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The Dallas Experience: Human Resources Development

During the early-1970's the Dallas Police Department undertook numerous organizational changes with the goal of improving the quality of police services to local communities. The Police Foundation took part by documenting and evaluating these efforts.

The DPD sought to implement multiple department-wide programs within five years. Programs included, increasing the education level of officers, recruiting women and members of minority groups, and decentralizing administrative and strategic decision making to better meet the needs of the community and neighborhoods.

This second volume focuses on the human resource aspect of the programs implemented by the DPD. This volume describes the surveys used to ascertain whether or not personnel attitudes and behaviors changed over time between 1973-1976 (time when DPD wanted to implement new programs). Findings suggest that personnel attitude and behavioral changes did not take place; however, educational levels of officers rose and the number of women in the department increased.

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Police Foundation offers News on Policing to subscribers

The Police Foundation has inaugurated a regular compendium of news items on innovative police practices, new technologies in law enforcement, and other topics of interest that are engaging researchers and practitioners in the realm of criminal justice and law enforcement. News on Policing is available to subscribers of the Police Foundation email list. To receive this and updates on Police Foundation activities, click here.

Paul M. Walters Police Administrative Building dedicated in Santa Ana

The City of Santa Ana, CA, recently dedicated its central jail and police administration building to former Police Chief Paul M. Walters, who is now a Police Foundation Executive Fellow. Walters, who served as the chief in Santa Ana from 1998 to 2013, was instrumental in the design and construction of the new Paul M. Walters Police Administrative Building, which incorporates state-of-the-art technology and supports Community Policing strategies. Walters was praised by the many dignitaries at the event for his devotion to creating a safer, more efficient police force in one of the most diverse cities in California. 

Editorial backs Police Foundation findings in Dorner incident

The Riverside (CA) Press-Enterprise has editorialized in support of the findings of a Police Foundation report on the regional Southern California law enforcement response to the attacks by Christopher Dorner. The newspaper is the 7th largest in California and is widely read in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, which was where Dorner ambushed and killed two law enforcement officers, and where he ultimately died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound during a standoff at a remote mountain cabin. The Press-Enterprise editorial supports the Foundation's findings that police agencies across the nation need to resolve continuing problems with communications between agencies, and provide clearer policies to avoid the kind of "self-deployment" that led to hundreds of law enforcement vehicles clogging mountain roads during the standoff at the mountain cabin. To see the Police Foundation's multi-media online report, click here. For a printable pdf version, click here.

Police Corruption: A perspective on its nature and control

This week's From the Archive is a monograph that sought to define and describe the problem of police corruption for administrators and persuade them to take a more concrete role in developing effective ways of combating the problem.

“Failure to discuss corruption openly has permitted it to flourish. A dearth of research on the subject handicaps police administrators, elected officials, journalists and citizens anxious to address the problem of corruption.”

This report does not make suggestions about how to stop corruption. Instead police administrators are encouraged to create their own programs and policies based on the information detailed in this report. Many questions were left unanswered with the hope that police organizations would conduct their own research to address the problem of corruption.

To download the full article click here.

The Big Six: Policing America's Largest Cities

This installment of From the Archive is a 1991 report comparing the "Big Six" U.S. police departments. The Big Six cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and Detroit) differed in size, age, and personality; however, they shared the same problems of crime, drugs, and urban decay. Although the police departments in each of these cities faced similar challenges, they knew little about each other’s department. The Police Foundation sought to address this gap by creating a questionnaire for each department that would obtain a large amount of comparative information about policies and operations of the six agencies.

A representative from each agency came to the Police Foundation to create a common vocabulary around policing and to discuss differing views on conditions and practices in police organizations.

This study found that these six cities differed greatly on many fronts, including number of arrests for violent crimes, selection and entry requirements, and police vehicle accidents.

To download the full article click here.

