You are now the Police Chief in a city with 30,000 residents and you are responsible for providing 24 hour a day police coverage. You have a total of 45 sworn officers that it is your responsibility to deploy based on the needs of your community. Based on your readings in Iannone, provide me with an organizational description of how you will deploy and assign your officers. Include how many supervisory personnel you will have, patrol officers, specialized assignments such as Detectives, Traffic Bureau, School Resource Officers, Narcotics Investigators, etc… You can have some, all or none – You’re the Chief of Police.
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As a point of interest your town has 1 High School, 2 Middle schools and 5 Elementary schools. It also has two state highways with substantial commuter traffic and four distinct neighborhoods with one large central business district. To make it easier for you we’ll assume that your agency uses a centralized dispatch center that is shared with other local agencies so you don’t have to staff dispatch. You do have to assign a Court Officer as liaison to the courthouse and that officer will be unavailable for any other assignment except court duties.
Per the officers collective bargaining agreement they all work 4 days on then have 2 days off. They work 8 hour days starting at Midnight each day, then 8am then 4pm, etc…
They each work 4 days on then have 2 days off…that means each you take the total number of officers you have to work with (45) and divide them into three groups. This may explain better:
Group A – Work Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs then Off Fri & Sat then work Sun, Mon, Tues, Wed then Off Fri & Sat and so on
Group B would work Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat then Off on Sun & Mon and so on
Group C would work Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon and then Off on Tues & Wed
The officers days off each week are not the same days…they rotate backwards one day each week.
In other words, Group A & B work together for two days, then Group A is Off. Then Group B & C work two days together and then Group B is Off. Then Group A & C works two days together and then Group C is Off and so on…
This means that if two groups are working (30 officers or 2/3 of the department total of 45 officers), then one third are off (One group or 15 officers) each day. Knowing that you have 30 officers working each day and you have three eight hour shifts you simply decide how many officers to deploy per shift. Think of it as assignments rather than individual officers. In other words, if you need 5 patrol officers on the 1600-2400 shift you don’t care which officers fill the posts as long as they are filled.
My goal is to have you understand how having 45 officers at your disposal may seem like a lot, but you will quickly learn that your resources disappear fast.
My suggestion is that the first thing you do is determine how many officers will be assigned to each shift…don’t forget that with a 4&2 day off schedule, one out of three officers you assign will always be on a day off. Use the organizational charts in Chapter 2 as examples to go by or use the internet to assist you…many police departments have web sites with a variation of their organizational structure..
Lastly, the mayor has just informed you that due to these hard economic times your overtime budget has been zeroed out and you have no reserve or auxiliary officers at your disposal due to liability concerns
As a chief you have wide discretion on deploying your officers and at the same time you will be held accountable if it is not done properly.
I almost forgot…in the time it’s taken you to read this question, one of your young rookie cops was in a cruiser accident and he’ll be out injured for approximately 6 months. You are now down to 44 officers.
Hint: Remember basic principles from the text such as the Span of Control, etc…
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