analysis and assessment data, or new responses devised and used). Note: This additional information does not count against the submission word limit. 

Submission Instructions for Herman Goldstein Award 

You must submit your project to our Goldstein Submissions email address on or before June 1st, 2019. 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 25 megabytes in size. 

  1. Double check that you have included everything needed to comply with the entry requirements listed below. 

  1. Submit your project by email to goldsteinaward@popcenter.org. 

General Inquiries: Direct all inquiries to Goldstein Award at goldsteinaward@popcenter.org. 

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, Julie Wartell, is a Problem-Oriented Guide author and an expert in problem analysis and assessment. You can contact her by email at goldsteinaward@popcenter.org. 

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, your analysis of the problem, the responses implemented, and the impact the responses had on the problem. You may use headings and bullet points.  

  1. 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 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)? 

  • How and why was this problem selected from among problems for special attention? 

  • What was the initial level of diagnosis/unit of analysis (e.g., crime type, neighborhood, specific premise, specific offender group)? 

B. Analysis: 

  • What methods, data and information sources were used to analyze the problem (e.g., surveys, interviews, observation, crime analysis)? 

  • 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 nature and extent of the problem? 

  • What did the analysis reveal about the causes and underlying conditions that precipitated the problem? 

  • What other information was analyzed to better understand the problem (e.g., time of occurrence, location, features of the physical and social environment of the problem)? 

  • What were the community perspectives on the problem? 

C. Response: 

  • What were the project goals and corresponding measurable objectives? 

  • What range of possible response alternatives were considered to deal with 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 responses did you use to address the problem? 

  • Who was involved in the response to the problem? 

  • What factors were considered in deciding which potential responses to implement (e.g., legality, community values, potential effectiveness, cost, practicality)? 

  • What resources were available to address the problem? 

  • What difficulties were encountered during response implementation? 

D. Assessment: 

  • Were response goals and objectives achieved? 

  • What specific impact did the implemented responses have on the problem? 

  • How did you measure your results? 

  • For how long was the effectiveness of the problem-solving effort evaluated? 

  • Who conducted the evaluation? 

  • Were there problems in implementing the response plan that affected the project outcomes? 

  • If there was no improvement in the problem, were other systemic efforts considered to handle the problem? 

  • How might the response have been more effective? 

  • Was there any evidence of displacement (i.e., shifting the problem somewhere else or to some other form of problematic behavior)? 

  • Was there any evidence of diffusion of benefits (i.e., that the responses had a positive effect beyond your expectations, such as that conditions also improved in nearby areas not directly targeted by the responses) 

  • 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: 

                  City/State/Postal code 

4. Appendices (e.g., charts, tables, graphs, articles, letters) (Optional) 

The Judging Process 

Once all submissions have been received, two of the judges screen all the submissions. The screening judges independently read and score each project using the same score sheet and judging criteria used at the conference. The award coordinator then tallies and ranks the screening judges' scores. Those projects ranked in the top cluster are then sent to the remaining judges for scoring, again using the same judging criteria. Once all judges' scores are tallied, the top cluster of projects are designated as award finalists and the project teams are invited to present their project at the conference to determine the overall winner. This process is completed by mid-July. 

Conference attendees who attend project presentations are invited to score them, with the average audience score counting as the equivalent of two judges' scores. Combining the judges' and audience scores, the project with the highest score is the overall winner. The other projects are deemed finalists, but are not ranked. The judges do not debate or decide collectively which project will be the overall winner. Only their individual and separate scoring of each project is used to determine the results. The overall winner of the Goldstein Award is announced on the last day of the conference. 

The winning and finalist projects' agencies will each be awarded a trophy, and project team members will receive framed certificates. 

Judging Criteria 

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

1. Scanning (Problem Identification) 

  • Evidence that the problem is perceived to be significant to both the police and at least some key constituents in the community 

  • Hard evidence that the problem causes tangible harm (claims about amorphous fear or speculative harm should be discounted) 

2. Analysis 

  • Both quantitative and qualitative analyses are conducted, both of which put the scope and seriousness of the problem in appropriate context (i.e., evidence that the problem justifies special attention by the police) 

  • Evidence that the analysis has in fact influenced the way in which the police and others think about and respond to the problem (e.g., the nature and/or significance of the problem is redefined or confirmed) 

  • The analysis is broad (i.e., many questions from several perspectives are asked and information is drawn from a variety of sources, including at least some review of relevant research literature and other agencies’ reports on similar problems) 

  • The analysis is thorough and of sufficient depth (e.g., the conclusions drawn are compelling on the basis of a detailed analysis presented) 

  • The analysis is creative (i.e., creative, practical methods are used to study the problem) 

3. Response 

  • Evidence that at least several alternative responses were considered and an explanation as to why some responses were implemented and others not 

  • An explanation as to how the new responses were developed as a logical result of specific knowledge gained from the analysis 

  • An explanation of the nature of the implemented responses and how they were intended to work (if responses that were developed by other police agencies are implemented, those agencies are listed and any variation from the adopted model is explained) 

  • The response is balanced, fair, and just (i.e., apportions responsibilities and accountability equitably), consistent with the best principles of democratic policing 

  • The response is creative (i.e., at least some of the responses to the problem were innovative and not merely applications of responses developed and applied elsewhere) 

4. Assessment (Evaluation) 

  • The impact measures are logically related to the definition of the problem 

  • Both quantitative and qualitative assessments are conducted, both of which provide valid and reliable evidence that the response produced an intended positive impact on the problem (e.g., a sufficiently long assessment period establishes that the effect is real and has been sustained) 

  • Several different impact measures are employed (e.g., police reports, time accounting, financial impact, perceptions of the problem) 

  • The degree of positive impact is high (e.g., the harm was significantly reduced, the response to the problem was significantly improved) 

  • The response both reduces the harm currently caused by the problem and prevents future harm (i.e., has both immediate and long-term impact) 

  • Evidence that displacement or diffusion-of-benefits effects have been discovered or considered 

5. Presentation 

  • The narrative is well-written (including grammar, spelling, and organization) and meets the length limitations 

  • Data are presented comprehensibly (e.g., through use of tables, charts, graphs) and other media (e.g., photographs, supporting documents) are employed effectively 

The 2019 Selection Committee 

Gary Cordner, Chief Research Advisor, National Institute of Justice, and former Chief of Police, St. Michaels, Maryland (Macungie, Pennsylvania, USA) 

Ron Glensor, Instructor, University of Nevada, Reno, and Deputy Chief (ret.), Reno Police Department, (Reno, Nevada, USA) 

Stuart Kirby, Professor in Policing & Criminal Investigation, University of Central Lancashire, and Chief Superintendent (ret.), Lancashire Constabulary (Lancashire, United Kingdom) 

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

Lorraine Mazerolle, Professor, University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia) 

Greg Saville, Policing and Crime Prevention Consultant, and former Police Constable, Peel Regional Police, Canada (Denver, Colorado, USA) 

Michael Scott, Clinical Professor, Director and Chair of Judging Committee, Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, Arizona State University, and former Chief of Police, Lauderhill, Florida (Phoenix, Arizona, USA) 

Deborah Lamm Weisel, Assistant Professor, North Carolina Central University (Durham, North Carolina, USA)