Friday, September 3, 2010

Not just patrol

My theme this week has been patrol, and although I’ve been diverted a little, the basic points have been these: 

  • Patrol isn’t cheap: it cost a lot in personnel and fuel. Going about it without a purpose or plan is a poor investment.
  • The research evidence suggests that random patrol neither impacts crime nor makes people feel safer.
  • There is no such thing as “routine patrol.”
  • Good patrol is focused on the places and at the times crime and disorder is most likely to be encountered and prevented or interrupted.

Patrol is only one option as a way for officers to productively use the time that is not committed to responding to calls for service.  Great examples of the alternatives can be found by following the link in my label cloud to “POP” or “Crime Prevention.” I am pleased at LPD’s tendency to avoid “routine patrol” and to make good use of focused patrol, POP projects, and other better alternatives.

Second, if the risk of non-directed, patrol is that the police will just be driving around aimlessly burning fossil fuel, then the second half—burning fossil fuel—is another point to consider.  A lot of good police work is accomplished when the keys are in the pocket.  And there are alternatives to motorized patrol:  parking and going for a short neighborhood walk, taking a bike from the rack for a while, visiting parks, trails, businesses and schools, and so forth.  As long as you are within striking distance of the chariot in an emergency, the car does not need to be king. 

Even if you are motorized, the quantity of fuel burned can be dramatically impacted by the drivers’ style.  Easy on the gas pedal, easy on the brakes, and you’d be amazed at the difference in MPG.  With the engine off, the computer lid half closed, and the windows down, you can see and hear a lot of stuff you would miss at 35 miles per hour, or even with the engine idling.  More on miles per gallon next week….

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chief-I was in the new facility in the South endzone at Memorial Stadium this week and also the new Hewitt Center. It gave me two thoughts. The first was the Cornhusker fans raised $50 MILLION for a project without public funding, which was impressive.

The second thought I had was about directing traffic at 17th and Holdrege. The weather should be great this weekend.

Best wishes to LPD for a successful 300th (or so) sell-out crowd. You guys are a big part of that success.

256

Tom Casady said...

256-

Thanks very much!

You'd be surprised how different the traffic flows today. The Holdrege Street overpass is closed. Court, Holdrege, and 17th are all now dead ends, and 14th Street is a sleepy out-of-the-way local road in the North Bottoms. The seven lanes of the new Antelope Valley Expressway and Salt Valley Roadway swoop over the railroad tracks far below. And beginning this year, there is no State Fair. Heavenly, compared to what you dealt with.

JIM J said...

This will show how good the design of the new Ant Vly Pkwy is. Should be some good rear enders on several parts. Also, the big one is coming on 22nd and P street.
22nd P to Q is one lane (because of parking) so cars back up on both P and Q st.
With the private parking people coming soon to a theater near you, it should have officers overloaded. Add a 2 am bar closing in september, and the party really gets going.
Time to get those videos going again.

Anonymous said...

Chief,

The LJS fishwrap seems to have deleted the suspects' descriptions (which they did receive, I'm sure, from their contact with LPD) before publishing this story. Since the hack scribblers elected to commit journalistic malpractice, could you give us those suspect descriptions, in case a black SUV approaches one of us?

Anonymous said...

My impression of Lincoln is that there is a surplus of police officers riding around in cars,, on routine patrol. I have come to believe Lincoln could do ok with 20 percent less police , particularly on patrol...