South University Team Members & Law Enforcement Organization Success Discussion: Political Science Answers 2021

South University Team Members & Law Enforcement Organization Success Discussion: Political Science Answers 2021

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South University Team Members & Law Enforcement Organization Success Discussion

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Leadership and Management in Police
Organizational Implications of Police Innovation
Contributors: By: Matthew J. Giblin
Book Title: Leadership and Management in Police Organizations
Chapter Title: ?Organizational Implications of Police Innovation?
Pub. Date: 2017
Access Date: April 21, 2021
Publishing Company: SAGE Publications, Inc
City: Thousand Oaks
Print ISBN: 9781483353173
Online ISBN: 9781544360003
Print pages: 229-254
? 2017 SAGE Publications, Inc All Rights Reserved.
This PDF has been generated from SAGE Knowledge. Please note that the pagination of the online
version will vary from the pagination of the print book.
? 2017 by SAGE Publications, Inc.
SAGE Books
Organizational Implications of Police Innovation
Organizational Implications of Police Innovation
Introducing Police Innovation . . .
In a seminal 1979 article and subsequent 1990 book, police scholar Herman Goldstein criticized what he
saw as the misguided focus of many police organizations.1 He noted a form of bureaucratic dysfunction by
which adherence to procedures and means supplanted the very goals of policing. For example, departments
stressed the importance of rapid response without fully understanding whether such actions truly enhanced
public safety (see Questioning Standard Model Strategies section). Police departments were also largely
reactive, addressing calls for service as they came in, with little energy devoted to preventing them in the first
place. Goldstein argued that police should focus on problems, or groups of chronic issues comprising similar
behaviors, people, places, or times of occurrence.2 Scott clarified the definition of problem, offering that a
problem may include multiple incidents or it may include a single incident that is likely to reoccur.3 If police
officers treat calls for service or individual incidents as symptoms of some problem, they can alleviate the
symptoms by tackling the underlying causes or conditions themselves (see Figure 9.1).4 Officers still need
to respond to incidents, but they can begin to analyze the process, looking to eliminate the problem entirely,
reduce the number of incidents, or minimize the harm caused.5 This is the foundation of problem-oriented
Figure 9.1 Incident-driven policing compared to problem-oriented policing
Source: Adapted from John E. Eck and William Spelman, Problem-Solving: Problem-Oriented Policing in
Newport News (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, 1987), xvi?xvii.
During the 1980s, researchers examined the viability of the problem-oriented approach in Newport News,
Virginia. A task force of department personnel established what is now the well-known SARA model of
problem solving?scanning (identify the problem), analysis (understand underlying conditions), response
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SAGE Books ? Organizational Implications of Police Innovation
? 2017 by SAGE Publications, Inc.
SAGE Books
(implement solutions), and assessment (evaluate response and adjust as necessary).6 Officers used this
procedure in the field. For example, in one section of the city, citizens complained about rowdy kids in the
neighborhood in the early-morning hours (2 a.m.).7 An officer assigned to address the problem discovered
that it was linked to a local skating rink. Many kids were dropped off by their parents, but few returned to pick
them up. There was also not enough room on the single bus provided by the skating rink to transport everyone
home. Therefore, the youth walked through the local neighborhoods. The officer worked with the owner of
the skating rink to charter more buses at closing time, and the problem went away. Overall, researchers
concluded that ?many officers were able to get involved; their efforts were effective at reducing the size and
seriousness of the problems they attacked.?8 The Newport News study became a model for departments
interested in adopting problem-oriented policing.
