POLICE STRUCTURE AND ORGANIZATION
Federal Agencies, State/County/Municipal, A Table of Links, and Community Policing


    There are approximately 18,760 separate police agencies in the U.S. with approximately 940,275 employees and a combined annual budget of about $51 billion, of which the federal contribution is only about 15% and with part-time employees counted as half an employee.  Given the fact that most money to support the police establishment is raised locally, and the fact that two out of every three small towns in America have no police agency at all, the United States is far from a police state.  The 10th Amendment of the Constitution reserves police powers to the states, and both federalism and tradition have resulted in a fragmented police structure at lower levels of government; this fragmentation exemplified by the separation of local into two levels: municipal and county.  States also have special agencies or task forces separate from their state police or highway patrol; counties may have railroad or tribal police; and metropolitan cities may have special port, transit, causeway, housing, school, and/or capitol police.

    Counting the actual number of police agencies is a fine art, and some counting methods result in a total of well over 20,000 agencies, with indeed, some counts around 23,170 and others much higher.  One problem is how you count state police agencies.  Some states have a state police barracks in almost every county, and these can be counted separately since they report crime directly into the FBI's UCR system with a unique Originating Reporting Agency Identifier (ORI).  Other states, like Florida, have a vast amount of special purpose state police agencies, such as those devoted to wildlife, fire, and alcoholic beverage control (427 at last count).  In other places, at other levels (Texas, for example), constables are counted as a separate ORI from local government.  Regional special purpose task forces (such as for drug, gang, or terrorist control) exist at all levels of government, are constantly being created, and few are taken away from the counts after they have been decommissioned, or completed their work. 

    Count totals are further compounded by problems of classification at the local level.  Some local governments are true municipalities, while others are classified as townships or villages that may or may not have qualifying police agencies.  There is a surprisingly large number of housing districts and transit authorities in the United States (34,684 at last count) which obviously, do not all consider themselves as having their own police agencies.  A large number of independent school districts also exist (13,726) which are independent of any other government authority, and can have or not have their own police agency.  Many colleges and universities, both public and private, have their own police departments, although there is a tendency to not count the private college agencies since they often don't meet the DLEA definition (BJS Directory of Law Enforcement Agencies) of a law enforcement agency.  With multibranch campuses, the problem becomes one of whether you count the police agency at every academic site as a separate police agency.  Railway police agencies are generally counted at the county level, but hospital, port, airport, and tunnel police agencies are often counted at the local level.  Tribal police agencies also exist at many of the nation's 567 federally-recognized reservations, and it is unclear if they should be considered state, county, or local police. 

    State, county, and local governments are also frequently involved in consolidating or creating new police departments.  Massachusetts, for example, has abolished several county governments and assigned their police function to state agencies.  In other states (Michigan for example), a state police agency may be assigned to a single city or county, and for all practical purposes, is a local police agency.  Consolidation occurs when two or more departments are combined, and typically occurs in places where twin cities have come together or a city has grown so large it takes over the whole county.                    


    There are approximately 60 different federal police agencies, and most of them reside in either Justice or the Treasury Department.  Homeland Security, Defense, Interior, State, and Agriculture also have police agencies. There are also about 13 intelligence agencies that can be counted as law enforcement (if you like, although they don't have a law enforcement mandate), and also the military police, who can also be counted. 

    The Justice Dept. was created in 1870, and is responsible for enforcing laws passed by the U.S. Congress (federal crimes). Its primary agencies are listed below. The Treasury Dept. was established in 1789 and its enforcement function revolves around the collection of revenue. Its primary agencies are also listed below.  The Homeland Security Dept. was created in 2002, and with its creation, the Customs Bureau was broken into CBP and ICE.

LINKS TO THE BIG FEDERAL POLICE AGENCIES:

JUSTICE DEPT:

DEA

FBI

U.S. Marshals

TREASURY DEPT:

ATF

IRS

Secret Service

HOMELAND SECURITY:

ICE

CBP

TSA

Other federal: U.S. Postal Inspectors, 2nd Unofficial site for Border Patrol, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, U.S. Park Police, Bureau of Prisons, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, U.S. Capitol Police, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Trade Commission, Diplomatic Security Service, Indian Affairs, GSA-Federal Protective Services, and Amtrak.


    There are 26 agencies called Highway Patrol and 23 agencies called State Police (Hawaii doesn't have a state police agency per se, but a Department of Public Safety). Some of the first State Police agencies were the Texas Rangers (1835), the Colorado Mounted Rangers (1861), the PA Capitol Police (1895), the Arizona Rangers (1901), the New Mexico Mounted Police (1905), but the Pennsylvania Constabulary (1905) are usually recognized in most textbooks as the first full-service, non-volunteer agency. Highway Patrols usually but not always limit their authority to patrolling state and federal highways. State Police function much the same as local agencies but with statewide jurisdiction and state crime labs. Highway patrol states also have state crime labs, but under a different umbrella structure.

    Thirty-five states have additional agencies with police or investigative powers. These "limited purpose" agencies have familiar acronyms like ABC (Alcohol Beverage Control), DCI (Dept. of Criminal Investigation), DMV (Dept. of Motor Vehicles), or SBI (State Bureau of Investigation). Where these agencies exist, they often share power with their state police counterparts under an umbrella organization such as a Department of Public Safety (DPS), a Department of Law Enforcement (DLE), or a State Dept. of Justice (DOJ).

