(a) how and how much discretion police officers are exercising, and (b) what supervisors and managers are doing to direct, constrain, or guide that discretion. Ericson and Haggerty (1997) argue that information gathering and recording protocols, built into the hand-written and computerized forms officers complete, structure how officers conduct much of their work. The proliferation of these forms and systems for monitoring their completion, they argue, means an increase in hierarchical influence on street-level practice. This is an interesting, but not rigorously tested proposition that is amenable to experimental design evaluations. The second indirect way to structure discretion is through training, at least some of which is intended to invest officers with the skill and judgment to use their discretion wisely in circumstances where simple bureaucratic rules will not be very useful in producing the desired results (Muir 1977:ch. 12) – disputes, for example.
Charge backs or embedded funds for special events and other “out of the routine” charges is an important issue to resolve because it could determine how, why, and how many officers a particular event gets – that is a decision that should be based on risk reduction and not how it will be funded.
If budget request states they need additional funding to support neighborhood patrols, ensure that it’s being spent in that manner.
Managing the ModernCampus Public Safety Organization Steven J. Healy MHA Managing Partner