Police Practice and Research,
Vol. 7, No. 1, March 2006, pp. 3â€“17
ISSN 1561â€“4263 print/ISSN 1477â€“271X online Â© 2006 Taylor & Francis
Proactive Policing: Standing
on the Shoulders of
Taylor and Francis Ltd GPPR_A_157933.sgm 10.1080/15614260600579508 Police Practice & Research 1561-4263 (print)/1477-271X (online) Original Article 2006 Taylor & Francis 71000000March 2006 Dr CurtisClarke [email protected] This paper examines how Edmonton Police Service has built on the foundation of
community-based policing and problem solving in an effort to achieve greater levels of
efficiency and effectiveness. These proposed operational strategies are closely aligned with
the conceptual framework of proactive policing. Here, proactive policing, in its original
formulation, â€˜refers to the strategic deployment of resources in order to target criminally
active individualsâ€™ (Stockdale et al., 1999, p. 5). The paper also examines the implications
proactive policing has for police management and how Edmonton has responded to an
organizational environment that requires management of demand.
Keywords: Proactive Policing; Community Policing; Crime Management; IntelligenceLed Policing
Recently, police policymakers and strategists have begun to build on the foundation of
community-based policing and problem solving in an effort to achieve greater levels of
efficiency and effectiveness. These proposed operational strategies are closely aligned
with the conceptual framework of proactive policing. Here, proactive policing, in its
original formulation, â€˜refers to the strategic deployment of resources in order to target
criminally active individualsâ€™ (Stockdale, Whitehead, & Gresham, 1999, p. 5). Interestingly, proactive policing has a number of implications for police management in that,
it sets in place an environment that requires management of demand. These demands
are succinctly stated in the following passage:
Curtis Clarke is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Criminal Justice Program at Athabasca University
(Alberta, Canada). He has carried out empirical studies on the implementation of community-based policing,
police organizational/managerial change, intelligence-led policing, and the shifting boundaries between private
and public policing. Correspondence to: Dr Curtis Clarke, 10-26312 Twp. Rd., 514 Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada
T7Y 1C8. Email: [email protected]
4 C. Clarke
Increased proactivity requires a change in management ethos, as well as placing more
demands on managers. Higher levels of proactivity assume that managers are able to elicit
support from all levels in the service, despite cultural resistance; to deal with a range of
ethical and civil liberties issues; and, in many cases, to take greater accountability for
resource deployment and outcome. (Stockdale et al., 1999, p. 5)
Moreover, in this changing environment and adoption of proactive strategies, police
managers â€˜must be prepared to stand away from traditional police philosophies and
methodologies; to believe that operations can and should be driven by intelligence; to
act rather than to reactâ€™ (RCMP, 2002). From an operational perspective these initiatives require a rapid adaptation from a service model which â€˜until relatively recently,
still bore many of the structural characteristics of its organizational (and operational)
origins in the nineteenth centuryâ€™ (Savage & Charman, 1996, p. 39).
Defining Proactive Policing (Crime Management/Intelligence-Led Policing)
If there is indeed a trend toward the adoption of proactive policing the question of definition becomes a critical point of clarification. As we can attest from previous paradigm
shifts corresponding with community-based policing, clarity of definition is essential
to successful implementation. In the context of this paper and in light of previous
operational shifts in policing, the question to ask is whether or not a clear definition of
proactive policing exists. Certainly, a comprehensive definition is possible based on
research regarding specific actions and goals associated with existing policing initiatives and their implementation. Evaluations undertaken by numerous policing
academics and practitioners have resulted in a consensus of key elements and broad
principles associated with Proactive and Intelligence-Led Policing. A synthesis of these
evaluations suggests the following typology of core components:
1. A strategic future-oriented and targeted approach to crime control.
2. A focus upon the identification, analysis, and management of persisting and developing problems or risks.
3. A strategy centred on the acquisition of intelligence in order to facilitate knowledge-based decision making, allowing the targeting of resources and the disruption
of prolific criminals.
