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NCJ Number: 149990 Find in a Library
Title: Toward Equity and Efficiency in Law Enforcement: Differential Police Response
Journal: American Journal of Police  Volume:12  Issue:1  Dated:(1993)  Pages:1-32
Author(s): R E Worden
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 32
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper clarifies the nature of the trade-offs between efficiency and equity that may be involved in implementing a differential police response (DPR) strategy.
Abstract: DPR strategies involve efforts to systematically differentiate among requests for police service in terms of the forms of police response that are optimal. DPR strategies provide for a wider range of response options than the traditional one of dispatching a patrol officer as quickly as possible. Response alternatives include delayed responses by patrol officers to some types of calls, as well as a variety of "relief" responses: dispatching civilian personnel instead of sworn officers, taking reports of some types of crimes by telephone, or asking complainants to walk-in or mail-in their reports. One critique of DPR points out that the efficiency of DPR may be achieved at the price of equity, inasmuch as delayed or relief responses may be a greater burden for low-income or minority groups than for other socioeconomic groups. If this is true, then decisions about whether and how to implement DPR must take into account a trade-off between efficiency and equity. In exploring this issue, this article first outlines the empirical and normative questions that must be addressed in an assessment of the trade-offs and briefly reviews the extant empirical evidence that bears on these questions. It then presents new empirical evidence that bears on these issues, based on an evaluation of DPR tactics in one police department. The article concludes that DPR is both efficient and equitable according to reasonable standards. 5 tables, 27 notes, and 63 references
Main Term(s): Police differential response
Index Term(s): Efficiency; Patrol; Police management; Police resource allocation; Police response time
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