University Housing

Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS)

Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS) is an approach that addresses the causes of crime and encourages long term innovative problem solving, improving law enforcement-community partnerships with better quality communication.

The University Police works closely with the staff of University Housing to ensure a safe learning and living environment.

The California Attorney General's Office has outlined Twelve Principles of Community-Oriented Policing and Problem Solving:

  • Reassesses who is responsible for public safety and redefines the roles and relationships between the police and the community.
  • Requires shared ownership, decision making, and accountability, as well as sustained commitment from both the police and the community.
  • Establishes new public expectations of and measurement standards for police effectiveness (e.g., from solely 911 response time and arrest/crime include quality of service, customer (community) satisfaction, responsiveness to community defined issues, and cultural sensitivity).
  • Increases understanding and trust between police and community members.
  • Empowers and strengthens community-based efforts.
  • Requires constant flexibility to respond to all emerging issues.
  • Requires an on-going commitment to developing long-term and pro-active programs/strategies to address the underlying conditions that cause community problems.
  • Requires knowledge of available community resources and how to access and mobilize them, as well as the ability to develop new resources within the community.
  • Requires buy-in of the top management of the police and other local government agencies, as well as a sustained personal commitment from all levels of management and other key personnel.
  • Decentralizes police services/operations/management, relaxes the traditional "chain of command," and encourages innovative and creative problem solving by all - thereby making greater use of the knowledge, skill and expertise throughout the organization without regard to rank.
  • Shifts the focus of police work from responding to individual incidents to addressing problems identified by the community as well as the police, emphasizing the use of problem-solving approaches to supplement traditional law-enforcement methods.
  • Requires commitment to developing new skills through training (e.g., problem-solving, networking, mediation, facilitation, conflict resolution, cultural competency/literacy).