4. An enabling of variability and flexibility of operational initiatives.
5. A requirement for management of demand, in order to increase the resources for
proactivity, as well as, the resources made available.
6. A presupposition of a higher status afforded to the intelligence function.
7. And use of feedback to adjust, expand, abandon, and maintain initiatives (Amey,
Hale, & Uglow, 1996; Barker-McCardle, 2001; Maguire, 2001; Read & Tilley, 2000;
Stockdale et al., 1999).
Simply put, in practice proactive policing means
making use of data to establish the existence and extent of a problem, to analyse its nature
and source, to plan intervention measures to reduce it, and to monitor and evaluate the
effectiveness of the selected responses. (Read & Tilley, 2000, p. 3)
Police Practice and Research: An International Journal 5
Previous evaluations of proactive policing have articulated clear criteria for successful implementation based upon a police serviceâ€™s ability to achieve key crime management concepts (Amey et al., 1996; Read & Tilley, 2000; Stockdale et al., 1999; Tilley &
Laycock, 2002). These concepts are outlined in Table 1.
While it is essential to define what is meant by Proactive or Intelligence-Led
Policing it is also important to evaluate both the effectiveness and the degree to
which these concepts are in fact operationalized. With this objective in mind the
remainder of this paper analyses Edmonton Police Serviceâ€™s (EPSâ€™s) efforts to implement a model of proactive policing. The following sections offer first a brief overview of the socio-political drivers guiding the EPSâ€™s operational shift toward
proactive policing and secondly an examination of the current implementation
process, best practices, and efforts EPS has undertaken to ensure proactive policing
strategies are effective.
The Socio-political Context: Responding to an Era of Fiscal Restraint
Edmontonâ€™s evolution toward a model of proactive policing has been driven, in part,
by a decade of Provincial and Municipal fiscal restraint. The trend of fiscal conservatism had begun with the 1993 election of Premier Ralph Kleinâ€™s Conservative Party.
Under the stewardship of the Klein government, policing, like other municipal
services, was swept into the vortex of budget restraint and restructuring. The Klein
revolution (a phrase frequently utilized when referring to the Klein policy platforms)
would deliver two direct policy hits to municipal policing. The first came from the
Ministry of Justice in its attempt to set in place its required three-year business plan.
In Alberta Justiceâ€™s 1994â€“95 annual report Deputy Minister of Justice Neil McCrank
set out 11 business functions all of which had a number of goals attached, â€˜some of
[which] are related to budget, while others are related to increased efficiency or
improvement of serviceâ€™ (Alberta Justice, Annual Report, 1994â€“95, p. ii). Topping the
list of business functions was that of â€˜reducing crime through policing and prevention
programsâ€™ and the first goal related to this function was â€˜to provide high quality cost
Table 1 Crime Management Concepts.
Concept 1 Proactivity is given a higher priority over reactivity.
Concept 2 Divisional management teams direct all operational work and manage resources
according to force and divisional priorities.
Concept 3 Intelligence unit is central to the working of the Division and produces targeted
intelligence files and quality information to support policing functions.
Intelligence is used to target criminals and to inform crime prevention activities.
Concept 4 Reactive response is decreased by use of an appropriate call dispatch distribution
Concept 5 The primary output of each team/individual initiative should be identified and
made the subject of team performance indicators for both quantity and quality.
This will ensure accountability, as well as create a pool of best practices.
Source: Amey et al. (1996).
6 C. Clarke
effective programs to prevent and control crimeâ€™ (ibid., p. 2). In order to achieve this
goal municipal policing grants were reduced by 50% ($16 million) over the three
years of the business plan (ibid.). The achievement of this restraint was well under
way within the first year of the business plan and by April 1, 1994, Alberta Justice no
longer awarded municipal policing grants, relinquishing this responsibility to the
Ministry of Municipal Affairs. It was at this point that municipal policing was to take
its second hit.
