Problem-Solving Perspectives in Law Enforcement

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Problem-Solving Perspectives in Law Enforcement


Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement

Today’s Tip is for all my friends in law enforcement. Listen, we’re no strangers to solving problems. And we’ve seen it all. But folks, here’s something to think about: From whose perspective do we typically solve problems?  

Developing community partnerships is a big part of the job.

It doesn’t matter whether you serve a large agency, going call-to-call. Or even in a smaller agency where a busy day is defined by a handful of calls for service. One of our primary missions is to respond to and resolve problems. But as we analyze problems and determine solutions, it’s important to consider every perspective.  

Now I know what you’re thinking. Hey, Gordy, I always get both sides of the story. That’s Cop 101 stuff. But it’s not just hearing the story. It’s solving it from a different point of view.  

We all tend to surround ourselves with like-minded people—that’s not unique to law enforcement. But think about how many times you turn to a partner and bounce your ideas off them. Pretty strong chance they’re going to nod in agreement because, you guessed it, perspective.  

Instead, let’s try some other tactics. Don’t just interview a neighbor or witness. Ask them how they’d proceed. Get a unique perspective from them. And ask them why. For larger-scale issues, seek out different perspectives from community or advocacy groups. Don’t overlook homeowners’ associations or even organizations that might actively challenge law enforcement.  

Don’t be afraid to solicit different points of view. Doing so will help your agency connect with the community it serves. It also provides additional perspectives for your decision-making processes. And in the long run, this will increase the chance that your proposed solution matches the expectation. 

Developing community partnerships is a big part of the job. It’s the only way we can effectively address the societal issues that lead people to call us for service. So don’t overlook the value of using the collective intellect of those we serve.  

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Until next time, Gordon Graham signing off. 

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