Police Practice: Productivity Analysis for Basic Police Patrol Activities

By Herndon, Roy H.,, III | The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, May 2005 | Go to article overview

Police Practice: Productivity Analysis for Basic Police Patrol Activities


Herndon, Roy H.,, III, The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin


Law enforcement officers prove valuable to their communities in a variety of ways, not all of which can be measured easily. To this end, agencies often struggle to find methods to fairly evaluate their personnel. Departments must give factors, such as officer competence and courtesy, appropriate weight. Managers need to value the quality of the tasks performed and not focus only on the quantity.

However, fully and accurately evaluating personnel does require a fair measurement of productivity. "Understandably ... law enforcement organizations do not condone 'quotas' .... Rather, each agency does have certain expected levels of performance that they attempt to monitor officers' performance by. The key is in developing some realistic measurement devices that will substantiate that the officer is working and that this work is meaningful to the community." (1) While departments must avoid mandating specific numbers for performance criteria, they still can gauge an officer's productivity by analyzing certain measurable activities related to the job. This then can provide useful insight for incorporation into the employee's overall evaluation.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The Conway, Arkansas, Police Department has a system in place to conduct quantitative, employable measures of its officers' performance. Further, it has found that in response to fair and meaningful evaluation, its personnel strive for higher standards. "When employees feel their hard work counts for something, they strive to do their best." (2)

OFFICER REPORTS

Daily Activity Report

The officer's daily activity report collects the raw data for eventual use in the monthly productivity analysis report for the shift. The information is divided into two control areas: 1) items that the employee has no control over (e.g., assignments from dispatchers, such as calls for service, incident reports taken, accidents worked, and alarms responded to) and 2) areas that the officer has total control over (e.g., contacts with citizens or violators, citations written, warnings issued, and arrests made). Each agency can make its own assessment of which functions fit into each category and design its daily report accordingly. By examining these two control areas, departments can analyze an officer's activities and compare them with the time afforded the individual to perform those duties.

In the daily activity report used by the Conway Police Department, the "criminal arrest" and "traffic arrest" sections represent the total control area, while "reports and calls" pertains to the no-control category. The "hours spent" portion reveals the total number of hours available for police patrol functions. Agencies must ensure that they retain documentation of every call and activity. The Conway Police Department keeps warnings in writing and records miscellaneous other calls in the narrative area of the daily report. Then, the items can be compared with the dispatch log to verify that personnel did not miss or drop any calls or attempt to pad their statistics with fictional activities. While it may seem time consuming to verify each officer's daily report, this task requires only a small portion of the shift commander's day.

Monthly Activity Report

The officer's monthly activity report lists, by day, the totals from each section of the daily reports. Hours scheduled on duty usually will equal 40 per week, on 8- or 10-hour shifts, totaling between 160 to 190 per month. The number of hours available for police patrol activities equals those scheduled on duty minus those spent on detail. Departments may differ on what constitutes time on detail; the key is to apply a uniform standard for all personnel. The Conway Police Department considers time on detail as any activity that takes the officer away from normal patrol functions during the scheduled work day, excluding meal and rest breaks as officers remain subject to call at these times. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Police Practice: Productivity Analysis for Basic Police Patrol Activities
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.