Municipal Affairsâ€™ disbursement and administration of municipal policing grants
would prove problematic in that they were included in the lump sum grants allocated
to the municipalities. The situation became even more precarious when the 1994â€“95
budget set out a $59 million cut in municipal grants. Further to this â€˜the 1995/96
budget would see this grant reduced by 10 percent to $169 million and outlined plans
to cut this grant in half again by 1996â€“97â€™ (Lisac, 1995, p. 196). Limited municipal
grants nurtured a competitive relationship between municipal agencies and services
as they vied for shrinking pieces of the budgetary pie. As with other municipalities,
Edmontonians would take on increased responsibility for order maintenance as a
function of the Serviceâ€™s fiscal constraints and adoption of community-based
One early solution to Edmontonâ€™s increased fiscal restraint and demands for
efficient service took shape in the guise of the â€˜Edmonton Police Plan.â€™ The police plan
was conceived as a guide by which Edmonton would set out clear Service goals, boundaries of accountability, and methods of evaluation. As noted in the Police Planâ€™s
The creation of the Edmonton Police Plan is the first step in establishing a mutual and
collective vision which guides the Service in the delivery of quality policing in this city for
the next three years. The Edmonton Police Plan will evolve to include the principal components ordinarily associated with separate plans devoted to strategic issues, technology,
communications, facilities, finances, and operations. It will not be shelf material. (Edmonton Police Service, 1996, p. 1)
The underlying premise of this process was the objective of implementing a decentralized service structure, whereby the responsibility for service could be downloaded to
the Division and thus to the community.
The operational premise of the Police Plan corresponded to Osborne and Gaeblerâ€™s
(1993) concept of steering and rowing in which the executive sets the objective or goal
for the organization (steering) and empowers those who are most capable of delivering the service (rowing). Similarly Edmontonâ€™s Police Plan outlined a process of
service delivery that required a bottom-up process wherein frontline officers, supervisors, and managers synthesized service-wide plans into actions and standards. These
Divisional actions and standards would be â€˜negotiated with the Chiefâ€™s Committee for
the purpose of planning, performance evaluation and accountabilityâ€™ (Memorandum
from Chief Lindsay, April 8, 1997, cited in Edmonton Police Service, 1997e). The
criteria by which these would be measured were based on whether or not they
supported the goals of the EPS. By way of comparison one can readily note the similarity between the Police Plansâ€™ underlying managerial thrust and a key concept of
Police Practice and Research: An International Journal 7
proactive policing which states: Divisional management teams direct all operational
work and manage resources according to force and divisional priorities. And yet, the
Police Plan would serve only as a skeletal framework for future strategic and tactical
steps in Edmontonâ€™s effort to implement a solid proactive policing model.
Developing a Tactical Management Tool for Edmonton: Building on a Foundation
of Proactive Policing
In response to an ongoing environment of increased demand and decreased resources,
the EPS further sought to develop a refined model of policing; one that would build on
its strengths and enable the service to identify crime patterns and thus effectively implement strategies to reduce crime (Clarke, Weissling, & Montgomerie, 2002). The new
model was to also facilitate a process wherein the EPS could â€˜add structure and
accountability to the current business practices of the serviceâ€™ (Thue & Alston, 2002, p.
1). Furthermore, Edmontonâ€™s model was to incorporate the concepts of proactive
policing with the operational elements of Intelligence-Led Policing (ILP). In this
context, ILP was to become an operational tool for tactical management. And while the
development and institutionalization of a strategic model of intelligence-led policing
continues to unfold, EPS has benefited from a strong foundation of both communitybased policing and proactive policing. In its early stages EPS undertook an assessment
of best practices and existing gaps in an effort to identify operational elements that
would either support or undermine the implementation of ILP. Throughout the early
stages of assessment there were numerous concerns regarding both tactical and strategic structures. And yet, there was a clear sense throughout the assessment process that
the Service had a strong institutional understanding of community policing, as well as,
operationalizing numerous concepts of proactive policing.
