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The Feasibility of One-Officer Patrol in New York City


  • Linda Green

    (Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027)

  • Peter Kolesar

    (Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027)


How many patrol cars staffed with a single police officer are needed to provide equivalent police service to an existing system with n two-officer patrol cars? This question is explored for New York City using a multiple patrol car per call priority queueing model. It is shown that a one-officer patrol program is feasible, yet pitfalls exist which could adversely affect its performance. The paper details the process of data analysis and model building and emphasizes the subjective elements that remain in a highly technical OR study. Speed of response to emergency calls from the public was the key performance characteristic considered. The analysis also raised issues related to the safety of police officers in one-officer cars.

Suggested Citation

  • Linda Green & Peter Kolesar, 1984. "The Feasibility of One-Officer Patrol in New York City," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(8), pages 964-981, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:30:y:1984:i:8:p:964-981

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ian I. Mitroff, 1972. "The Myth of Objectivity OR Why Science Needs a New Psychology of Science," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(10), pages 613-618, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Linda V. Green & Peter J. Kolesar, 2004. "ANNIVERSARY ARTICLE: Improving Emergency Responsiveness with Management Science," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(8), pages 1001-1014, August.
    2. Aksin, O. Zeynep & Harker, Patrick T., 2003. "Capacity sizing in the presence of a common shared resource: Dimensioning an inbound call center," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 147(3), pages 464-483, June.
    3. Peter J. Kolesar, 2012. "OM Forum --Some Lessons on Operations Management Model Implementation Drawn from the RAND Fire Project," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 14(1), pages 1-6, January.
    4. Linda V. Green & Peter J. Kolesar, 1998. "A Note on Approximating Peak Congestion in Mt/G/\infty Queues with Sinusoidal Arrivals," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(11-Part-2), pages 137-144, November.
    5. Kevin Curtin & Karen Hayslett-McCall & Fang Qiu, 2010. "Determining Optimal Police Patrol Areas with Maximal Covering and Backup Covering Location Models," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 125-145, March.
    6. repec:pal:jorsoc:v:60:y:2009:i:1:d:10.1057_jors.2009.3 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Northrop, Alana & Kraemer, Kenneth L. & King, John Leslie, 1995. "Police use of computers," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 259-275.


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