Problem-oriented policing is just one of the many significant police reforms to emerge over the past 30 to 40
years.9 Much of this innovation was stimulated by a coalescence of forces beginning in the 1960s?rising
crime, poor police community relations, Supreme Court decisions constraining police behavior, and other
factors.10 Although the goals of these reforms are complex and many are confounded in practice (e.g., thirdparty policing is a type of problem-solving), most have at their core more effective ways to reduce crime,
disorder, fear, and other problems. Each of these reforms has implications for organizations, including many
of the subject areas discussed throughout the text. For example, Eck and Spelman recommended adopting
problem-oriented policing department-wide rather than relegating it to a special unit, a recommendation
related to horizontal differentiation.11 The broader approach helps to institutionalize the practice, ensuring
that it does not become the responsibility of a small few within adopting departments. They also recognized
that officers were going to need time (opportunity) and flexibility (less formalization) in order to effectively
craft solutions to community problems, issues related to motivation and structure. An organization that fails
to recognize these implications is unlikely to be successful in its implementation of reforms. This chapter
describes four modern police reforms, placing them in the context of organizational theory and behavior
topics. The innovations include focused deterrence partnerships (collaborations), Compstat (accountability
and structural decentralization), evidence-based policing (use of research), and predictive policing (analytics).
Questioning Standard Model Strategies
In his 1994 book, police scholar David Bayley wrote, ?The police do not prevent crime. . . . [T]he police pretend
that they are society?s best defense against crime and continually argue that if they are given more resources,
especially personnel, they will be able to protect communities against crime.?12 Bayley?s commentary was
largely directed at police practices that dominated much of twentieth-century law enforcement?random
patrol, rapid response, and criminal investigation. These strategies, together referred to as the standard
or professional model of police practices, were supposed to enhance the crime-fighting abilities of police
agencies everywhere.13 Random patrols prevented crime from occurring. If a crime did occur, officer
readiness to rapidly respond increased the likelihood of apprehending an offender at or near the crime scene.
In the event offenders avoided immediate capture, a department, through its criminal investigators, was well
equipped to identify, locate, and arrest them. However, research emerging in the 1970s and early 1980s called
into question these very practices and, consequently, the ability of the police to effectively address community
crime problems. Modern police reforms emerged against this backdrop.
Patrol is often described as the backbone of policing, the primary assignment of more than two-thirds (68%)
of all local law enforcement officers.14 In theory, random patrol?that is, having police personnel move
around geographic areas in irregular, rather than fixed, patterns?produced numerous benefits. It distributed
resources more evenly throughout a jurisdiction, thereby facilitating a more rapid response to calls for service
than if those same resources were deployed from a fixed headquarters. Importantly, random patrol was
supposed to produce crime-prevention benefits. As Kelling stated, ?By moving police vehicles rapidly through
beats and unpredictably past likely crime targets, police could create the feeling of police omnipresence.?15
Potential offenders, unable to reliably predict if and when a patrol officer would show up at the scene, would
be deterred from offending.
This logic was largely taken for granted until, in 1971, a task force of the South patrol division of the
Kansas City (Missouri) Police Department raised questions. Members wondered how to address problems
such as burglary, juvenile offending, and citizen fear without significantly sacrificing the number of officers
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? 2017 by SAGE Publications, Inc.