Perhaps one of the most difficult concepts for any police service to articulate or
accurately assess is that of proactivity. This was a particular concern for EPS, particularly when data suggested that the EPS patrol workload status exceeded the Service
objective of maintaining 10% of each shift for police officers to organize crime prevention initiatives (Edmonton Police Service, 1998). And yet, if we return to the definition
of proactive policing we can see that a measure of proactivity is much more than merely
a measure of patrol workload status. Proactivity â€˜refers to the strategic deployment of
resources in order to target criminally active individualsâ€™ and community disorder
(Stockdale et al., 1999, p. 5). Working from this definition EPS could readily locate a
number of initiatives and practices that matched this concept.
The linking of strategic resource deployment and criminal activity had become
common practice for some EPS Divisions prior to the shift to ILP. In fact, prior to the
service-wide assessment, Divisional tactical meetings were consistent practice within
three of the four Divisions (North, South, and West). While each of these Divisions has
specific procedures they all have a common characteristic in that they implement a
formalized process for the purposes of intelligence sharing, resource allocation, and
problem solving. Both North and South Division utilize tactical meetings on a daily
basis while West Division tactical meetings occur once per week. In the context of the
8 C. Clarke
North Divisionâ€™s daily tactical meetings, management staff (Patrol, CIS, Traffic,
Superintendent, and Divisional Intelligence Officer) formalize both daily and longterm strategies based on identified Divisional problems and broad service objectives.
The tactical meeting begins with the Divisional Intelligence Officer (DIO) outlining
particular hot spots and intelligence data. Guided by this information, managers articulate particular strategies and coordinate resource allocation based on available
manpower. The tactical objectives are placed on a white board in the ops/report room
outlining the specific problems and operational directions. Overall, the tactical process
is layered in a manner that facilitates both daily strategies and broad Division
initiatives, but more importantly, allows management to focus resources at the immediate needs of the Division. It is a process that reflects a well-defined understanding of
decentralized operations and autonomous tactical management.
West Division approaches the process of tactical management from the understanding that the Division cannot be all things to all people. Priorities must be set based on
resources guided by a range of information used to identify particular problems. Here,
the tactical management team sets out a â€˜doâ€™ and â€˜do notâ€™ matrix to problem solving
based on two-week projections of available resources. While this process does not differ
dramatically from the other Divisions it does enable the management team to set
objectives for problem resolution, targeting, etc. based on weekly resources. Moreover,
it articulates the necessity of long-range resource allocation and deployment during a
period of limited resources.
There is little doubt that increased proactivity places new demands upon the
Divisional management structure. Greater proactivity requires managers to elicit the
support from a range of service members, as well as, be accountable for resource
deployment. Subsequently, the management focus becomes one of freeing â€˜resources
that were being used in a predominantly reactive and unproductive way and use them
to bring proactive strategies centre stageâ€™ (Amey et al., 1996, p. vi). This does not
suggest that proactivity and reactivity are separate approaches to operational work but
should be considered in terms of overlapping, interdependent methods to achieve
divisional priorities. In turn, this requires an operational model that allows flexible
deployment of resources, problem solving, and accountability/performance assessment, while enabling management teams to guide operational priorities.
An exemplar of how this might be achieved is illustrated by Downtown Divisionâ€™s
operational model. Downtown Division had instituted a community response model
that enabled the Division to maintain the flexibility for problem solving while addressing the need to respond to calls. The Community Response Model combines the
concept of empowerment with defined functions and duties for designated officers
(Response, District, Community, and Beats). Shifting to this model has also required a
more equitable distribution of workload through the S/Sgt and Sgts facilitated, in part,
by the following management team structure: Superintendent, Inspector, Admin S/
Sgt, S/Sgts for (beats, community stations, front desk, and CIS), and platoon Sgts.1
From a tactical/operational stance, the Division utilizes the Community Response
Model in setting a clear hierarchy of ownership of calls for service. Embedded in this
operational model is the requirement of problem solving and in an effort to facilitate
Police Practice and Research: An International Journal 9
this requirement the Divisional management team has formalized the use of Strategic
Operational Projects (SOPs). In the fall of 2001 the SOPs became entrenched in the
Divisional business due to the loss of the special project teams. With the demise of the
special project teams, SOPs have become a useful tool in the development of problemsolving projects. Officers identify particular issues and put forward an SOP that
outlines (using a SARA model) the issue, response, etc. Once it has been approved by
the command, a team is formed and divisional resources shifted to address the SOP.
