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NCJ Number: 63526 Find in a Library
Title: EQUITY CONSIDERATIONS IN POLICE PATROL ALLOCATIONS (FROM APPLIED GEOGRAPHY CONFERENCES, 1979, BY JOHN W FRAZIER AND BART J EPSTEIN)
Author(s): G F RENGERT
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 7
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: PHILADELPHIA SERVES AS THE CASE STUDY IN AN EXAMINATION OF THE EQUITY CONCEPT FOR POLICE PATROL ALLOCATION FOR EMERGENCY CALLS TO SERVICE.
Abstract: IN THE FACE OF CONSTANT OR SHRINKING BUDGET LEVELS, POLICE DEPARTMENTS MUST ALLOCATE THEIR RESOURCES MORE EFFICIENTLY. FOR EXAMPLE, THE SPATIAL ORGANIZATION OF PATROL FORCES MIGHT BE ADJUSTED TO REFLECT MORE APPROPRIATELY DISTRICT NEEDS, WITH TWO OBJECTIVES: EFFICIENCY AND EQUALITY. SPATIAL ALLOCATION COULD BE MAXIMIZED FOR EFFICIENCY BY ASSIGNING A DISPROPORTIONATE NUMBER OF PATROL OFFICERS TO THOSE DISTRICTS WHICH GENERATE THE GREATEST NUMBER OF EMERGENCY SITUATIONS. IN THE PROCESS, EQUALITY IS COMPROMISED SINCE FEW OFFICERS ARE SCATTERED OVER A WIDE AREA IN SOME DISTRICTS (LOW-RISK DISTRICTS) IN WHICH THE CHANCES OF ADEQUATELY RESPONDING TO CALLS MAY BE BELOW ACCEPTABLE LEVELS. THE ALTERNATIVE WOULD BE TO MAXIMIZE THE EQUALITY IN SERVICE DELIVERY BOTH TEMPORALLY AND SPATIALLY. OFFICERS WOULD BE REALLOCATED IN SUCH A WAY THAT ANY EMERGENCY CALL FOR SERVICE COMING FROM ANY DISTRICT OF ANY JURISDICTION AT ANY TIME WOULD EXPECT TO RECEIVE AN EQUAL LEVEL OF RESPONSE. SINCE OFFICERS IN LOW-EMERGENCY AREAS AND DURING SLACK SHIFTS OF THE DAY WOULD SPEND A DISPROPORTIONATE AMOUNT OF TIME NOT HANDLING ANY CALLS, THE AVERAGE EFFICIENCY RATE FOR THE ENTIRE JURISDICTION WOULD FALL. PHILADELPHIA'S DATA ON CRIME RATES, DISTRICT SIZES, AND DISTRIBUTION OF POLICE OFFICERS ASSIGNED TO PATROL WERE STUDIED WITH RESPONSE TIME TO EMERGENCIES AS THE MOST IMPORTANT CRITERION. ANALYSIS OF PHILADELPHIA'S SYSTEM SHOWS THAT AN OBJECTIVE OF EQUAL SERVICE LEVELS MAY LEAD TO SUCH AN INEFFICIENT ALLOCATION THAT THE SYSTEM AS A WHOLE CAN ILL AFFORD THE SACRIFICES INVOLVED. THUS, THERE MUST BE SOME TRADEOFF BETWEEN SYSTEMWIDE EQUALITY IN SERVICE DELIVERY AND SOME FORM OF SYSTEM EFFICIENCY WHERE THE SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL ALLOCATION OF RESOURCES IS MORE REASONABLE. MAPS AND TABULAR DATA ILLUSTRATE PHILADELPHIA'S SYSTEM, AND EQUATIONS SUPPORT THE ANALYSIS. SEVERAL REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Emergency procedures; Geographic distribution of crime; Patrol; Police effectiveness; Police manpower deployment; Police resource allocation; Police response time
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63526

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