    When people think of County law enforcement, they usually think of a Sheriff's Office, and there are about 3,100 sheriffs in the U.S. Most of them are elected officials who exercise political control and influence and go to a County Board for money. Some counties (like Orleans Parish in Louisiana) have two sheriffs: one criminal and the other civil. Sheriffs, in general, have other duties besides law enforcement, such as running a jail, collecting taxes, serving papers, and courthouse security. A contract system also exists where cities contract with the Sheriff's Office for police services.

    Not all counties have Sheriff's Offices. Some, especially the larger ones, have County Police Departments run by a Chief of Police. Other places where a particular town has grown large and taken up practically the whole county have consolidated city and county departments. When such cases occur, there are usually funding problems in continuing to maintain the Sheriff's Office, the workload has become too much for the Sheriff, or county officials want to exert more power over law enforcement. Some counties have BOTH a Sheriff's Office and a County Police Department. Some places have NO county law enforcement.

    There are more municipal police departments (over 15,000) in the U.S. than any other kind of agency, and this number includes transit, school, and housing police.  There are about 800 departments that have only one officer, but NYPD is in a class by itself with about 40,000 regular officers and 13,000 special purpose transit, school, and housing officers (see NY). A complete list of ALL "special purpose" police agencies would include animal cruelty, beach, harbor, hospital, housing, port, railroad, sanitation, school, transit, and transportation authorities. These are usually separate municipal-level agencies, and should not be confused with specialized units belonging to a single department, such as airborne, band, bicycle, bomb, DARE, detective, forensics, gang, graffitti, HAZMAT, intelligence, internal affairs, K9, marine, motorcycle, mounted, narcotics, operations, organized crime, sex crimes, SWAT, or traffic.

    The vast majority of municipal departments are small, having 10 or fewer officers. The great number of these "micro" agencies helps keep the average size of all police departments in America around 25 sworn officers, not counting civilians, a measure of police strength (counting the civilians is a measure of professional growth). Larger, "macro" agencies with 1000 officers or more usually have specialized units, such as Crime Analysis and the occasional profiler unit. More "medium" to "large" sized agencies with 26-999 (average 150) officers usually maintain extensive order maintenance functions assigned to municipal "peacekeeping" agencies in general. Training to become a city or county police officer consists of attending a municipal police training academy which usually has an extensive curriculum for Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET).  There are also about 1000 campus law enforcement agencies in the U.S.

THE TABLE OF LINKS:

    In the following table (which is near-complete), what I've tried to do rather than produce just another alphabetical list of agencies is create some ways to do research on what police departments are doing right or wrong (at least as far as their web sites can tell us). The rankings are taken from an NCIA quality of life index with a 1 representing the BEST state to live in and 50 being the WORST state to live in. If you are interested in city-by-city comparisons on where it is safest to live, visit the Morgan Quitno Press site. Known or estimated sizes are given (if incorrect, please contact me), based on total employees, both sworn and unsworn positions.  The maximum base (top end) of the salary pay scale is given for selected cities (mostly the top fifty highest-paying) with the source for pay scale information coming from the BlueLine Compensation Survey.  Scroll or use the following shortcuts:

[AL][AK][AR][AZ][CA][CO][CT][DE][FL][GA][HI][IA][ID][IL][IN][KS][KY][LA][MD]
[MA][ME][MI][MN][MO][MS][MT][NC][ND][NE][NH][NJ][NM][NV][NY][OH][OK]
[OR][PA][RI][SC][SD][TN][TX][UT][VA][VT][WA][WI][WV][WY]

LINKS TO POLICE AGENCIES BY RANK ON WHERE BEST TO LIVE:

Rank:

State Agency:

Size:

County Agencies:

Size:

Major Cities:

Size:

1

North Dakota HP

600
Cass County S.O.

65
Bismark
Fargo
Grand Forks
Mandan
Minot
400
500
350
75
200

2

Maine SP
Mega-Site

530 Oxford County S.O.
Sagadahoc Co. S.O.
48
50
Augusta
Bangor
Kennebunk
Portland
56
100
150
57

3

New Hampshire SP

440 Hillsborough Co. S.O. 300 Berlin
Concord
Dover
Keene
Laconia
Manchester
Nashua

Portsmouth
Rochester
35
300
30
59
31
275
300
50
50

4

Iowa DPS

860 Pocahontas Co. S.O. 21 Cedar Rapids
Council Bluffs
Davenport
Des Moines ($54,000)
Sioux City
300
225
400
720
650

5

Minnesota DPS

1100 Lesueur County S.O.
Olmsted County S.O.
Steele County S.O.
Winona County S.O.
150
225
275
180
Duluth
Minneapolis ($58,000)
Rochester
St. Cloud
St. Paul
650
1200
325
210
1000

6

Nebraska HP
Mega-Site

890 Douglas County S.O.
Jefferson County S.O.

Lancaster County S.O.
150
250
80
Aurora
Bellevue

Lincoln
Omaha ($51,000)
Scottsbluff
40
100

375
900
200

7

South Dakota HP

600 Meade County S.O. 30 Aberdeen
Pierre
Rapid City
Sioux Falls ($52,000)
Sturgis
130
200
125
200
75

8

Wisconsin SP

800 Brown County S.O.
Dane County S.O.
Kenosha County S.O.
Racine County S.O.
Waukesha Co. S.O.
Wood County S.O.
130
100
120
120
110
100
Fond du Lac
Green Bay
Greenfield
Kenosha
Madison
Milwaukee ($59,000)
Oshkosh
175
250
115
275
400
2700
115

9

Oregon SP

850 Benton County S.O.
Douglas County S.O.
Marion County S.O.

Multnomah Co. S.O.
Washington Co. S.O.
120
130
110
300
170
Eugene ($55,000)
Medford
Portland ($62,000)
350
200
900

