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Use of Operational Models in Considering Implementation Strategies for Combined Use of Two and One Officer Cars

NCJ Number
R C Larson; T F Rich
Date Published
39 pages
Mathematical models of police patrol and dispatch operations can be useful in planning and decisionmaking regarding alternative deployment strategies for combinations of one-officer and two-officer patrol cars.
Each type of car is most useful in specific types of situations. Aggregate models of deployment strategies often rest on queuing theory. They assume that all patrol cars of a certain type are identical in terms of workload, service time, and other patrol characteristics. In contrast, disaggregate models consider both individual patrol car and beat characteristics. They can include demographics, the proximity of backup units, and the types of calls received. An aggregate model developed specifically for New York City is applied to hypothetical data. The application considers the consequences of a change in the size of the area to which patrol cars respond to calls, assuming that two-officer cars respond to calls of high and moderate priority and one-officer cars respond to calls of low priority. A disaggregate model, the Hypercube model that is in the public domain, is also illustrated, using a decision regarding replacing some two-officer cars with one-officer cars. Assumptions, characteristics, and results of the models; figures, data tables, and 7 reference notes.