Update on the POP Center

Michael Scott, former head of POP Center
Michael Scott, former head of POP Center

Steve Elbow of the Capital Times in Madison, Wisc. wrote a follow-up on what’s been happening with the recently de-funded Problem Oriented Policing Center.

“The future of the influential UW-Madison-based Center for Problem-Oriented Policing is in doubt after  federal officials pulled funding after 13 years. The center’s director and founder, Mike Scott, said the decision by the Office of Community Oriented  Policing Services, an arm of the U.S. Department of Justice, came as a  surprise. ‘I can’t figure it out,’ he said.

“The federal government has funded the center since its inception in 2002 to  the tune of $300,000 to $400,000 a year, depending on what projects the center  was working on, Scott said. At one point the Center for Problem-Oriented  Policing provided 60 percent of the policing literature sent out by the Justice  Department’s COPS program. The center has been instrumental in changing the way police look at crime,  focusing on root causes of crime trends and ways to prevent them, rather than  merely reacting to incidents.

“The philosophy underpinning the center’s work stems from the work of   Herman Goldstein, a UW law professor who in 1979 introduced the concept of  problem-oriented policing, which he later expanded into a 1990 book that  has inspired the approach throughout the U.S. and in many places abroad.”

To read more CLICK HERE.

As our nation’s police leaders stand mute, the most significant example of a “body of knowledge” for the art of policing will soon be lost in cyberspace…

Failing to fund the Center places yet another obstacle in the way of police development and eventually their professionalization.




  1. The Mid-Size Agency Section of the IACP is meeting with the Deputy Director of the COPS Office this week at our mid-year conference and this will be something we discuss. Many chiefs are wondering what direction the COPS Office is going given recent changes in leadership. I will share what we learn.


    1. Gordon, thanks for the update and thanks for standing up! If the POP Center is not maintained and allowed to grow it will be a terrible loss to our nation’s police and their future.


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