10

Utah DPS

650 Duchesne Co. S.O.
Emery County S.O.
Salt Lake Co. S.O.
120
100
350
Moab
Ogden
Provo
Salt Lake City ($51,000)
15
350
325
1000

11

Massachusetts SP

2300

Berkshire County 50 Bolton
Boston
($56,000)
Fall River
Lowell
Pittsfield
Salem
Springfield ($48,000)
Worcester ($51,000)
15
2600
25
240
200
275
300
250

12

Hawaii DPS

700     Honolulu
Maui
2600
300

13

Delaware SP

500 New Castle County PD 300 Dover
Rehoboth Beach
Wilmington
450
120
200

14

Montana HP

650 Gallatin County S.O.
Yellowstone Co. S.O.
70
75
Billings
Butte
Great Falls
Helena
Livingston
Missoula
200
350
300
120
80
70

15

Vermont DPS
&
Mega-Site

500 Windham County S.O. 150 Burlington
Colchester
Dover
Essex
Hartford
Montpelier
Newport City
Rutland
St. Albans
Winooski
230
40
6
4
30
200
17
100
10
15

16

Idaho DLE

500 Ada County S.O.
Bingham County S.O.
Bonner County S.O.

Kootenai County S.O.
100
120
100
110
Boise
Coeur d'Alene
Idaho Falls
Moscow
Pocatello
300
250
150
70
100

17

Wyoming HP
Fish & Game
Mega-List

700 Laramie County S.O.
Lincoln County S.O.
Sublette County S.O.
130
160
150
Casper
Cheyenne
Rock Springs
Sheridan
300
350
200
200

18

Washington SP

1000 Clark County S.O.
King County S.O.
Whatcom County S.O.
Yakima County S.O.
200
850
150
200
Bellingham
Bellevue
Seattle ($66,000)
Spokane ($62,000)
Olympia
Vancouver
160
270
1800
400
600
50

19

Connecticut SP I & II

650 New Haven Co. S.O. 350 Bridgeport
Clinton
East Hartford
Glastonbury
Hartford
New Haven
Orange
Waterbury
400
40
150
100
350
400
100
100

20

Rhode Island SP
Mega-Site

400     Coventry
East Providence
Newport
Pawtucket I & II
Providence
80
150
250
75
300

21

Kansas HP

2000 Ellis County S.O.
Finney County S.O.
Sedgwick County S.O.
50
70
355
Andover
Emporia
Haysville
Kansas City ($56,000)
Salina
Topeka
Udall
Wichita
20
200
100
1000
100
300
7
850

22

Pennsylvania SP

5200

Bucks County S.O.
Lancaster County S.O.
100
80
Erie
Harrisburg
Philadelphia
Pittsburgh ($55,000)
220
200
7100
3500

23

Colorado SP

1500 Arapahoe County S.O.
Boulder County S.O.
Pitkin County S.O.
150
300
100
Boulder
Colorado Springs
Denver ($69,000)
Fort Collins
Golden
Grand Junction
Pueblo
Windsor
500
800
1800
400
100
200
200
150

24

West Virginia SP

1300     Charleston
Clarksburg
Huntington
Parkersburg
Wheeling
500
40
300
150
85

25

Ohio HP
Mega-site

2400

Fairfield County S.O.
Hamilton County S.O.
Highland County S.O.
Madison County S.O.
Mahoning County S.O.
Ottawa County S.O.
Seneca County S.O.
150
175
125
150
200
175
125
Akron
Cincinnati ($55,000)
Cleveland
Columbus ($55,000)
Dayton ($53,000)
Sandusky
Toledo ($52,000)
900
2000
2000
1900
800
500
1000

26

New Mexico DPS

1500 Dona Ana County S.O.
San Juan County S.O.
Santa Fe County S.O.
200
220
350
Albuquerque
Los Alamos
Las Cruces
Santa Fe
1000
400
500
900

27

Maryland SP
Mega-Site

2300

Anne Arundle Co. SO
Baltimore Co. PD

Baltimore Co. SO
Frederick Co. S.O.
Montgomery Co. PD
Prince George Co. PD
Prince George Co. SO
St. Mary's Co. S.O.

Washington Co. S.O.
Wicomico Co. SO
100
1600
1000
300
1070
1500
300
200
175
150
Annapolis
BaltimoreI & II ($58,000)
Cumberland
Hagerstown
Rockville
400
3700
300
300
45

28

New Jersey SP
Mega-Site

3600

Atlantic County S.O.
Bergen County S.O.

Camden County S.O.

Gloucester County SO
Hudson County S.O.
Morris County S.O.
Norris County S.O.
Oceanco County S.O.
Union County P.D.
75
125
230

75
125
75
200
30
75
Atlantic City
Dover
Fairfield
Hamilton
Middletown
Montclair
Newark ($73,000)
Ocean
Palmyra
Ridgefield
Saddle Brook
Trenton
Willingboro
Woodbury
200
75
40
170
150
150
500
50
25
35
35
400
75
30

29

Virginia SP
Capitol PD
Mega-Site

2300

Amherst County S.O.
Chesterfield Co. S.O.
Richmond Co. S.O.
Roanoke County S.O.
200
350
300

135
Charlottesville
Lynchburg
Newport News
Norfolk
Portsmouth
Richmond
Roanoke
Washington DC Sites I & II & III & IV ($66,000)
130
250
400
500
150
350
300
4537
"

