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Portsmouth (VA) Patrol Aide Program - Evaluation of Patrol Aide Program - Integrated Criminal Apprehension Program

NCJ Number
W Pindur; J Hurley
Date Published
67 pages
This evaluation concentrates on assessing the degree to which the main goals of freeing patrol officers from time spent on routine duties and giving interested young people training and experience in police work are being met by the Portsmouth, Virginia, program.
The Portsmouth Police Department's Patrol Aide Program became operational in 1977 and currently employs four patrol aides between the ages of 18 and 21. Each patrol aide takes a rotating shift during which he patrols parts of the city by car and receives assignments from the dispatcher. To evaluate the success of the program, patrol aides were interviewed and observed in their daily activities. A content analysis of daily worksheets for the four patrol aides covering the 2-week period from June 30 to July 15 was also made. It was observed that the activities most frrequently performed by patrol aides, i.e., transporting vehicles to and from the city garage, running errands, patrolling for illegally parked cars and issuing parking tickets, assisting disabled cars, directing traffic, and escorting funerals, free regular patrol officers for more serious duties. All four of the patrol aides expressed a desire to enter police work full time and cited as advantages of the program the training and experience provided, familiarization with the layout of city streets and police routine, freeing patrol officers from routine work, and obtaining an advantage in becoming a police officer over other job applicants. The most significant problem cited by the evaluator and the patrol aides was that there was no provision for structuring the free time of patrol aides so that the time could be used in a productive way by the department. It is recommended that the department remedy this situation by providing a suggested list of activities for patrol aides who have free time while on duty. Extensive appendixes are included in the evaluation.


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