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© 2011 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Police in America Chapter Seven Patrol: The Backbone of Policing.

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Presentation on theme: "© 2011 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Police in America Chapter Seven Patrol: The Backbone of Policing."— Presentation transcript:

1 © 2011 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Police in America Chapter Seven Patrol: The Backbone of Policing

2 2 The Central Role of Patrol Majority of police officers assigned to patrol Majority of police officers assigned to patrol Gatekeepers of the CJ System and therefore most important decision makers Gatekeepers of the CJ System and therefore most important decision makers Experience on patrol formative part of police officers career Experience on patrol formative part of police officers career Least desirable assignment Least desirable assignment

3 3 The Functions of Patrol To deter crime To deter crime To enhance feelings of public safety To enhance feelings of public safety To make officers available for service To make officers available for service

4 4 The Organization and Delivery of Patrol Factors affecting the delivery of patrol services Factors affecting the delivery of patrol services –Number of sworn officers Police-population ratio Police-population ratio –Assignment to Patrol –Distribution of Patrol Officers –One versus two officer cars –Work styles of officers Hot Spots Hot Spots –An area that receives a disproportionate number of calls for police service/ has a high crime rate Types of Patrol: - Foot patrol Automobile patrol - One officer versus two officer cars Staffing Patrol Beats - On any given night, no officer is available for many patrol beats - Police patrol is very expensive

5 5 Styles of Patrol Individual Styles Individual Styles –Officer-initiated activity Includes stopping, questioning, frisking suspicious citizens, stopping vehicles, writing traffic tickets, etc. Includes stopping, questioning, frisking suspicious citizens, stopping vehicles, writing traffic tickets, etc. Amount varies between departments Amount varies between departments Supervisor Styles Supervisor Styles –Also affect an officers level of activity

6 6 Organizational Styles James Q. Wilson identified three distinct organizational styles. 1. The watchman style emphasizes peace-keeping without aggressive law enforcement and few controls over rank- and-file officers. 2. The legalistic style emphasizes aggressive crime-fighting an attempts to control officer behavior through a rule- bound, by the book administrative approach. 3. The service style emphasizes responsiveness to community expectations and is generally found in suburban police departments where there is relatively little crime.

7 7 Patrol Supervision The Role of Sergeant: Patrol supervision is usually accomplished by the sergeant on duty. The Role of Sergeant: Patrol supervision is usually accomplished by the sergeant on duty. The principle of span of control holds that a supervisor can effectively manage only a limited number of people. The principle of span of control holds that a supervisor can effectively manage only a limited number of people. The recommended span of control is one sergeant for about every eight officers. The recommended span of control is one sergeant for about every eight officers.

8 8 The Communications Center The Nerve Center of Policing The Nerve Center of Policing 911 Communications center 911 Communications center Citizen-dominated Citizen-dominated Reactive Reactive Incident-based Incident-based 911 Systems 911 Systems Processing Calls for Service Processing Calls for Service Operator-Citizen Interactions Operator-Citizen Interactions

9 9 911 Systems Introduced by AT&T Company in 1968 Introduced by AT&T Company in systems contributed to increase in calls for service 911 systems contributed to increase in calls for service To handle this increase, departments assign priorities to incoming calls based on seriousness of problem To handle this increase, departments assign priorities to incoming calls based on seriousness of problem Police able to more efficiently manage delayed responses to non-emergency calls Police able to more efficiently manage delayed responses to non-emergency calls

10 10 Processing Calls for Service Communication center operators Communication center operators –Obtain information from caller and makes decision about appropriate response –Exercise tremendous discretion –Only ½ of all calls to 911 result in a dispatch –Operators ask questions of callers –Operators assess situation –Operators decide how many and which officers to dispatch –Patrol officers responding to calls experience great uncertainty

11 11 Operator-Citizen Interactions Need to provide officers with as much accurate information as possible Need to provide officers with as much accurate information as possible Interactions lengthy, involving many questions Interactions lengthy, involving many questions –Some questions are a threat to callers trustworthiness –Others are a threat to callers personal character/judgment

12 12 The Systematic Study of Police Patrol Patrol is point of most police-citizen interactions Patrol is point of most police-citizen interactions Studying patrol is difficult and expensive due to decentralized nature of the job Studying patrol is difficult and expensive due to decentralized nature of the job –Studies of police patrol include: American Bar Foundation Survey ( ) American Bar Foundation Survey ( ) Presidents Crime Commission ( ) Presidents Crime Commission ( ) Police Services Study (1977) Police Services Study (1977) Project on Policing Neighborhoods ( ) Project on Policing Neighborhoods ( ) Standards for Systematic Social Observation Standards for Systematic Social Observation –Designed to provide accurate, representative picture –Trained observers follow officer everywhere the officer goes –Take field notes which officer can then read

13 13 The Call Service Workload The Volume of Calls The Volume of Calls –Depends on the area –Minneapolis: 550 per year versus St. Paul: 221 per year Types of Calls Types of Calls –Order maintenance calls –Service calls –However, many situations are ambiguous

14 14 Aspects of Patrol Work Response Time Response Time –1. Discovery Time Cannot be controlled by officers Cannot be controlled by officers –2. Reporting Time –3. Processing Time –4. Travel Time Reasons why citizens delay calling Reasons why citizens delay calling 1. Need to verify crime occurred 1. Need to verify crime occurred 2. Regain composure 2. Regain composure 3. Call a friend or family member first 3. Call a friend or family member first 4. Decide whether to involve police 4. Decide whether to involve police 5. Telephone not immediately available 5. Telephone not immediately available

15 15 Aspects of Patrol Work Continued Officer use of patrol time Officer use of patrol time –Project on Policing Neighborhoods (POPN) studies routine police work Found that regular patrol officers spend only 20 percent of shift interacting with citizens Found that regular patrol officers spend only 20 percent of shift interacting with citizens Rest of time spent on general patrol and traveling Rest of time spent on general patrol and traveling Evading duty Evading duty –Delay in reporting the completion of a call High-speed pursuits High-speed pursuits –A situation where a police officer attempts to stop a vehicle and the suspect knowingly flees at a high rate of speed –Highly dangerous situation –Decision to engage in pursuit based on judgment of officer

16 16 The Effectiveness of Patrol Kansas City Preventative Patrol Experiment Controversial results Controversial results Challenged traditional assumptions about patrol Challenged traditional assumptions about patrol Initial Experiments Operation 25 Methodologically flawed Newark Foot Patrol Experiment - Crime - Citizen Attitudes

17 17 Improving Traditional Patrol Differential Response Calls Differential Response Calls –Classifying calls according to seriousness Telephone Reporting Units Telephone Reporting Units –Handle 10-20% of calls on some shifts 311 Nonemergency Numbers 311 Nonemergency Numbers Non-English 911 Call Services Non-English 911 Call Services Reverse 911 Reverse 911 –Allows police to call citizens Computers and Video Cameras in Patrol Cars Computers and Video Cameras in Patrol Cars –Increase accountability Police Aides or Cadets - Unsworn officers Street Skills Training for Patrol Officers - High-risk, low-frequency events Directed Patrol and Hot Spots - Look for specific crimes or people, patrol certain areas Customer Feedback Beyond Traditional Patrol - Taking more proactive measures


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