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  1. 1. Police in America Chapter Seven Patrol: The Backbone of Policing McGraw-Hill © 2013 McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights Reserved.
  2. 2. The Central Role of Patrol     Majority of police officers assigned to patrol Gatekeepers of the CJ System and therefore most important decision makers Experience on patrol formative part of police officer’s career Least desirable assignment 7-2
  3. 3. The Functions of Patrol To deter crime To enhance feelings of public safety To make officers available for service 7-3
  4. 4. The Organization and Delivery of Patrol  Factors affecting the delivery of patrol services   Foot patrol  Number of sworn officers  Automobile patrol • Police-population ratio      Assignment to Patrol Distribution of Patrol Officers One versus two officer cars Work styles of officers “Hot Spots”  An area that receives a disproportionate number of calls for police service/ has a high crime rate Types of 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 7-4
  5. 5. Styles of Patrol  Individual Styles  Officer-initiated activity • Includes stopping, questioning, frisking suspicious citizens, stopping vehicles, writing traffic tickets, etc. • Amount varies between departments  Supervisor Styles  Also affect an officer’s level of activity 7-5
  6. 6. Organizational Styles James Q. Wilson identified three distinct organizational styles.    The watchman style emphasizes peace-keeping without aggressive law enforcement and few controls over rankand-file officers. The legalistic style emphasizes aggressive crime-fighting an attempts to control officer behavior through a rulebound, “by the book” administrative approach. The service style emphasizes responsiveness to community expectations and is generally found in suburban police departments where there is relatively little crime. 7-6
  7. 7. Patrol Supervision  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 recommended span of control is one sergeant for about every eight officers. 7-7
  8. 8. The Communications Center  The Nerve Center of Policing  911 Communications center • Citizen-dominated • Reactive • Incident-based  911 Systems  Processing Calls for Service  Operator-Citizen Interactions 7-8
  9. 9. 911 Systems  Introduced by AT&T Company in 1968  911 systems contributed to increase in calls for service  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 7-9
  10. 10. Processing Calls for Service  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 7-10
  11. 11. Operator-Citizen Interactions  Need to provide officers with as much accurate information as possible  Interactions lengthy, involving many questions  Some questions are a threat to caller’s trustworthiness  Others are a threat to caller’s personal character/judgment 7-11
  12. 12. The Systematic Study of Police Patrol   Patrol is point of most police-citizen interactions Studying patrol is difficult and expensive due to decentralized nature of the job  Studies of police patrol include: • • • •  American Bar Foundation Survey (1956-1957) President’s Crime Commission (1965-1967) Police Services Study (1977) Project on Policing Neighborhoods (1996-1997) 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 7-12
  13. 13. The Call Service Workload  The Volume of Calls   Depends on the area Minneapolis: 550 per year versus St. Paul: 221 per year  Types of Calls  Order maintenance calls  Service calls  However, many situations are ambiguous 7-13
  14. 14. Aspects of Patrol Work  Response Time  Discovery Time • Cannot be controlled by officers     Reporting Time Processing Time Travel Time Reasons why citizens delay calling      Need to verify crime occurred Regain composure Call a friend or family member first Decide whether to involve police Telephone not immediately available 7-14
  15. 15. Aspects of Patrol Work Continued  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 • Rest of time spent on general patrol and traveling  Evading duty  Delay in reporting the completion of a call  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 7-15
  16. 16. The Effectiveness of Patrol  Initial Experiments  Operation 25  Methodologically flawed  Newark Foot Patrol Experiment  Crime  Citizen Attitudes  Kansas City Preventative Patrol Experiment  Controversial results  Challenged traditional assumptions about patrol 7-16
  17. 17. Improving Traditional Patrol  Differential Response Calls  Classifying calls according to seriousness  Telephone Reporting Units  Handle 10-20% of calls on some shifts    311 Nonemergency Numbers Non-English 911 Call Services Reverse 911  Allows police to call citizens  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 7-17