Monday, June 6, 2011

Maybe Maverick needs Goose

Chief Jim Peschong announced his intention to team up some officers in two-person patrol cars this summer. It's an idea the LPD management staff has kicked around for a couple of years, and tested out on an ad-hoc basis. Jim intends a more systematic implementation.

Collecting data and information will be the key to evaluation, along with a "dosage" (number of units, length of time)that is sufficient to provide a fair test. I'm all about trying things out and seeing how they work. Adapting to change is an imperative. Unless it requires a huge capital investment, or presents an unacceptable risk of failure, you can always revert if it doesn't pan out.

Managers of my age all learned in school that the two-person patrol unit was less efficient than single-officer patrol, and that there was no significant advantage in safety. A progressive police manager just accepted the consensus of the experts that single was better than double. In reality, though, that consensus is based on an awfully skinny body of research evidence, mostly from the 1970's, and all before two major developments: :five-dollar-a-gallon gas, and the in-car computer (include video system, multi-function lighting systems, ALPR, trunked radio, and smartphone in the techno-gadget group.)

Maybe the math has changed, now that the V-8 is becoming an anachronism and the front seat is turning into a cockpit and command post. Maybe in the information age Maverick needs Goose, and the two of them can operate more effectively together as a team than as a pair flying solo. Certainly worth considering.


Capt. Obvious said...

I hear that texting while driving is risky.

Do you suspect this has been a factor in any LPD collisions?

I doubt you are free to comment if there's a chance plaintiff's council reads this blog.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much chief for continuing your blog! It makes my mornings more tolerable!

ARRRRG!!!! said...

Brings a whole new meaning to wingman.

Tim Hegarty said...

Chief...I mean Director,
I'll be interested to see how your experiment works out, as it does run contrary to current accepted thinking, best explained by Malcom Gladwell in Blink, Chapter 6, pages 233-234. While Gladwell does not cite his sources, I have always found him to be an impeccable researcher. Regardless, kudos for giving something "new" a try.

Anonymous said...

You really shouldn't mention in-car cameras. My 'new' Dodge Charger (over a year old now) has had one & it has never been hooked up. Of course, the two new big screen TVs in line up are done.