Mutual Aid: Multijurisdictional Partnerships for Meeting Regional Threats

This week’s From the Archive addresses the issue of multijurisdictional partnerships. Through surveys and roundtable discussions with police chiefs this report exposed critical areas that could assist law enforcement leaders in managing new issues faced in policing post-9/11. One of the areas was the use of mutual aid agreements and multijurisdictional partnerships. Today, mutual aid agreements are used regionally to address domestic and international threats, such as terrorism. Greater collaboration has the potential to increase the effectiveness of preventing future attacks.

Creating effective mutual aid agreements is a difficult task; it requires detailed planning and outlining participation requirements, assessing vulnerabilities inherent with such an agreement, establishing oversight, and conducting training and promoting funding for this collaborative approach.

To address these factors, the Police Foundation highlighted key efforts by regions across the nation to work in these cooperative partnerships across jurisdictions. Law enforcement agencies should consider studying these cases to understand how to partner with regional agencies effectively to address terrorism prevention, preparedness, and response.

To download the full article click here.

Patrol Staffing in San Diego One- or Two-Officer Units

This week's From the Archive is an early study on the impact of one- versus two-officer patrol units. The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) and the Police Foundation worked together to determine if there were any differences between one-officer and two-officer patrol units. Key metrics evaluated by the study included:

  • Unit performance- the type, quantity, and quality of services performed.
  • Unit efficiency- the unit time and cost associated with comparable levels of performance.
  • Officer safety- the rates of assaults on officers, resisting arrest situations, vehicle accidents, and officer injuries resulting from comparable levels of exposure.
  • Officer attitudes- the preferences and opinions of assigned patrol officers.

Results suggested that two-officer units produced lower levels of service, were less efficient, and were less safe than comparison one-officer units. The authors concluded, “On the basis of this study, two-officer regular patrol units do not appear to be justified in San Diego. Separate comparisons of unit performance, efficiency, and officer safety under current conditions all suggest that one-officer units are at least equal to and often more advantageous than two-officer units”.

To download the full article click here.

The San Diego Field Interrogation Final Report

This week's From the Archive highlights early work conducted by the Police Foundation on the method and impact of field interrogations. This study was part of the Police Foundation’s initiative to promote the use of scientific experiments in police agencies and to show police chiefs how useful experiments can be to improve police practices. The Police Foundation started with the assumption that police officers should be more proactive, rather than reactive, to reduce crime rates in their communities. To evaluate the effectiveness of proactive practices, the Police Foundation sponsored the San Diego Police Department’s Field Interrogation Project. The goal was to determine if field interrogations (FI) could suppressible crime and have a positive impact on the community.

Geographic areas were assigned to three treatment conditions: (1) FIs conducted as business as usual, (2) FIs conducted by patrol officers given special training to "minimize friction between the department and the public", and (3) no FI activity.

Findings suggested:

  1. In the no-FI areas, suppressible crimes (defined as robbery, burglary, grand theft, petty theft, auto theft, assault/battery, sex crimes, and malicious mischief / disturbances) increased during the time when no FIs were being conducted. Incidents declined once FIs were reinstated.
  2. Monthly frequency of suppressible crimes did not differ between the regular FI or special FI areas.
  3. It was not possible to determine which suppressible crimes were most effected by the treatment conditions.
  4. Neither the frequency of FIs nor the type of FI training given to patrol officers had a major influence on the attitudes and opinions of San Diego citizens about police activity. However, subjects of FIs were more positive about the police when stopped by officers that had received the special training.

To download the full article click here.

Call for Submissions on Crime Mapping and Analysis

The Police Foundation is pleased to announce that it will be launching a second-generation Crime Mapping News, with a revised name, in the coming months. We are seeking innovative practice and policy relevant content that will inform the field of policing, research on geography and crime, and the use of geographic information systems to advance policing research. Articles will include original research as well as research summaries that make existing research more relevant to practitioners.

Learn more and submit an article today...

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