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  1. #1
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    How Many Patrols Per 1000 Residents?

    I was curious how many patrol cars do you think should be operating at the same time per 1000 residents, in towns with low crime and less than 100,000 people.

    Also, how many minutes is your response time typically, when a 911 domestic squabble call for help is made, if there is no immediate indication of an active fight (i.e., the 911 operator did not hear screaming in the background)?

    I'm asking because it was revealed this weekend that a Domestic squabble and wife's 911 call in our town had a 13-minute response time. When officers arrived, both man and wife were dead, both shot in the head (murder/suicide). 13 minutes sounds a little slow to me, even when not running code, so I suspect we just don't have enough patrols when Murphy's Law strikes. Of course who knows if a quicker response would have made any difference, but the man called 911 back 10 minutes after the wife called, to report her death (it wasn't till then that they went code, but hindsight is 20/20).

    We only have from 1 to 2 patrols per 10,000 residents active at the same time, depending on time of day. If they're pulled off to back up units in another beat, then their beat is uncovered during that time, since sometimes they don't have floaters available. Also, this was in a less-populous beat, and also the largest beat, so it is concievable that the officer was just at the wrong end of the beat when the call came in.

    I don't know if that's what happened here, but does that sound like an acceptable number of officers even for a low-crime area? Perhaps we should always have two cars per beat (each beat is approx. 10,000 residents).
    Last edited by TXCharlie; 01-30-06 at 12:56 PM.

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  2. #2
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    Hmm...we have just over 76,000 residents and about 20 officers on duty over the 221 sq miles. About half of these are concentrated in the capital (about 25,000 reisdents).

    At my previous station, there are usually 2 or 3 officers on duty to cover 100 sq miles and about 20,000 people. At times I was the only officer on duty.

    Our response times to urgent calls are less than 7 minutes in urban areas and less than 14 minutes in rural areas over 95% of the time.

    No, I don't think it's enough...especially when fighting with two drunks with assistance some 25 mins away.

  3. #3
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    We have one officer on duty in a town of about 3,500 people.

    Repsonse time is usually immediate to 3 minutes for a 10-33 (emergency) call. There's a couple small subdivisions that are on the "outskirts" of town, annexed in. So we have to drive through the counties territory to get there, so if we get called there it's normally an extra minute or two.
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  4. #4
    Garda's Avatar
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    5.5 million population. 12000 officers. 9000 operational officers.

    1.5 million in Dublin, 3000 officers. 750 operation working each shift. Whats that? 1 officer to every 2000 people?

    My unit had 15 officers with 1 patrol vehicle. Theres always 2 units overlaping so thats 30 officers with 2 possible 3 mobile units and the rest are station duties and beat duty. Add specialist patrols such as crime task force, detective and public order units.

    Our response to an emergency call would be 2 to 3 minutes on average but on bad days non urgent calls can be sitting over 1 hour easy.

    My Station is the biggest and most manned therefore all our stats such as detections and responses are usually the highest for obvious reasons.

    As for the question, DVSA is not treated as priority unless screaming or a warning on the house/people such as "Danger to life" or "physically violent and dangerous" in our PULSE system.
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  5. #5
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    I am the same as Jmur I serve and protect roughly 3000 people. But we are getting ready shortly to go to Two units on the road at all times.
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    Terminator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie
    I
    We only have from 1 to 2 patrols per 10,000 residents active at the same time, depending on time of day.
    That is low compared to the national average of 1 police officer for every thousand citizens.

  7. #7
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Thanks!

    I'm trying to find out for sure exactly how many were actually on-duty that day. Since they went to 12-hour shifts a few months ago and thus only work 4-day weeks, it's really kinda hard to tell anymore from the Beat Maps & Roster what the daily staff levels are on each shift.

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  8. #8
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    It really depends where you live. In my city there were times when we had over 100 cops on duty at the same time.

  9. #9
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    I did some more calculations, and just based on man-hours, it comes out to 1.6 patrol officers per 10,000 residents, on duty at any given instant (on average, assuming a 40-hour week and no Sergeants on patrol). Of course I didn't figure in vacation, court time, overtime, etc.

    If you assume the Sergeants run patrol cars, that brings it up to about 2.2 officers on duty at any instant of the day, on average, per 10,000 residents - But of course if all the shifts and days are not equally balanced, that could mean at times only one patrol officer per 10,000 people.

    Again, Stan, this is a very low-crime town, so I'm sure that 99% of the time that's all that's really needed - But that 1% may have cost a life, who really knows until the facts are all in. I guess the determining factor is how much taxpayers want to fork over - And to get more officers, they may need to increase salaries to boot, since our pay scale is below average for the area.
    .
    Last edited by TXCharlie; 01-31-06 at 02:16 PM.