The basic managerial concept behind this process is that of empowerment. If a
member identifies a problem, the member will stay involved as the driver of the initiative or at least be a team member.
Integral to the success of this model is the Serviceâ€™s commitment to the concept of
ownership. Ownership is understood in the following manner:
Ownership applies to the structure of the organization. Ownership is built into all areas
and levels of the organization. Ownership and empowerment has de-emphasized the chain
of command and encouraged decision making at the lowest possible level. Management
has given members increased latitude, autonomy and trust. (Edmonton Police Service,
1997a, p. 35)
From an operational standpoint, the implementation of ownership is the responsibility
of each Division and is customized to fit the Divisional Objectives. This requires Divisional Superintendents to tailor the concept of ownership based on manpower, divisional demographics, and current problems. An example of the use of ownership can
be noted in North Divisionâ€™s service delivery model. The Division is divided into zones
that have designated ownership/turf officers that are tasked with problem resolution in
the zone. The shift structure is split into primary and secondary response teams with
ownership/turf officers being within the secondary category. While they must continue
to respond to high priority calls in their zones, they are released from minor call
response in order to address identified problem-solving tasks. This division of labour,
coupled with the reallocation of resources occurring at the daily tactical meetings
creates a multi-layered approach to problem solving and proactivity.2
The premise supporting this concept is that the responsibility for providing local
policing is devolved to the level of the Divisional Command. The Divisional
Command must manage all resources (patrol, CIS, etc.) â€˜proactively in accordance
with intelligence-led objectives rather than allowing them simply to reactâ€™ (Gill, 2000,
p. 82). As the above examples indicate, Edmontonâ€™s decentralized model enables
Divisions to respond to the need for proactive and reactive strategies in a manner that
best suits the needs of their Divisional boundaries and resources.
And while it is important to facilitate a decentralized approach it is also necessary to
ensure that the Serviceâ€™s reactive response is decreased by use of an appropriate call
dispatch distribution strategy. A large number of calls for service are minor and do not
require the attendance of a police officer and as such should be dealt with in a more
effective manner than the traditional practice of dispatching officers to all calls for
service. Therefore, if a shift to proactivity is to be successful, there must be a mechanism
that facilitates a freeing of resources; one that can reduce the reactive demands placed
on existing resources.
10 C. Clarke
During the mid-1990s, Service-wide brainstorming resulted in the position that if
EPS was to implement a more efficient service model, it would need to be responsive
to community needs, increase public access, decrease the number of police responses
to calls, and improve the effectiveness of overall call management. To facilitate these
outcomes the EPS formulated a model consisting of four service components, each
inclusive of a set of guiding principles and a strategy for implementation. These four
service components were:
â— Receiving: How the public accesses police service.
â— Responding: How the police make themselves available and attend to public needs.
â— Recording: How the police capture information.
â— Resolving: How the police work to identify problems and develop solutions.
Each of these components is connected with a common objective of improved service
delivery. And while there is an assumed interplay between each component, receiving
is considered the stage at which service delivery is first negotiated.
The operational component of receiving necessitates effective management of calls
for service. This first requires the diversion of calls to appropriate levels of service.
Edmontonâ€™s initial response was the development of a call path chart with the
underlying rationale of reducing calls for service. If the number of calls could be
diminished, officers would have less committed time, enabling them to execute
problem-solving initiatives. While the call path chart was an important initiative,
diverting calls was only part of the solution. Call management would also be
achieved through the application of response criteria and effective application of the
call path chart.
