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Oct 30th, 2014
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Productivity and Evaluation in the Police Department

What are the characteristics of today’s productive police department?

Describe how evaluation criteria employed in the traditional policing model, such as crime rates, clearance rates, and response times, have been problematic when applied to the community oriented policing and problem solving strategy. Provide at least two solutions to this.

Individuals response Dave: Productivity is generally the term used to show the amount of work produced by an employee.  Our textbook refers to “how well the police provide services to the citizens.” (Gaines, Glensor, & Peak, 2010, p. 165)

The change from traditional policing is that policing is viewed as a service to citizens and statistics or a numerical measurement is not an effective tool in equating a perception.  The measurement of effective policing is perceptual in that the citizens can have all of their concerns addressed and still feel or perceive that the cop was rude and does not care about them or their neighborhood.  This perception is the equity involved in the community policing style.  The citizens should feel as though the police officer addressed them and their concerns with care, compassion, and concern.

The citizens also want to know that their concerns are being addressed.  This community policing aspect is addressed in the accountability aspect.  In community policing, the police need to address problems suggested by the citizens that will help them feel safer or more important.  The fact is that police departments write protect and serve on the side of the police car, they should believe that the purpose has been prescribed.  Policing is not all about that big arrest warrant, but is more about the activities, cares, and concerns of those who live and breathe in our neighborhoods.  We must meet the expectations of the public (Gaines, Glensor, & Peak, 2010).

Traditional policing assumes that as long as the officers can be shown to be productive, efficiency and effectiveness automatically follow (Gaines & Worrall, Police Administration, 2012, p. 382).  The focus in community policing is the actual problem and solution rather than numbers generated.

Efficiency is a traditional measure of the police department and can be related by the regular arrest, contact, or call response numbers.  But, the true measurement in policing is the study of the entire picture.  The costs accrued and the resources consumed or utilized during the project resolution.  To truly measure the efficiency of a policing event, all of the resources should be accounted for and related to show total cost to the department and citizens (Gaines, Glensor, & Peak, Police Supervision and Management: In an Era of Community Policing, 2010).  This adds to the accountability measure in the police department that relates to community policing.

Effectiveness is a measurement of the specific task completed.  This aspect of policing relates to the proper supervision and the establishment of goals and strategies used to accomplish those goals (Gaines, Glensor, & Peak, Police Supervision and Management: In an Era of Community Policing, 2010).  This is another measure in the accountability of policing.  The supervisor must ask themselves what goals need to be met, how they will be met, and whether they were met or how close they came?  This is somewhat like the S.A.R.A. system of problem solving. 

In community policing the perceptions of the public are considered ahead of the statistical numbering system.  In traditional policing, as long as the numbers were down, the public should be happy and feel safe. In community policing the numbers do not matter if the elements that make the citizen feel scared or insecure are not related in traditional policing numbers (Gaines & Worrall, Police Administration, 2012).  Many aspects of crime are related and the reporting methods should be developed to support the problems in those particular neighborhoods.  This provides documentation for the non-traditional crimes and also shows what is being done to resolve them.  This can be developed utilizing a citizen survey that helps the citizen relate their concerns to the police department (Gaines, Glensor, & Peak, Police Supervision and Management: In an Era of Community Policing, 2010).

Strategic planning is used in community policing to develop programs, program objectives, action plans, and goals based on the department’s mission statement (Gaines, Glensor, & Peak, Police Supervision and Management: In an Era of Community Policing, 2010).  This addresses concerns for the department and guides their efforts through establishment of the goals through the mission statement.  The goals, objectives, programs, and action plans should be based on the community represented as well as the budget and other resources.


Gaines, L. K., & Worrall, J. L. (2012). Police Administration (3 ed.). (L. Main, Ed.) Clifton Park, New York: Delmar Cengage Learning.

Gaines, L. K., Glensor, R. W., & Peak, K. J. (2010). Police Supervision and Management: In an Era of Community Policing. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc.

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