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    Jay7376's Avatar
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    When I am working we have 5 officers on with a population of ~25K.

    Response time for a non-emergency call = 5-8 minutes
    *assuming there is an officer available to take the call, other wise it will hold until someone is clear.
    Emergency call = 0-3 minutes
    I'm a PUBLIC SERVANT, so I'm not permitted to use my own judgement in any way.

  11. #11
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    My county is over 800 square miles in size. Over 600 square miles (divided into 4 districts) is patroled by a minumum of 5 deputies (1 is a supervisor) 24 hours a day with 3 overlapping shifts.

    Our rural population is around 75,000 - So that is about 1 officer per 15000 people.
    Usually response times are around 8 - 10 minutes IF an officer is available. One of our districts has a lower response time since all the calls are within a large populated area however, a seperate district is farm land and may have a house every 2 or 3 miles in some areas.

    National Standard - 1 officer per 1000 people? rofl
    In reality the "National Standard" is: departments are understaffed, underpaid with no help in sight.

    * please correct my officer to citizen ratio if wrong - I honestly have no clue how to figure. I just divided 75k by 5.
    Last edited by Billiardnut; 02-06-06 at 12:43 AM.
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  12. #12
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billiardnut
    In reality the "National Standard" is: departments are understaffed, underpaid with no help in sight.
    Yeah, that's how it seems to me too... The strange part is, the PD's don't seem interested in putting out that message to the public.

    I'm not sure if Chiefs of Police think it'd look unprofessional for them to go to the public, or afraid it may "rock the boat" politically or career-wise, and cause more harm than good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie
    I'm not sure if Chiefs of Police think it'd look unprofessional for them to go to the public, or afraid it may "rock the boat" politically or career-wise, and cause more harm than good.
    You said a mouthfull and I couldnt agree more. Not long after I became a cop my Dad summed it up pretty quick.

    "Politics have no place in law enforcement"

    When he said that he was refering to what political party the sheriff was associated with. But since that time, I really thing that statement should be applied the law enforcement in general.
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  14. #14
    tapout's Avatar
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    my precinct probably gets 10 domestics a night...add that to an armed robbery, 1st degree burglary, child abuse, traffic accident with injury, etc and sometimes youre busy and cant get there. things need to be prioritzed. dispatch plays a major part. if it comes out as a violent domestic, people are more likely to drop what theyre doing and hustle up. if its a domestic incident type call, and the officer covering that post is on a telephone misuse, it usually will get held until he gets a chance to clear. its all in the urgency of the call.

  15. #15
    Iron Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billiardnut
    You said a mouthfull and I couldnt agree more. Not long after I became a cop my Dad summed it up pretty quick.

    "Politics have no place in law enforcement"

    When he said that he was refering to what political party the sheriff was associated with. But since that time, I really thing that statement should be applied the law enforcement in general.

    Yeah, but there is no way around it. I have been trying to think of a system that would work without politics and I can't.

  16. #16
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Well, I gurantee you 100%, if I went before the Town Council tonight and told them that we need a couple of more floater patrols to take up the slack, the first thing the Mayor would do is ask the Chief if he could do without them.

    The Chief would go along with the town bean counter and say they're not really needed, and they'd all look at me like I was nuts - He did the same basic thing to me with computers, patrol rifles, citizen patrols, reserves & explorer scouts, so I told him that I'm never going out on a limb again unless he's behind me. I'm not holding my breath.

    Oh well, this is why very few citizens want to get involved - no good deed goes unpunished, so who cares. In his defense, though, he's trying to finance the computers & patrol rifles in other ways, and has already put computers in about half of the squad cars thru a grant he found.

    There, I'm off my soapbox now - I just had to sit thru a History class tonight so I need someone to smack around.
    Last edited by TXCharlie; 02-09-06 at 10:46 AM.

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  17. #17
    Garda's Avatar
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    tapout are you an LEO? You dont mention anything in your profile.
    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie
    Hey thanks Garda - I did think of you last night as I was lying in bed

  18. #18
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    While what I'm about to say applies to most if not all other jurisdiction, it's all too readily apparent where I police.

    I work in an area of only a couple of square miles.The censused popuation holds around roughly 12K. Keep in mind, this is 12,000 people in a little less than 2 square miles. Why? Because, back in the 70s, when the Denver metro area was expanding, our city council wanted to hold onto the notion of keeping a "small-town" atmosphere. This works great, when the other cities around you feel the same way, and you have a bunch of land seperating each. This is not the case here. Our borders are hard up against larger-medium and large metro agencies (100-200 officers for the surrounding cities, God knows how many for the county as it is completely urban in the surrounding areas, and Denver, a dozen blocks or so to the south with 1500 sworn). What this means now is that we're landlocked, with no possibility of expansion or annexation, and we are now struggling fianancially. How much property taxes can you collect from a POOR population?