30

Indiana SP

1700

Dearborn County S.O.
Dekalb County S.O.
Jasper County S.O.
Knox County S.O.
Marion County S.O.
Owen County S.O.
Shelby County S.O.
Tippecanoe Co. S.O.
Vanderburgh Co. S.O.
Wabash Co. S.O.
150
175
225
125
150
170
120
100
200
100
Beech Grove
Bloomington

Clarksville
Connersville
Evansville ($50,000)
Fort Wayne
Gary
Greencastle
Indianapolis ($47,000)
Munster
Portage
Russiaville
Vincennes
Warsaw
70
200
100
200
350
275
900
100
1000
150
100
100
200
100

31

Alaska DPS

2000     Anchorage
Craig
Fairbanks
Juneau
North Pole
Palmer
550
100
500
700
100
100

32

Tennessee DPS

2000 Anderson County S.O.
Bradley County S.O.
Knox County S.O.
150
45
150
Chattanooga
Knoxville
Memphis ($47,000)
Nashville ($51,000)
550
650
2400
2000

33

Missouri DPS
Capitol Police

3000 Camden County S.O.
Clay County S.O.
Jefferson County S.O.
Phelps County S.O.
Platte County S.O.
St. Charles Co. S.O.
St. Louis County P.D.
Warren County S.O.
200
300
250
225
275
200
350
200
Cape Girardeau
Columbia
Independence
Jefferson City
Joplin
Kansas City

Rolla
Springfield ($54,000)
St. Joseph
St. Louis
200
300
250
500
300
1850
300
500
250
2200

34

Nevada HP

2000 Clark County S.O. 200 Carson City
Las Vegas ($68,000)
Reno ($57,000)
300
2200
900

35

Illinois SP
Mega-Site

3400

Cook County S.O.
Rock Island Co. S.O.
Sangamon Co. S.O.
5200
300
350
Aurora ($65,000)
Belleville
Bloomington
Chicago
($67,000)
Naperville
Normal
Peoria ($59,000)
Rockford
Springfield
Wheaton
290
96
220
17000
300
220
400
316
350
92

36

Kentucky SP

2500 Allen County S.O.
Boyd County S.O.
Fulton County S.O.
150
175
125
Bowling Green
Frankfort
Lexington
Louisville ($48,000)
Paducah
350
300
1000
1200
300

37

Georgia DPS
B of I

2500 Bartow County S.O.
Cherokee Co. S.O.
Clayton Co. S.O.
Coweta Co. S.O.
DeKalb Co. S.O.
Forsyth Co. S.O.
Fulton Co. S.O.
Gwinnett Co. S.O.
Henry Co. S.O.
Liberty Co. S.O.
Oconee Co. S.O.
Wilkes Co. S.O.
100
75
125
100
115
125
85
95
100
40
25
100
Acworth
Atlanta

Columbus
Dalton
Hazlehurst
Monroe
Remerton
Roswell
Savannah
Smyrna
St. Mary's
Sylvania
50
2200
200
80
100
45
10
100
375
50
85
50

38

Michigan SP

3000

Genesee County S.O.
Wexford County S.O.
200
225
Ann Arbor
Detroit ($69,000)
Flint
Grand Rapids
Lansing
Sault Ste. Marie
300
4500
500
300
350
250

39

New York SP
Mega-Site

4700 Nassau County PD
Suffolk County PD ($85,000)
Monroe County SO
3400
3300
250
Albany
Buffalo ($60,000)
Ithaca
New York City ($59,000)
NYC Transit
NYC School
NYC Housing
NYC Port Police
Rochester ($59,000)
Syracuse
Utica
650
500
325
36500
4600
3200
2700
1700
350
400
170

40

Arkansas SP

2500 Independence Co. S.O.
Pulaski County S.O.
250
300
El Dorado
Fort Smith
Hot Springs
Little Rock
Pine Bluff
Texarkana
250
300
120
1000
350
400

41

North Carolina HP
Mega-site I & II

2200 Cumberland Co. S.O.
Haywood Co. S.O.
McDowell Co. S.O.
Mecklenburg Co. S.O.
Nash Co. S.O.
Wake County S.O.
Wayne County S.O.
250
125
100
300
65
200
200
Carolina Beach
Asheville
Charlotte
Durham
Rocky Mount
Raleigh ($64,000)
Winston-Salem
100
350
1700
400
230
800
750

42

Arizona DPS
Mega-List

2000 Maricopa County S.O.
Pima County S.O.
2000
1050
Flagstaff
Mesa
Phoenix ($61,000)
Tempe
Tucson
Yuma
800
1000
2700
650
700
300

43

Florida DLE
Mega-Site

2200

Broward Co. S.O.
Jacksonville Co. S.O.
Polk County S.O.
Mega-Site
3100
2500
500
n/a
Fort Lauderdale ($60,000)
Jacksonville
Jacksonville Beach
Miami & Its History
Miami Beach
Orlando ($58,000)
Palm Beach
St. Petersburg ($53,000)
Tallahassee
Tampa ($71,000)
500
1000
350
3000
550
1000
300
540
800
1200

44

Oklahoma DPS

2200 Blaine County S.O.
Carter County S.O.
Oklahoma Co. S.O.
Seminole Co. S.O.
Tulsa Co. S.O.
200
150
400
100
350
Arapaho
Ardmore
Broken Arrow
Enid
Ft. Sill Military
Glenpool
Lawton
Moore

Norman
Oklahoma City ($58,000)
Perry
Tulsa I & II
100
100
113
100
150
50
50

62
175
1030
27
1100

45

South Carolina
Mega-Site
FOP

1100 Anderson County S.O.
Charleston Co. S.O.
Greenville Co. S.O.
Spartanburg Co. S.O.
200
350
300
200
Abbeville
Aiken
Beaufort City

