Chapter 6 Patrol: The Backbone of Policing
Patrol can be contributed to each of the common goals of police departments, including preserving the peace, protecting civil rights and civil liberties, enforcing the law, preventing crime, providing services and solving problems. • Patrol Officer Responsibility: • Providing continuous police service and high-visibility law enforcement to deter crime and maintain order.
Most officers in a department are assigned to the patrol function and most of a departments budget is usually spent here. • Patrol officers promote and preserve order, respond to requests for services and try to resolve conflicts between individuals and groups. • Patrol Officers’ specific responsibilities are to enforce laws, investigate crimes, prevent criminal activity and provide day to day police service to the community.
Three major spheres of patrol activity are • Responding to emergencies and calls for service • Undertaking activities to apprehend perpetrators of crime • Engaging in strategic problem-solving partnerships with the community to address long-standing or emerging problems and disorder. • Traditionally, rapid response to calls for service has driven most departments.
Traditionally patrol officers have been assigned a specific time and a specific geographic location, beat, of equal geographic size , and these assignments have been rotated. • Patrol is categorized as either general or specialized: Both seek to deter crime and apprehend criminals, as well as to provide community satisfaction with the services provided by the police department. • General: is referred to as preventive patrol, random patrol, and routine patrol
Specialized patrol: focus its efforts on already-identified problems. • Traditionally patrol has been random, reactive, incident driven and focused on rapid response to calls • Fewer than 25% of dispatched calls involve a crime in progress. • 75% are “Cold Crimes”
Directed Patrol or Aggressive Patrol: uses crime statistics to plan shift and beat staffing, providing more coverage during times of peak criminal activity and in high-crime areas. • A method that enhances the effectiveness of aggressive patrol is geographic permanence, that is, officers are regularly assigned to the same beat. • This allows officers to get to know the normal activities of the beat, enhancing their ability to recognized what is unusual and thus requires investigation.
Crime analysis using mapping, geographic information systems (GIS) and Compstat can identify hot spots or specific problems to target through directed patrol. • Crime mapping can be used to determine where patrol is most needed. • GIS plays a vital role in data-driven decision making by enabling law enforcement to better use crime information and statistics to help guide policy and practice.
CompStat (Computer Statistics) • Mapping can help identify correlations between crime, demographics, societal issues and help determine where to deploy resources more effectively. • CompStat is based on four crime-reduction principles: • Accurate and timely intelligence • Rapid deployment of personnel and resources • Effective tactics • Relentless follow-up and assessment
While on patrol officer respond to calls for service and emergencies, undertake self-initiated tasks and perform administrative duties. • Calls of service drive most departments. This is known as “incident-driven policing.” 40 to 60 percent of patrol officers’ time is spent responding to calls for service. • The response is usually reactive, incident driven and as rapid as possible. • Most departments have found that DifferentialResponseStrategies, suiting the response to the call, are much more effective
Self initiated Tasks: • Usually results from officers’ observations while on preventive or directed patrol; that is they encounter situations that require their intervention. • Administrative Duties: • Preparing and maintaining the patrol vehicle • Transporting prisoners and documents • Writing reports and testifying in court
Methods of Patrol: • Foot • Automobile • Motorcycle • Bicycle • Segway • Horseback • Aircraft • Boat
The most effective patrol is a combination of both foot and automobile. • When foot patrol is added in neighborhoods, levels of fear decrease • When foot patrol is withdrawn from neighborhoods, levels of fear increase significantly • Citizens satisfaction with police increase when foot patrol is added in neighborhoods • Police who patrol on foot have a greater appreciation for the values of neighborhood residents than police who patrol the same areas in autos. • Police who patrol on foot have greater job satisfaction, less fear and higher morale than officers who patrol in autos. • In 1990’s foot patrol became synonymous with community policing.
Foot patrol is an exercise in COMMUNICATION- an attempt to develop rapport between the officer on the beat and the citizens he or she serves. • Automobile Patrol: • Offers greatest mobility and flexibility and is usually the most cost effective. • However, patrolling in a vehicle, officer can’t pay as much attention to details they might see if they were on foot. • Technology in Cars: • Visual surveillance and imaging • Dashboard-mounted cameras • GPS • Facial recognition • computers
One officer vs. Two officer Squads • Circumstances should determine whether a one-officer or two-officer unit is more appropriate. • The single-officer is the rule rather than exception. • Two-officer units should be restricted to those areas, shifts and types of activities most likely to threaten the officers’ safety.