SAGE Books
assigned to the patrol function.16 According to one report, ?some of the members of the South task force
questioned whether routine preventive patrol was effective, what police officers did while on preventive
patrol duty, and what effect police visibility had on the community?s feelings of security.?17 Based on these
discussions and with funding from the Police Foundation, a specific project?the Kansas City Preventive
Patrol Experiment?was developed to address these questions. Fifteen beats in the South division were
matched on a variety of characteristics then split into three groups?control, proactive, and reactive (see
Figure 9.2). In the control areas, police patrol continued at normal levels, one patrol unit per beat. In proactive
areas, the number of patrol units doubled or tripled, depending upon demand for services. In the reactive
beats, random preventive patrol was removed entirely; officers still entered the area to respond to calls for
service but did not use their unassigned time to randomly patrol. The experiment officially started in July 1972
but was temporarily suspended due to resource shortages and difficulties with following project protocols (i.e.,
maintaining assigned beat levels). The experiment resumed in October 1972 and, even though officials were
prepared to suspend the program again if crime increased dramatically in beats where patrol was removed,
the project continued for 12 months.18
Comparisons on a range of outcome measures revealed few differences across the three beat types.19
In general, reported crime, reported victimization, arrest behavior, response times, traffic accidents, citizen
fear, citizen precautionary behavior (e.g., locking doors, keeping weapons in the home), and attitudes toward
the police were unaffected by the level of patrol in a beat.20 It is quite possible that offenders and citizens
alike failed to notice modest differences in patrol levels. Moreover, some crimes, especially those committed
indoors, are likely unaffected by patrols in public space. Over time, the Kansas City experiment received
substantial critique, primarily for its flawed methodology.21 Of key concern was whether the beats truly
retained their assigned level of patrol or patrol dosage. Certain factors (e.g., the presence of special units
or the more common use of sirens) might have increased the impression of patrol in reactive beats even
though patrol was missing. Despite the results in Kansas City, random patrol has not gone away. As David
Bayley said, ?Some routine motorized patrolling is probably better than none, but . . . more is not better than
some?at least not within practical limits.?22
Figure 9.2 Schematic representation of the 15-beat experimental area
Source: Kelling, G. L., Pate, T., Dieckman, D., & Brown, C. E. (1974). The Kansas City Preventive Patrol
Experiment: A summary report. Washington, D.C.: Police Foundation. Pg. 9.
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? 2017 by SAGE Publications, Inc.
SAGE Books
Rapid response served as a second key component of the professional-era crime control strategy. Even
today, many departments routinely use response time as an overall performance metric indicative of quality
service. For example, in a 2014 report the auditor for the City and County of Denver documented a roughly
three-minute increase in the time between receiving a 911 call and an officer arriving on the scene.23
He recommended that the Denver Police Department routinely share response time data with members of
the public. In 2015, a review of the New Orleans Police Department?s response times demonstrated the
consequences of a drastically shrinking department size?average response times increased to 79 minutes,
three times higher than in 2010.24
Quicker responses were presumed to increase the likelihood of arrest and increase citizen satisfaction with
police services. During the 1970s and 1980s, researchers investigated whether these presumptions were, in
fact, true. In one early study, observers rode with officers in Kansas City and recorded information on possible
determinants of response time.25 In addition, they surveyed citizens who had contacted the police about their
overall satisfaction with the response time and the organization. Not surprisingly, officers tended to respond
more quickly when they were nearby and the call itself was for a serious behavior (e.g., robbery, armed
person). Although shorter response times improved citizen satisfaction with the responding officer, a more
relevant predictor was the difference between actual and expected response times.26 If the officer responded
faster than expected, satisfaction increased. From a practical standpoint, this finding indicated that police
departments may be causing greater harm by touting their ability to rapidly respond since it establishes what
are potentially unrealistic and unrealizable expectations. Departments may be in a better position to establish
more reasonable expectations, something many have done by creating nonemergency numbers (e.g., 311)
or alternative report-taking systems.
Rapid response was intended to do more than just satisfy the public. It was supposed to reduce crime by
increasing the probability of arrest. In the mid-1970s, researchers collected data over a year-long period in
Kansas City, riding with officers during their shifts, reviewing department records, and surveying victims.27
The researchers found that, for a number of reasons, rapid response was unrelated to apprehension in the
vast majority of all cases. In a subsequent study conducted in four cities, researchers found that ?arrests
that could be attributed to fast police response were made in only 2.9 percent of reported serious crimes.?28
Why? Many calls are discovery crimes, situations where a victim learns about the crime after the fact (e.g.,
coming home to find a house burglarized) and the offender has long fled from the scene. In other incidents,
victims delay reporting crimes for various reasons, including, but not limited to, fear, confusion, or apathy.
Even in the small fraction of cases in which the offense is still in progress, however, the likelihood of an onor near-scene arrest is only around 35 percent.29 When taken together, these findings are not intended to
diminish the importance of a rapid police response for people who truly need it. They do suggest, however,
that the intense preoccupation with time-based metrics may be unnecessary from both a crime control and
public relations perspective.
