This is an Executive Summary of a report that investigates the nature and structure of the investigative function in the community policing context.
When agencies consider implementing community policing, one of the questions they must resolve is the role and function of detectives or investigators. This study addresses that issue by investigating how community policing agencies structure the investigative function, how they integrate the investigative function with other police services, and how they manage change within this function. Data for the study came from a national mail survey of municipal police departments and sheriffs' offices in all jurisdictions with populations of more than 50,000 and 100 or more sworn officers. Sixty-eight (12.4 percent) of the departments had implemented some major changes in the definition or structure of the investigative function. Teams of investigators made 2-day visits to seven sites. The study presents conclusions in the following categories: (1) Structural Changes (physical decentralization, chain of command); (2) Procedural Changes and Developments (degrees of decentralization, degrees of generalization); and (3) Functional Changes and Developments (training). The study recommends further research on new types of performance measures, the extent and nature of detectives' involvement in problem solving, levels of victim satisfaction with the new approaches, and patrol officer and detective responses to the changes. Notes, tables
Date Published: July 1, 2001
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