Charleston ($45,000)
Clemson
Columbia
Greenville
Mount Pleasant
Myrtle Beach
Spartanburg
50
100
150

1000
200
500
300
125
200
250

46

Mississippi DPS
Mega-Site

1500 Lee County S.O. 150 Biloxi
Greenville
Hattiesburg
Jackson
unofficial Meridian
Tupelo
350
200
300
400
110
150

47

Alabama DPS

1500 Jefferson County S.O.
Limestone Co. S.O.
Madison County S.O.
Tuscaloosa Co. S.O.
600
250
200
200
Bessemer
Birmingham
Dothan
Gadsden
Huntsville
Mobile
Montgomery
125
800
350
300
250
400
500

48

California HP
Mega-Site

9350

Fresno County S.O.
Kern County S.O.
Los Angeles County SO Site I
& II
Marin County S.O.
Nevada County S.O.
Placer County S.O.
San Bernardino S.O.
Santa Barbara Co. SO
San Diego Co. SO

400
1050
12000
"
800
300
500
600
700
3800
Bakersfield
Davis
Fresno
Los Angeles ($72,000)
LA School PD
Menlo Park

Oakland
Sacramento
San Bernardino ($77,000)
San Diego
San Francisco ($82,000)
San Jose
Santa Barbara
Vacaville
550
750
800
12000
280
500
1000
1200
900
2600
2200
1700
800
300

49

Texas DPS
ABC
Mega-Site

5800

Bexar County S.O.
Clay County S.O.
Collin County S.O.
Denton County S.O.
Harris County S.O.
Hays County S.O.
Hidalgo County S.O.
Matagorda Co. S.O.
McLennan Co. S.O.
Midland County S.O.
Tarrant County S.O.
Travis County S.O.
Williamson Co. S.O.
1500
25
200
250
3400
150
250
250
350
200
150
275
150
Amarillo
Austin ($74,000)
Beaumont
Corpus Christi
Dallas
El Paso
Ft. Worth
Galveston
Houston
unofficial Houston
Longview
Plano
San Antonio ($50,000)
300
1000
375
600
3700
650
1500
450
7000
"
150
250
2100

50

Louisiana SP
Causeway PD

Mega-Site

2400 Acadia Parish S.O.
Caddo Parish S.O.

Orleans Parish S.O.
Rapides Parish S.O.
St. Bernard Parish SO

St. Charles Parish S.O.
200
500
850
400
350
350
Alexandria
Baton Rouge
Lafayette
Lake Charles
Mandeville
Monroe
New OrleansI & II
Shreveport
West Monroe
450
1500
275
400
50
250
2100
500
94

[AL][AK][AR][AZ][CA][CO][CT][DE][FL][GA][HI][IA][ID][IL][IN][KS][KY][LA][MD]
[MA][ME][MI][MN][MO][MS][MT][NC][ND][NE][NH][NJ][NM][NV][NY][OH][OK]
[OR][PA][RI][SC][SD][TN][TX][UT][VA][VT][WA][WI][WV][WY]

MEGA-LIST OF COMMUNITY POLICING
AND PROBLEM SOLVING PROGRAMS

Top Ten List of Most Common Programs:

1. Public Education/Media Relations (98%)
2. Neighborhood Watch Programs (97%)
3. Special Problem Solving Units (91%)
4. Foot/Horse Patrol (88%)
5. Fixed Patrol Assignments (87%)
6. Neighborhood Town Meetings (86%)
7. Auxiliary Volunteer Programs (68%)
8. Victim Recontact Programs (62%)
9. Community Newsletters/websites (49%)
10. Storefront Ministations (41%)

ACAR--Assigned Community Area of Responsibility. Uses a self-managed, fixed team of officers who do not have to respond to routine calls for service and only meet with a project manager once a week. Nontraditional weekly effort reports are also filed.

ACCREDITATION PROGRAMS--National-level recognition for accomplishment in meeting a set of 438 CALEA standards, complying with written policy requirements, and passing a site review. Not necessarily CP, but usually associated with positioning for change.

ADOPT-A-COP--Residency-type program in which community residents get to take care of and know the beat officer like a family member. Similar to 1996 federally funded Adopt A Police Agency program. (Torrance, CA PD)

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROGRAMS--Selective recruitment mechanisms which increase application or acceptance rate for minorities thru 5 year plans, 4/5ths rule, or dipping down standards.

ARE YOU OK? PROGRAM-- Checks on the welfare of senior citizens once a week; affiliated with the national Triad program.

ART PROGRAMS--Every quarter, police station hangs artwork by juveniles and community residents throughout the station. Police also organize other art exhibits and local cable access channel coverage. Murals painted in multi-ethnic neighborhoods also work well.

ASAP--After School Activities Programs; hobby, sports, or other activities. Makes use of school facilities late into evening, sometimes called "Midnight Basketball" programs.

AWARDS PROGRAMS--Special awards given to Good Citizens who perform honorary deeds or assisted with law enforcement, or were just simply observed displaying good manners while driving.

BASIC CAR PLANS--A type of team policing where city is subdivided by computer-generated crime occurrence data and team of nine officers given 24-hour responsibility for specific subdivision on permanent assignment to develop proprietary interest thru formal and informal meetings with public.

BEAT COMMANDER SYSTEMS--Police sergeant given command of 20 men including detectives who only investigate crimes in the beat command area on permanent assignment and closely monitored for job satisfaction and efficiency at improving citizen satisfaction.