The criminal investigations function would also face examination. In 1973, the RAND Corporation initiated a
study of practices in large law enforcement nationwide.30 Researchers found that many cases ?receive no
more than superficial attention from investigators.?31 Among cleared cases, the majority are solved because
the offender?s identity is already known to authorities at the time the criminal report is taken. According to
Greenwood and Petersilia,
In an analysis of a large sample of combined crime types, it was determined that the perpetrator?s identity
became immediately known in more than one-half of the cases that were eventually cleared, chiefly because
(1) the offender was arrested at the scene; (2) the victim or other witnesses identified him by name and
address even though he was not arrested at the scene; or (3) he was identifiable by some unique evidence
apparent at the crime scene, for example, a witness observed the license plate on the perpetrator?s car or his
employee badge number.32
Even in these cases that are more readily solved, criminal investigators spend a significant portion of their
time engaging in post-arrest processing, strengthening the case against the accused and preparing cases for
a prosecutor.33
The authors of the RAND study saw a heightened role for patrol officers who served as first responders
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SAGE Books ? Organizational Implications of Police Innovation
? 2017 by SAGE Publications, Inc.
SAGE Books
and initial investigators at crime scenes.34 They could, among other things, determine whether enough
evidence exists to warrant an allocation of the department?s resources. To some, these recommendations
?characterized investigative operations as wasteful and mismanaged.?35 Subsequent research would show
that detective effort matters; spending additional time on a case, especially cases with a moderate amount
of evidence, actually increased the likelihood that they will be solved.36 Modern technologies may also
facilitate case clearances. Research by the Urban Institute, for example, found that efforts to collect DNA
evidence from property crime scenes nearly tripled the likelihood that a suspect was identified and doubled
the likelihood of arrest.37
Even though more recent research points to the benefits of a strong investigative function, the research
produced during the 1970s and 1980s on all three standard model practices?random patrol, rapid response,
and criminal investigations?led to a reassessment of the professional-era approach. According to Pelfrey,
While these studies had several other important impacts (police research was held to a higher standard;
greater emphasis placed on the importance of crime data, etc.), they demonstrated some of the distinct
failings of the existing paradigm, suggesting a new paradigm was necessary.38
Various innovations followed, four of which are discussed in the next section.
Modern Policing Innovations
Focused Deterrence Partnerships (Collaboration)
According to research, one of the most consistently effective police strategies of the past 20 years is one
that returns to a very simple idea?police can deter offenders. Such an approach perhaps seems ill-advised.
After all, we assume that offenders are influenced by their estimations of the certainty, severity, and swiftness
of punishments, but as the Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment illustrated, simply increasing presence
two- or threefold likely does little to change these calculations. Even though severe sanctions attach to many
criminal acts, those sanctions are infrequently applied and, if used at all, often occur long after the crime
is committed.39 David Kennedy described this problem as it relates to a drug offender, but the argument is
equally applicable to other offenders:
It is thus possible for there to be a great deal of enforcement without that enforcement being consistent,
predictable, or even meaningful to offenders. A street drug dealer may have been arrested a number of times.
But each day, when he considers whether to go work his corner, the chances that he will be arrested today
[emphasis in original] will be both small and essentially random. This can be true even for very serious crimes.
In one of the most violent areas of Washington, DC, nearly three-quarters of homicides go unsolved.40
A focused deterrence partnership (also known as pulling levers) seeks to change this dynamic. While various
constraints (e.g., resources) may preclude police departments from effectively deterring all offenders, they
can work to increase the probability of arrest and sanction for the most prolific offenders within a community.
A focused deterrence strategy was first implemented in Boston in 1996 as part of an intervention known
as Operation Ceasefire. The effort targeted ?an epidemic of youth homicide? that plagued the city from the
late 1980s through the mid-1990s.41 A working group composed of member?

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