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Evaluation of Police Patrol Patterns


  • Stephen Sacks

    (University of Connecticut)


This paper describes an ArcView extension that allows police planners to design patrol districts and to evaluate them by displaying various performance measures. It uses a spatially distributed queuing system (the Larson Hypercube) to calculate expected travel times, workloads, preventive patrol frequencies, and other variables; and it allows planners to see the unavoidable tradeoffs among their objectives. Using this tool, planners can experiment with various patrol patterns to find those that best meet their Department.s goals. For example, those patrol patterns which are best in terms of average response time don.t do as well as others in terms of workload balance, or those that are best in terms of achieving a uniform response time across different parts of the city don't do as well as others in terms of minimizing inter-district dispatches. There is, of course, no perfect solution for this problem: the facts of the situation force us to balance competing goals. Described here is a way of explicitly weighting the alternative objectives.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Sacks, 2003. "Evaluation of Police Patrol Patterns," Working papers 2003-17, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2003-17

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