BEST COP ON THE BLOCK PROGRAM--Local recognition by residents or merchants of officer who avoids a shooting or talks a suspect into custody, reinforcement of non-aggressive, violence-reduction behavior.

BILINGUAL PROGRAMS--Various efforts at bilingual public announcements, education programs, or incentive pay for dual language officers. The Houston Experiment, for example, showed the benefits of police newsletters published in Spanish.

BLUE CREW--Officers who rap, form a band, and throw parties in the community at teen dances or at skating rinks. (Middletown, Conn. PD)

BONA FIDE OCCUPATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS--Basing pre-employment standards on duties that job audit or scientific research shows related to job. Requires Job Task Analysis. Not necessarily CP, but important process required to change job descriptions.

BOY SCOUT EXPLORER TROOPS--Special scouting organizations interested in police-related subjects offering escort services, Christmas parties, dinners for those fearful of crime, ride-alongs. Almost every big city police department has an Explorer Troop.

BUMPER STICKER PROGRAMS--Distribution of car stickers to make public responsive to police perception of problems such as "Support law enforcement"' or the obviously outdated "Next time you need help, call a hippie". Sound bites, jingles, and slogans.

CAPS--Chicago's Alternative Policing Strategy. An ambitious program based around monthly meetings between community residents and beat officers; uses problem solving and partnership building as well as involvement with other city agencies to address quality of life issues. (Chicago PD)

CARY--Cooperation for At Risk Youths. A delinquency prevention program in which police help identify and assess youth who are at risk due to antisocial behavior, drug involvement, gang activity, and/or parental neglect. Police, schools, and counseling centers then jointly coeducate these youth and tailor individualized treatment plans. (Monrovia, CA PD)

CAST--Community Action Support Team. Medical analogy for weed-and-seed type program in which raids and crackdowns are used to "break" the troubled neighborhood and then anti-drug rallies and other programs help "heal" or provide the cast.

CAT--Combat Auto Theft (Example #2) Residents sign agreement asking officers to stop their vehicle if it is being driven during target hours (e.g. 1am-6am). Vehicles have window sticker or other marking to indicate participation in the program.

C.C.P.P.--Citywide Crime Prevention Program, use of block watches, home security checks, and property identification. The Seattle Experiment showed this was especially helpful with renters.

CASE AUGMENTATION PROCEDURES--Specialized units such as major crime bureaus or career offender units to enhance detective performance; also called "Habitual" or "Career" Criminal Units. Not necessarily CP, but can be problem-solving oriented. Involves numerous constitutional issues.

CITIZEN POLICE ALERT PROGRAMS--Efforts to involve citizens in reporting suspicious behaviors, finding missing or wanted persons, and similar to block watchers and crimestoppers programs but often including citizen patrols after training and task force formation along with the occasional rewards program.

CITY-WITHIN-A-CITY--Program in which neighborhoods are rated fragile or threatened, based on infrastructure and housing conditions, and creation of satellite city halls in those neighborhoods to provide better access to city services. (Charlotte, NC PD)

CITIZEN SATISFACTION SURVEYS--Interviews are conducted with citizens randomly selected who had recent contact with system and asked how well they were served, or alternatively, opinion forms sent out with tax bills. (Philadelphia, PA)

CIVILIAN REVIEW AND CIVILIAN OVERSIGHT BOARDS--Blue ribbon or cross sectional representation of community leaders, independent of department, selected by mayor, have direct oversight on the proper punishment of police misconduct, use of force complaints, and policy recommendations. Three classes of civilian boards exist.

CLERGY-POLICE PROGRAMS--Central committees of representatives from different denominations established to universally condemn gang violence, for example, and discuss ways police can prevent gang delinquency or recruit people interested in police work. (NYC 73rd Precinct)

COFFEE KLATCH PROGRAMS--Two-person teams or a commander who arranges neighborhood couples or city council members together for an informal morning or evening of coffee and conversation, sometimes showing short presentations. An old program regularly featured on Dragnet TV show, and replaced mostly today by email and Internet discussion groups. "Klatsch" is German for "gossip".

COMMUNITY-ORIENTED SCOOTER PROGRAMS-- Crime prevention-oriented scooter patrol assigned to work with scout cars and connected by CB, and used primarily by campus, corporate, or forestry police.

COMMUNITY RADIOWATCH PROGRAMS--Citizens with CB or HAM radios urged to report suspicious characters and events. (London UK Police)

COMMUNITY-RELATIONS TRAILER PROGRAMS--Specially-equipped house trailers or mobile vans towed or driven to various neighborhoods and schools generally following a civil disturbance or for public education. Also called Mobile Command Posts. (San Diego SD)

COMMUNITY RESOCIALIZATION or RENTRY PROGRAMS--Efforts at establishing interagency cooperation and coordination for delinquency prevention and control without relying upon schools, police, or courts exclusively; liaison and referrals with mental health and other social service agencies, and use of ex-offenders as counselors. (Bridgeport, CT)

COMSTAT--Complaint Statistics--New technique where weekly community policing meetings are held all around city, and precinct commanders and other police executives are rotated on a regular basis, and immediate accountability is required every 5 weeks from the executives in front of the others at staff meetings to see if crime goes down under their watch.

C.O.M.S.E.C.--Community Sector Team Policing--Decentralized program based on organizational change & community involvement but focusing on index crimes. First developed in Cincinnati about the same time Team Policing was experimented with.

