In the urban centers of the United States hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually on police patrol forces, deployed for the maintenance of public safety. Despite this vast expenditure of public funds, little is known about the effectiveness of current patrol strategies and about the incorporation of computers and other technological devices into patrol planning.
In Urban Police Patrol Analysis Professor Larson combines his knowledge of metropolitan police forces with an analytical processes of operations research to devise a wide range of quantitative models that bear on police patrol. These include models of the patrol and response functions that indicate the effectiveness of a particular patrol allocation and allow the comparison of different allocations, patrol strategies, and response strategies. Also included is the description of a recently implemented simulation model that allows the planner to predict the consequences of a wide variety of complex patrol procedures without having to disrupt current police operations.
The opening chapters of the book provide the background to many of the problems related to police patrol and outline the issues that require analysis. A special chapter simulates a group of planners and analysts in a hypothetical city who are engaged in redesigning patrol and dispatch and dispatch operation. In following the group's work through the model building, designing, testing, and implementation stages, the reader is given a preview of models developed in later chapters and an outline of the process by which the technical analyst and the police planner can combine to produce innovations for implementation.
The six technical chapters that follow develop and discuss the details of models of police response time, preventative patrol effectiveness, workload distribution, dispatch delays, intersector cooperation, and a number of other performance measures.
Included is an evaluation of automatic vehicle location systems, indicating potential advantages of revising patrol deployments when car positions are known to dispatchers. Each chapter includes a nontechnical summary to guide the reader. Numerous references to related work are provided in footnotes and the work contains an annotated bibliography which, at this writing, is the most complete information available o the field of quantitative police patrol management.
Most of the methods presented in Urban Police Patrol Analysis have been developed recently and are the first efforts in the application of mathematical modeling to police patrol. As such they represent a major improvement over inadequate traditional methods, and accordingly, this book will be invaluable to police patrol administrators, technical advisors and consultants to police departments, criminal justice planners, staffs of city management, operations researchers who are involved in public systems problems, students of law enforcement, and operations research studies of public systems problems.