Give an example of when an officer could use the SARA model in policing.

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A police officer could use the SARA model in many different circumstances.  One such circumstance would be a situation in which there were a number of break-ins in a given neighborhood.  Let us see how SARA would apply here.

The first step in SARA is scanning.  This is the step in which the problem is identified.  An officer could look at crime statistics to make sure that the number of break-ins in the neighborhood really is high compared to other neighborhoods.  This is important to make sure that this really is a problem.

The second step is analysis.  The officer would try to determine what might be causing this problem.  For example, if a burglary suspect is apprehended, the officer might question that person to try to understand what is causing them to commit crimes in this particular time and place.

The third step is response.  Let us say that the officer believes that the crimes are caused by a lack of vigilance in the neighborhood on the part of residents and police.  The officer could then start a neighborhood watch program.  They could patrol the area more often.  These actions would be logical responses to the way they analyzed the situation.

Finally, there is assessment.  After a suitable period of time, the officer would need to look at the crime statistics and see if the break-ins have become less frequent.  This step would help to determine if the response was the correct one. 

thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

SARA is a problem-solving model that entails scanning, analysis, response, and assessment. Crime is a problem that law enforcement agents deal with on a day to day basis. Thus, as a model, SARA can be used to provide solutions to deal with crime and crime related activities.

Scanning: The police under this section identify the problem; one example, for instance, could be organized crime by gangs. A description of the gangs and their identifiable characteristics is also provided.

Analysis: Once the police identify organized crime by gangs as the problem, they will need to identify members of these gangs, their motivations, their numbers, and the environmental factors that support their activities.

Response: The police will outline solutions to combat the problem of organized crime. The enforcement agents may start with sensitizing the community and seeking their support, infiltrate the gangs to gain insider knowledge of their operations, or develop an action plan of dismantling the gangs and rehabilitating the members.

Assessment: The enforcement agents and agencies would evaluate the process and determine its impact and effectiveness in combating crime. It is also at this level that they would identify additional problems that hinder the efficacy of their law enforcement activities.

jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The SARA model is a police problem-solving technique that involves scanning, analysis, response, and assessment. It could be used to examine the events that led up to a riot at a concert.

  • Scanning: This would involve identifying the riot as a problem and setting goals to prevent future such events from occurring.
  • Analysis: This step involves identifying the events that led up to the riot and using data, including interviews with police officers, bystanders, and participants in the riot, as well as video or other data to analyze what came before the event and the event itself. This type uses the data to produce a working hypothesis about why this event occurred.
  • Response: During this stage of the analysis, investigators identify possible new ways to handle a riot or the antecedent to a riot and determine resources that might be helpful in preventing future riots. For example, to prevent a riot from breaking out at a concert, the police might decide to use gates or to control crowd behavior.
  • Assessment: This stage involves determining whether the intervention, such as controlling crowds at concerts, has produced the desired effect, including fewer arrests, less unruly crowd behavior, and safe attendance at events. 

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