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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97262 Find in a Library
Title: Police Patrol Styles - How Pervasive is Community Variation?
Journal: Journal of Police Science and Administration  Volume:13  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1985)  Pages:36-45
Author(s): M S Meagher
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The task behavior of 531 police patrol officers employed in 249 municipal agencies was scrutinized to determine the variability of the police function among police agency types.
Abstract: Agencies were classified as small (1 to 29 officers), medium (30 to 99 officers), and large (100 or more officers). The data were drawn from a statewide job task analysis of patrol officers in a midwestern State. The officer respondents were queried about the frequency of their performance of 647 tasks. Regular performance was demonstrated for 99 tasks. All 99 were subjected to the Kruskal-Wallis analysis of variance, and 56 demonstrated significance equal to or less than the .05 level and were designated as specific tasks. Forty-six were deemed core tasks. On the basis of the specific tasks performed by patrol officers in municipal police departments, small agencies are apparently concerned with crime prevention; medium agencies with noncrime-related service provision; and large agencies with the enforcement of criminal laws, the control of crime, and order maintenance. Core tasks were in the general areas of law enforcement, order maintenance, service provision, and crime prevention. Review of the core tasks performed by patrol officers in municipal police agencies revealed that the patrol function, and by implication the overall police function, contained common elements across agency size classifications. The study concludes overall that a degree of similarity exists in the role and function of the police across jurisdictional lines. Tabular data and nine references are provided.
Index Term(s): Municipal police; Patrol; Police agencies; Police policies and procedures; Police responsibilities
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