The synthesis of these components resulted in the Serviceâ€™s development of a twotier response strategy: primary and ownership. Primary response officers respond to all
emergency and service level calls. Ownership officers respond to emergency calls,
priority response calls close to their ownership turf, and all service or deferred level calls
in their community. Calls not fitting these criteria are diverted to community stations
or other non-emergency services (this process has been highlighted in the previous
example of ownership).
While ensuring operational characteristics and processes are appropriately reengineered, it is also incumbent upon police managers to ensure the central function of
intelligence. As Peter Gill suggests,
intelligence is intended to be used in two main ways, first, to target specific criminally
active people with a view to developing the evidence necessary for a conviction and,
second, to inform crime prevention strategies via the analysis of problems. (2000, p. 83)
In this context, â€˜the intelligence unit is central to any proactive model â€¦ and that it is
responsible not only for generating intelligence itself but also for developing strategies
and tactics for other teams within the Divisionâ€™ (Amey et al., 1996, p. 4). Others have
suggested that the intelligence units are the linchpin in ensuring that resources are
effectively allocated and that problem-solving initiatives are directed in the most
Police Practice and Research: An International Journal 11
Management of intelligence is central to facilitating the effective dissemination and
use of the knowledge resident in different units of EPS. As a concept, intelligence
management is complex and goes beyond the mere management of information.
Intelligence consists of two basic components: data and information. Data are identifiable, objective facts about events, while knowledge is created by adding context,
providing analysis, ensuring accuracy, and summarizing data into concise and understandable forms. There is no shortage of data and information at EPSâ€”crime statistics,
response times, hot spots, crime mapping, etc. However, it is only when they are interpreted, analysed, and used as a tool to proactively guide tactical manoeuvres leading to
crime prevention and other goals of EPS, that data and information become intelligence. The task, then, becomes one of empowering officers at all levels of EPS to
identify what data and information are most useful and effective to develop into intelligence. Certainly Edmonton had recognized these very issues and as the following
examples suggest the Service had indeed acknowledged the proactive value of intelligence in its efforts to implement a model of proactive policing.
Divisional Intelligence Officers (DIOs)
Each Division has one intelligence officer (an exception to this is Downtown Division
which has two). Divisional Intelligence Officers (DIOs) serve a range of functions but
more importantly they peel away the various layers of information entering the
Divisionâ€™s intelligence hopper, such as CAD data, reports from community stations,
Street Information Reports (SIRs), Central Crime Analyst reports, etc. The end result
is a snapshot of Divisional trends, hot spots, and high-risk individuals from which
tactical strategies can be mounted and appropriate resources allocated. The DIO plays
an integral role in the daily tactical meetings, platoon/squad parades, CIS intelligence
packaging, and inter-divisional intelligence sharing. An example of the latter is the
numerous collaborative relations DIOs are associated with: weekly DIO conference
call, monthly multi-agency property meetings, shared data with Alberta Justice (re:
release dates for YOA and adult offenders), etc. At a micro level DIOs collect and
correlate data as they pertain to specific SOPs, investigations, etc. Here, the DIO develops an intelligence package that relates to a specific project or member request. In this
function the DIO supplies a consistent layer of information and management of information related to a range of Divisional projects.
Community Program Coordinators, D Division
This position has traditionally been located in the crime prevention unit but has
recently moved to the Divisions. On a day-to-day basis the Community Program
Coordinator (CPCO) works with the DIOs comparing and deconstructing weekly
statistics in an effort to identify trends specific to the Divisional districts. This has
enabled the Division management to both direct and identify particular projects at the
micro level of the district. Moreover, the CPCO is able to develop intelligence packages
that support problem-solving initiatives. Under this tactical format, problems and
12 C. Clarke
resolution strategies are generated in two ways. (1) An officer will approach the CPCO
and identify a problem at which point a file is opened. (2) The CPCO may note particular trends from their daily analysis of statistics. At this point, the CPCO will notify the
district officers of the trend/problem who will then direct the problem resolution.