COP ON CAMPUS PROGRAMS--Similar to "officer friendly" programs, but on campus one or two days a week during lunch hours answering questions and discussing issues aimed at students interested in law enforcement careers. (Hampton, VA PD)

C.O.P.E.--Citizen Oriented Police Enforcement--1982-94 program which used door-to-door fear of crime surveys to target problem solving efforts, intensive foot or small vehicle patrol and other door-to-door proactive contacts also used. (Baltimore Co. PD)

COP'RZ--Use of officers who can rap or play rock music to form a band that throws parties in the community at teen dances or at skating rinks. (Dayton, Ohio PD)

COPS & JOCKS--Program that breaks down barriers between high school athletes and law enforcement officers. (Los Angeles Co. SO)

C.O.R.T.--Community Organizing Response Team, police help citizens organize council or block meetings where they devise their own programs.

COURTEOUS FIELD INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES--A type of field training in which non-harassing, courteous, and efficient interrogation is used on suspicious individuals, with officers monitored by supervisor and officers leaving cards bearing their name and badge number.

CPOP--Community Patrol Officers Program, use of volunteers or vigilantee groups such as Guardian Angels or Ministers of Islam to reduce fear of crime

CPTED--Crime Prevention Thru Environmental Design, use of security surveys, security devices, lighting projects, landscape design, and other "Target Hardening"; sometimes called Operation Safe Streets and by other names.

CRIME CONTROL TEAMS--Decentralized unit relieved of routine, noncriminal duties, and given responsibility for controlling serious crime, apprehending offenders, conducting investigations, and increasing clearance rates in a small area of city.

CRIME PREVENTION CLINICS--Public relations-style presentations to encourage preventive steps citizens can take themselves, inform about police services, and promote mutual understanding and cooperation.

CRIMESTOPPERS (Example #2)--Crime reporting or secret witness program that offers cash rewards for anonymous phoned-in tips.

DANGEROUS TOYS TURN-IN DAY--Also known as gun buy-back programs.

D.A.R.E.--Drug Abuse Resistance Education--Brings police into fifth or sixth grade to instruct children about dangers of drug abuse for several times throughout the semester. Numerous police departments have DARE programs.

D.A.R.T.--Directed Area Responsibility Teams--Encouragement of innovation problem-solving with team policing in areas experiencing rapid population growth.

DEAR JOHN LETTERS--Anti-prostitution program in which each person convicted of soliciting a prostitute receives a letter from the Chief, stamped confidential and mailed to home address, reminding the individual that patronizing is a crime and about the dangers of being exposed to disease (St. Petersburg PD). Other departments post pictures on a website (St. Paul PD). 

DEMILITARIZATION--Abolishing uniforms and substituting blazers or civilian clothing, often upgrading job requirements to require college education, changing job titles to community service officer as reflected in nameplates and numerous other pins on clothing.

DETACHED WORKER PROGRAMS--Professional social workers given arrest powers and having personal relationships with gang members act in unstructured program to redirect gang activities, involve parents, and reestablish relationships between gang and other community groups.

DETAIL CARS--Patrol units not tied to the radio but to the target area, staffed during busiest times of day, to attend scheduled community meetings and make proactive citizen contacts. (Buffalo, NY PD)

DIFFERENTIAL RESPONSE--Procedures for screening out/stacking up calls for service that are nonemergencies, often with software programs like Computer Aided Dispatch which analyze if immediate response needed.

DIRECTED PATROL--Called Operation Maximum Effort in some places, D-runs in other places; involves patrolling and parking in trouble spots when not committed to other calls.

DISCRETION EXPANSION/RESTRICTION--Written procedures expanding or restricting (encouraging/discouraging) conditions of officer decision-making beyond the usual guidelines and standard operating procedures. Restrictions tend to be heavy on use of force and hot pursuit, but fairly loose on misdemeanor and disturbance situations.

DRUG WATCH--Like Neighborhood Watch but citizens usually more active with notepads, cameras, CB radios, or whistles to alert authorities to drug dealing.

E.A.R.S.--Enforcement And Rescue Surveillance--A national group that provides police and paramedic training to citizens who then act as eyes and ears of police and assist with emergency services.

EARLY WARNING SYSTEMS--Computerized complaint tracking systems on problem officers. After certain number of incidents, officers have review for hearing and/or performance evaluation.

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS--Programs to detect and help officers with alcohol/drug problems, counseling referrals, and stress leave.

EX-OFFENDER EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS--Efforts to recruit screened ex-offenders to criminal justice work.

EXPERIMENTAL POLICING--generally refers to any kind of victim recontact program, foreign language requirement, team policing, TQM, Comsec; but often involves ministation idea of electronic town hall. In "electronic" model, police act as broker or information desk for city services using e-mail system.

FAMILY CRISIS INTERVENTION PROJECTS--Patrol officers are encouraged and trained in proper skills for dealing with immediate family problems and referring persons in need of assistance to the appropriate agency.

FEAR OF CRIME PROJECTS--Broken windows approach to public incivilities, litter, and nuisances, combined with surveys and/or door-to-door interviews.

FOOTBRIDGE PROGRAMS--New arrivals to city are greeted by uniformed beat officer similar to welcome wagon programs, aimed at elderly who live alone and provides information about city services and crime prevention programs.

FOOT PATROLS--Use of walking beats during all or part of shift, and multi-speed bicycles for silent patrol, better community contact and mobility as burglary-prevention technique in areas not accessible to motor patrol.

GANG INTELLIGENCE UNITS--Inter-agency liaisons often involving citizens, incarcerated offenders, file keeping, and electronic surveillance. Not necessarily CP, but can be part of problem-solving approach.

