Purpose and Effectiveness of Police Patrol

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The Purpose and Effectiveness of Police Patrols
To begin studying this topic I’d like to provide a brief definition of a patrol officer. In law enforcement, patrol officers are uniformed police officers assigned to patrol specified geographic areas. They are the officers most commonly encountered by the public. Their duties include responding to calls for service, making arrests, resolving disputes, taking crime reports, and conducting traffic enforcement, and other crime prevention measures. The patrol officer is the first on the scene to arrive. What they do or fail to do at the scene can greatly influence the outcome of an investigation. The patrol officer, as the person daily in the field, is closest to potential crime and oftentimes …show more content…

Law enforcement administrators have traditionally relied on three (3) indicators to measure agency effectiveness and to determine the amount of funding for particular operational programs such as increased police patrols.

First, crime statistics always have played an important role in providing direction to police agencies. But, by relying on crime statistics as conclusive evidence that specific programs or philosophies are achieving their anticipated results, observers often fail to ensure that these statistics accurately reflect what they claim to measure. For example, some politicians often view decreases in crime as indicators of successful programmatic responses to funding priorities, and although the converse is often used as justification for additional funding, some long-range studies suggest that police agencies have little control over increases and decreases in crime. This is so, researchers believe, because the police have no control over the sociological conditions that are blamed for fueling the growth of crime. As we learned from the textbook “Criminal Justice In Action” Social Process Theories state that the major influence on any individual is not society in general, but the interactions that dominate everyday life, hence the learning and labeling theories. For this reason,

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