Problem-oriented policing refers to a strategy whereby the community and police collectively develop solutions and responses to community problems, according to the San Diego Police Department. It is an outgrowth of community-oriented policing, which focuses on problem solving.
Problem-oriented policing addresses community concerns using a four-step process to address problems, such as gang violence, drugs and violent crimes, explains the San Diego Police Department. The first step is scanning, to specifically identify the problems. The second step is analyzing to learn all there is to know about the problem. The third step involves developing a custom response to the problem, and the fourth step assesses the situation to evaluate the response to understand whether it solved or reduced the problem.