    What does this mean? Our city council continues to insist that we are a small town with small town problems. This is far from the case. Crime knows no borders, and even though we're small in square mileage, it doesn't change the facts of where we're situated, which is in the middle of the metro area. I respond out of district at least3-5 times a week to cover on calls, and in turn we receive lots of help from surrounding agencies actually HANDLING some of our calls. If there's three of us on shift, which is about average (we sometimes work with as little as two, sometimes with as many as six and STILL get our asses handed to us), and we're all tied up on a crimescene when a bar fight or shooting breaks out, well, good luck and hope that County or a nearby PD's got a unit available.

    Add to that the fact that the area is a hotbed of migrant worker housing. They shack up with their familes all year round. Depending on the time of year, that might mean our ACTUAL population is closer to 17K-22K. It's common to see a three level house, zoned and censused for 4 residents (basement, 1st, and 2nd) with three families of five living in it, one to a floor. It's common to see a one bedroom Sect. 8 apartment with 8 people sleeping on blankets in the living room. It's common for a trailer home to have a shed out back in the summer months with a couple relatives sleeping inside. It's common to see three people liing in one of the old 6X8 ex-chicken coops wired for electriity and a jail type sink/toilet combo, down in the southern district.

    I'm not saying we're balls to the wall with calls all the time (often we are though), or that it couldn't be worse (I dunno what if I would rather have the violent tweakers in trailers we have now along with the Latin gang problems coming in, or if I would rather have a straight up ghetto...), but councils need to realize that they're going to have to prepare for what has a very good chance of happening, rather than what happens on a more frequent basis (i.e. smooth night with an average call load).

    Yeah, as it stands, sometimes when we stack up (i.e. two district cars, two cover cars, a traffic car, and maybe a reserve or two on a Friday night) it gets a little annoying bumping into eachother on the corners, and yeah, it seems your beat gets a little small. All it takes, however, is two average size calls and a prisoner transport (Reserve Cops take them if they're in service for the night..More than an hour round trip to the jail) at the same time to tie everyone else up. On a more normal night, working a DV, and a barfight breaks out, I might be he only car going and asking Dispatch to ask another agency for a back.
    Last edited by 121Traffic; 02-09-06 at 06:00 AM.
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  19. #19
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 121Traffic
    Yeah, as it stands, sometimes when we stack up (i.e. two district cars, two cover cars, a traffic car, and maybe a reserve or two on a Friday night) ... Reserve Cops take them if they're in service for the night..
    That's another thing - I've mentioned it before in another thread...

    Our Town doesn't even have Reserve cops to take up the slack, because our Chief still lives in the 1960's, I think - He said in an email to me & the whole Town Council that Reserves only volunteer so they can have a badge & gun, not out of any sense of service to the community.

    Even though I don't have a stake in it yet because I still can't physically qualify to enter the academy, I responded back to him & the whole Town Council that maybe he didn't realize it, but since the CHL laws were passed in the mid 1990's he was wrong about me because it'd only mean a holster swap, and as far as the badge I prefer stealth anyway.

    Thus the beginning of a close friendship between me & the Chief.

    He's a good guy though - I think he musta got burned by a Reservist at some point, I have no idea, I just know that the Town canceled its Reserve program a decade or two ago.

    The only former Reservist that I know of in this town is a bit of a conspiracy theorist and kinda dumb - When he ran for an elected office last year, he sent the whole town a campaign letter that had a copy of his Driver's License, Career LE license and ID card, CHL card, Reserve PD card, Social Security card, military discharge papers, etc, all with the numbers intact!!! - Hasn't he ever heard of ID theft???

    I emailed our ex-Reservist during his campaign and asked him why the Town canceled the Reserve program but he never responded. Hmmm....
    Last edited by TXCharlie; 02-09-06 at 12:53 PM.

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  20. #20
    Billiardnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie
    Our Town doesn't even have Reserve cops to take up the slack, because our Chief still lives in the 1960's, I think - He said in an email to me & the whole Town Council that Reserves only volunteer so they can have a badge & gun, not out of any sense of service to the community.
    I really think that is unfortunate to have that mindset. I owe my career to our reserve program. I was a reserve for 3 years prior to going full time, furthermore, when I got hired - our department usually hired folks out of the reserve program. Kind of a: we will scratch your back (hire you) if you scratch ours (donate your time, etc)

    On the flip side of the coin, I can see the argument of "just wanting a badge and gun" also. We had a few of those types but after they put a requirement that reserves had to put in 20 hours a month (2 shifts a month) those type of people soon became extinct

    Sorry - off topic
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