There is a two-month diary date that is set for each internal file at which time the
officer/team should have submitted a follow-up report.
An essential concern for implementing this level of proactive policing is the flow of
intelligence both in terms of internal and external inputs. The success of proactive
policing is directly reliant upon pertinent and complete data (often referred to as
robust data). Good data on crime and intelligence on criminals are prerequisites to
effective crime control (Tilley & Laycock, 2002). This suggests the need for a servicewide tactical structure that ensures a coordinated synthesis of both operational
approaches and intelligence. Unfortunately, the current tactical structure of EPS is
defined by autonomous (Divisional) operational approaches loosely linked by
fragmented networks of intelligence and tactical coordination, as illustrated in Figure
1. One of the challenges that currently confronts EPS is how it will address these
identified gaps and fragmented networks so that the service can achieve an effective
coordination of resources.
Figure 1 Tactical Structure and Identifying Gaps. Finally, if a Service is to successfully achieve proactive policing outcomes there must
be a mechanism whereby the primary output of each team/individual initiative can be
identified and made the subject of team performance indicators for both quantity and
quality. Unfortunately, as Read and Tilley (2000) suggest, dependable outcome evaluations of problem-solving initiatives have been less than consistent throughout police
organizations. And yet, evaluations are in fact valuable methods of encouraging a critical assessment of successful, as well as, unsuccessful practices. Moreover, consistent
evaluation of initiatives assists in the process of replicating best practices. Tilley and
Laycock (2002, p. 18) note, â€˜it is through replication that successful interventions are
disseminated more widely. The payoff from hard-won evidence that a given response
Proactive Resolution Predicting
Figure 1 Tactical Structure and Identifying Gaps.
Police Practice and Research: An International Journal 13
has been effective is its successful application elsewhere.â€™ While there is a sense that
intelligence-led policing is solely concerned with crime-related data, it is important to
note that the evaluation of project outcomes is a form of intelligence that informs
future allocation of resources and operational practices. For Edmonton the importance
of evaluation was recognized in its earlier shift to community-based and problemoriented policing. As the following â€˜Problem Filesâ€™ Management process suggests within
EPS there is indeed an institutionalized expectation of how problem files (problemsolving initiatives) are identified, tracked, and managed.
EPS Problem Files Management
Problem Identification is determined by one of two ways
1. Information received from frontline officers. They communicate this information to
the Community Programs Coordinator.
2. Through the Community Programs Coordinator/DIOâ€™s analysis of repeat calls for
service or other external sources.
Once the existence of a problem has been confirmed it is assigned to a particular member,
in most cases, members who have ownership in district, community, or beat where the
1. Once the problem has been assigned the problem is added to the Master List.
2. An electronic folder is created for the particular address and linked to the appropriate
district, community, beat.
3. A tracking sheet is created containing basic information, platoon commander,
assigned service member and a diary date for response. The diary date is forwarded to
the Platoon commander as well. (It is the responsibility of the assigned member to
respond back through the chain of command on or before the diary date. This does
not mean that the problem must be resolved by this date but rather it is an update of
what the member has accomplished to date.)
Concluded or Ongoing Files
If problems are ongoing then new diary dates are assigned and future updates required. If
the problem is concluded, a Problem Solving (PS-1) form is completed by the member, the
problem is removed from the master list and placed in to the completed problems folder
and a hard copy of the information is printed for the District binder. It is important to note
that the master list and district folders are used not only by other ownership members
(Beats, Community and District) but also the Divisional Intelligence officers (DIO), the
management team and others in the Service. The data in these files provide a snapshot of
what is going on in the Division and what is being done about it. This information is used
on a regular basis to update members of the community and Service. (EPS Memorandum,
April 3, 2002)
While this analysis suggests the existence of a strong foundation for ILP there are a
number of opportunities and practices the Service must evaluate as it moves forward.
Edmonton must ensure that its model of ILP continues to refine the concepts of proactive policing. Moreover, it must ensure that intelligence supports both proactive and
reactive policing activities.