One-officer units offer several advantages, including cost-effectiveness in that the same number of officers can patrol twice the area • Officer working alone are often more cautious in dangerous situations. • Motorcycle Patrol: • First introduced in Pittsburgh almost 100 years ago.
Disadvantages of motorcycles are their relatively high cost to operate, limited use in adverse weather and the hazards associated with riding them. • Bicycle Patrol: • First introduced in Detroit in 1897 • Good community policing tool • Used in parks, beaches and in conjunction with stakeouts and college campuses
Segways: (Segway Human Transporter) • Introduced in 2001 • Extremely intelligent technology that has gyroscopes and tilt sensors that monitor a riders center of gravity. When the rider leans forward, the Segway follows the shift of gravity and moves forward. When the rider leans back, it move backward.
Mounted Police: • 1871: New York City • One mounted officer is equal to 10 foot patrol officers in crowd-control situations. • Air Patrol: • Effective in large geographic areas. • Good for searching for lost people, downed planes or escaped convicts.
A helicopter 500 feet in the air has 30 times the visual range of a unit on the ground providing a patrol capacity equal to 15 squad cars. • They are extremely expensive to maintain. • Water Patrol:used to apprehend weapons and narcotics smugglers. Inland, water patrols are used to control river and lake traffic.
High Visibility Vs. Low Visibility: • High visibility is often used in high-risk crime areas in hopes of determining criminal activity. • Types of high visibility patrol: foot, K9 patrol, mounted police, marked police car, motorcycle patrol and helicopter. • Low Visibility: many specialized patrols fall into this category.
Types of low visibility patrols include: unmarked police cars and bicycles. • Traffic Division: • In 1901 Connecticut established the world’s first speed statue limiting horseless carriage speeds to 12 mph in cities and 15 in rural areas. • The principal objectives of the traffic division are obtained, through voluntary citizen compliance with traffic laws while keeping traffic moving safely and smoothly.
Traffic officers may be responsible for enforcing traffic laws, directing and controlling traffic, providing directions and assistance to motorists, investigating motor vehicle crashes, providing emergency assistance at the scene of a crash, gathering information related to traffic and writing reports.
Among the most common violations of traffic laws are speeding, red light running, nonuse of seatbelts, aggressive driving and road rage, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. • Red light running is currently one of the most frequent and least punished traffic offenses.
When safety belts are combined with air bags, injuries are reduced by 68 percent. Beginning in 1998 all new cars were required to have driver and passenger air bags along with safety belts. • Bolton (2003) reports that use of safety belts for toddlers has increased to 94 percent, also up 4 percent from 2002.
Aggressive Driving and Road Rage: • The NHTSA makes the distinction that aggressive driving is a traffic violation and road rage is a criminal offense, with aggressive driving often precipitating road rage. • Behaviors of Road Rage: • Changing lanes unsafely • Weaving in and out of traffic
Exceeding speed limit • Driving too fast for road conditions • Ignoring traffic control devices • Driving Under the influence of Alcohol or Drugs: • An estimated 3 or every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related traffic crash at some time in their lives
Data from NHTSA estimates that in 2002 almost 17,500 people were killed in a alcoholic related crash. • One alcohol-related fatality occurred every 30 minutes and one injury every two minutes for a total of an estimated 258,000 injuries. Approximately 1.4 million drivers were arrested in 2001 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics
Implied Consent Laws: • State that a person driving a motor vehicle is deemed to have consented to a chemical blood test of the alcohol content of his or her blood if arrested while intoxicated; refusal to take such as test can be introduced in court as evidence. • The alcohol content can be tested through blood, breath or urine tests
In 1966, the landmark case Schmerber v. California, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction and stressed that taking a blood sample was not a violation of the privilege against self-incrimination. • Officers can detect impairment through standardized field sobriety tests and drug recognition experts, as well as through testing for blood-alcohol concertration.
Racial Profiling: “the use of discretionary authority by law enforcement officers in encounters with minority motorists, typically with the context of a traffic stop, that result in the disparate treatment of minorities.” • Jurisdictions across the country place racial profiling among the top most important law enforcement issues.
Motor vehicle crashes are leading cause of death for people ages 1 to 44. • The basic causes of motor vehicle crashes are: human faults, errors, violations and attitudes, road defects; and vehicle defects. • Good driving attitudes are more important than driving skills or knowledge.
Patrol and Community Policing: • Support of patrol officers for community policing is vital. • In Rhode Island and South Carolina, McDonald’s Restaurants have provided reserved tables and telephones for officers to use “Police Work Station.”