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Anyone with experience in "Geo Policing" ?


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  • Anyone with experience in "Geo Policing" ?

    My agency has recently switched to Geo-based policing. Does anyone else's department deploy in this manner, and what are your experiences with it?

    Before the switch, the city was divided into 4 precincts. There were 4 patrol platoons per precinct, working fixed 12 hour shifts. Each platoon would typically deploy 10-12 patrolman, 2 sergeants, and a lieutenent, with the exception of 4th Pct., which was primarily the downtown business/bar district, and had fewer beats. There was also a Paddy wagon in each Pct., and a desk officer for each Pct.

    The city itself is divided geographicaly almost in half by the James River. 2nd Pct. used to encompass the south side of the city.

    Now, each Pct. has had their boundaries changed radically, with 3 "sectors" in each Pct. Two of the Pcts. have sectors on both sides of the river, and only 5 bridges to use to cross the river.

    We are now covering more area with fewer people than before....and this is after they took away our 12 hour shifts and gave us an 8.5 hour shift with fixed days off, which was extremely unpopular.

    If anyone has any insight on why this is an advantage, I'd love to hear it. Also, anyone who has experienced this in their agency and found it to be worthless, I'd like to hear from you.
    Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.

    Ronald Reagan

  • #2
    Originally posted by rpd1794
    If anyone has any insight on why this is an advantage, I'd love to hear it. Also, anyone who has experienced this in their agency and found it to be worthless, I'd like to hear from you.
    The theory, as I understand it (and please don't take this as an endorsement of it) is to plot crimes and other incidents deserving of a police response on a map, and then allocate patrol resources according to the density of the dots on the map. For instance, your downtown district might accumulate a lot more dots than a residential district, so it would get more manpower. The borders of the patrol areas aren't determined by traditional geographic size as much as they are by the plotted need for police services.

    Geographic Information Services (GIS) is (are?) a very hot and heavily-marketed commodity. Companies like ESRI have huge, expensive booths on the floor of the IACP trade show. You can expect to see a lot more of this kind of planning tool in the future. However, I have no unbiased data on how well it actually works.
    Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.


    • #3
      Yup my dept does Geo policing, I wasn't on the job before they changed so I don't have any experience of what it was like before, but from what I understand it made smaller districts for some areas and expanded others.

      Most of the deputies here are of the mindset "whatever".
      Illegitimi non carborundum - Don't let the bastards grind you down.


      • #4
        When I was a muni-bond consultant for a public agencies (cities, etc), GIS was just coming out, only a few cities using it. It is really incredible. I'm not sure how it will work with LE, but for other city tasks, it is very cool. ESRI is a neat company too.


        • #5
          We use it in our City and it seems to work well, cept for my district which is just too big. They need to divide my area into two seperate areas.

          It works well in our area because it prevents the patrol vehicles from traveling through heavily congested areas and natural barriers that lengthened response times prior..
          There's no substitute for strength,
          and no excuse for a lack of it!!


          • #6
            We do it in Chicago. We have 25 Districts with each district broke down into 3 sectors (north to south), and each sector is divided into beats (east to west). For example: I work in the 007th district, we have a 10 sector (beats 711, 712, 713, 714, 715, and supervised by the sergeant in 710) then the 20 sector which is the same thing 722, 723, 724, 725, 726 and the 30 sector. Each sector has a sergeant. Here would be a typical line up with start times:
            799 2200 (Watch Commander)
            701 2200 (Desk Crew)
            710 2300 720 0000 730 2300 771 2300 (Paddy Wagon)
            711 2300 722 0000 731 2300 772 0000 (Paddy Wagon)
            712 0000 723 2300 732 0000 790 0000 (Field Lieutenant)
            713 2300 724 0000 733 2300 793 2300 (Traffic Car)
            714 0000 725 2300 734 0000 794 0000 (traffic Car)
            715 2300 726 0000 735 2300

            764D 2200 (Plain Clothes Incident Car) 706B 2200 (Plain Clothes "Date" Car)
            706C 2300 (Plain Clothes Incident Car)

            Then we have 2 plain clothes tactical teams (4 cars and a sergeant each) that work until around 0200 and one of their cars that is an all nighter.

            Our district is the 2nd smallest in the city. (2-1/2 by 2-1/2 miles) yet one of the busiest.
            007th District Englewood
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