14 C. Clarke
Points of Concern
The model of ILP proposed by EPS certainly offers an opportunity to propel the service
into a proactive stance wherein resources can be utilized in a strategic and effective
manner. And yet, it is not as simple as it may appear on the surface. It does require a
strategic orientation whereby activities are guided and evaluated in terms of broad
service objectives. Moreover, it is a process that implies a multi-layered linkage of
information, tactical initiatives, resource allocation, etc. As one can note from Figure
2, there are numerous points in which the process can break down.
Figure 2 The Key Elements of the EPS Intelligence-Led Policing Model. Source: Veitch, Warden, Alston, & Thue (2004). Therefore, the evaluation process must remain dynamic in order to address
dysfunctional elements within the model. In the case of Edmonton, early analysis
suggested that both tactical and strategic elements of the service required attention.
â— Develop IT capacity that will enable DIOs to quickly cross-reference divisional intelligence, share analysis and trends.
â— Utilize Community Stations in a more effective manner (Community Station
personnel should be more active in coordinating problem-solving initiatives,
funnelling information from the community, serve as a clearing house of information for patrol, beat, and community officers, etc.
Figure 2 The Key Elements of the EPS Intelligence-Led Policing Model. Source: Veitch,
Warden, Alston, & Thue (2004).
Police Practice and Research: An International Journal 15
â— Insure that middle management play an active role in informing frontline officers
about why it is important to both input and access intelligence data.
â— Encourage community members to take a more active role in the dissemination of
â— Adopt a fully integrated business planning process for the purpose of improving:
operational performance, strategic decision making, and resource allocation and
accountability for the achievement of stated outcomes.
â— Implement a quarterly Crime Management Conference in which Divisions share
information on operational objectives, best practices, performance measurement,
â— Develop a process for community involvement in identifying priority areas and
outcomes (Clarke et al., 2002).
Recognition of these shortcomings is only a first step. The operational and organizational response to these would require both the coordination and support of internal
and external stakeholders. As with the earlier examples of Community-Based Policing
one of the key challenges will be to ensure there is a continued inclusion of key stakeholders. All stakeholders must understand both the concepts of proactive policing and
their role in the successful implementation of proactive initiatives.
As this case study indicates, prior organizational practices of community-based policing
have underlined current strategic and operational efforts to implement an effective
model of proactive policing. More importantly, these examples suggest that community
policing continues to be a central vehicle for the development of future operational and
strategic policing initiatives. This is not to say that future trends will be confined by the
concept of community policing but that community policing offers a foundation by
which innovation can evolve. Edmontonâ€™s operational shift to proactive policing represents a logical transition from the earlier operationalization of community policing and
problem-oriented policing. More succinctly, proactive policing is a maturing or refinement of these. Furthermore, returning to the basic definition of proactive policing,
â€˜making use of data to establish the existence and extent of a problem, to analyse its
nature and source, to plan intervention measures to reduce it, and to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the selected responsesâ€™ one can easily see how this concept
parallels the central theme of problem-solving models such as SARA, CAPRA, and
PARE (Read & Tilley, 2000, p. 3). Perhaps the central difference is that proactive policing is a broad strategic application which guides service-wide operations.
 This management structure characterizes Divisional governance throughout the Service.
16 C. Clarke
 It should be noted that while the above examples focus on North and Downtown Divisions,
there are new operational models being implemented in the remaining two divisions. As of
May 1, 2002, South Division had implemented a team-policing model that would support
greater sharing of resources, linkage of events, and continuity. Recently, West Division has
undergone a structural reorganization implementing a change from nine squads to 12. The
objective of this model is to allow greater overlap of manpower, enabling the Division to
implement a priorities-based management model. Moreover, this model will support an
operational shift currently focused on crime-related issues to one that is inclusive of all
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led crime control. Policing and Society, 9(4), 315.
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Reduction Research Series Paper 6). London: Home Office.
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