GOTCHA CARDS--Use of cards left for owners when crime-prone spots are encountered; e.g. "If I was a criminal, I could have entered your house easily..."

GUARDIAN ANGELS--Police auxillaries who patrol, assist, and provide role models for delinquent youth.

HIGH INTENSITY PATROL--An active type of split force policing where some officers disguise themselves as civilians in taverns, for example, and follow or report potential DUI offenders as they leave.

HIGHER EDUCATIONAL STANDARDS--Hiring of college educated personnel in social science specialties or various education incentive pay systems.

HOOD IN THE WOODS--Outward Bound-type program in which inner-city youths spend time out in the woods to learn social and interpersonal skills. (Hartford PD)

HOSTAGE NEGOTIATION TEAMS--Specially trained units of police psychologists to resolve dangerous situations without force; often involved in community relations work.

HUMAN RELATIONS TRAINING PROGRAMS--Forty hours or more of classroom instruction in social science principles and theories of poverty, discrimination, small group dynamics, and individual differences; or alternatively preservice and inservice training in community policing using ethical scenario approach. Sometimes called Diversity or Sensitivity Training.

INTERACTIVE COMMUNITY POLICING--Fully automated process of implementing and evaluating community policing using field laptop computers and a mainframe geotracking program formatted for reporting the most commonly performed community policing activities. Activities are rated in terms of public interest, economic development, and overall effectiveness.

INTERACTIVE PATROL PROJECTS--Combining patrol zones on the basis of good or bad relations with police and conducting surveys or experiments to obtain citizen feedback on perceptions of neighborhood problems; used as citizen input on planning for future patrol tactics.

JUST SAY HI PROGRAMS--Membership cards given to students who wave or yell hi to police officers as they see them; advertised by popular sports figures, comic or coloring books, often referred to as grin and wave squads.

JUST SAY NO PROGRAMS--Use of media role models to get the Partnership for a Drug Free America message out.

LANDLORD-TENANT COMPLAINT PROGRAMS--Specially trained officers or deputies who deal with rights of individuals in landlord-tenant conflicts, consumer-fraud complaints, and other civil situations who explain rights and procedures to disputants, attempt some mediation, advise consultation with attorneys, and move conflict out of the courtroom.

LIVE DISPATCH FEEDS--Radio or Internet simulcasts of police channel so citizens can listen to police operations in real time. Not necessarily CP, but represents an openness to the community and creative use of technology, mainly Internet technology.

LOFT--Learning Opportunities For Teens. Recreational and educational activities designed for after school hours, at night, and on weekends. (Benton Harbor, Mich. PD)

McGRUFF TAKE A BITE OUT OF CRIME CAMPAIGN--Public service announcements aiming to do for crime prevention what Smokey the Bear did for fire prevention.

MANDATORY ENTRY AGE RESTRICTIONS--Restricting entry level candidacy to applicants age 25 or older to screen out those in violence prone years.

MENTORING FOR RETENTION--Providing support to new officers. Usually focused on females and minorities.

MISSING CHILDREN PROGRAMS--Use of milk cartons, flyers, web sites, to display missing children's photos, wanted fugitives, rewards. Already numerous web sites for Missing Persons and Wanted Persons.

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT-once a year, citizens leave outside light on in symbolic unison over need for crime prevention. Tends to involve inter-city competitions.

NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COUNCILS--Community leaders invited or elected to explore community needs and meet with assigned police officers to consider specific patrol tactics and manpower scheduling and to voice complaints and commend personnel; council members given compensation, clerical and communication assistance.

NEIGHBORHOOD POLICE TEAMS--Similar to beat commander system but with patrol officers taking greater investigative initiative with goal of increased job motivation and quick response time.

NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICE CENTERS--The idea of one-stop shopping for citizens using police substations to serve as alternative to bureaucratic government. (Miami PD)

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH (Example is Sheriff Harry Lee's page, see example #2)--Police instruction of citizens in home-security measures and enlisting their assistance in watching neighbors' homes; sometimes call blockwatch programs if signs put on block.

NON-EMERGENCY NUMBERS (Like 311) - Chicago, Dallas, and Las Vegas, for example, use it with some effectiveness. Read about the evolution of it at this link.

OFFICER FRIENDLY PROGRAMS--Patrolmen with specialized training and skills visit classrooms and other speaking engagements during periods of little activity on shift or during lunch hours, sometimes reinforced by coloring books. (Clearwater, FL PD)

OPEN COMMUNITY MEETINGS--Regularly-scheduled public meetings with prepared agenda and time for general discussion but not a pre-packaged public relations presentation. Often aimed at ethnic communities or neighborhoods. (San Diego PD)

OPEN HOUSE PROGRAMS--Annual invitations to public to tour offices with special demonstrations of equipment, canine corps, or defense tactics designed to show people that they are welcome and can make friendships, often aimed at university students majoring in criminal justice. (Hoffman Estates, IL PD)

OPERATION 25--Saturation patrol which doubles levels at target times, usually around bars when closing, or at any community nuisance.

OPERATION 100--Violence reduction/avoidance training programs aimed at how to avoid shooting, how to round up illegal firearms (Operation Ceasefire), or how to do more hostage negotiating with offenders. Also a term used to describe drug raids.

OPERATION CEASE FIRE--An anti-gang "hot spot" program aimed at eliminating deaths of young people by guns which taps the knowledge of a wide range of stakeholders, including clergy, community leaders, academics, and gang members themselves. 

OPERATION CLEAN SWEEP--Sweeps, raids, jump-out squads aimed at supply reduction in war on drugs targeted to problem streetcorners, often used with Weed & Seed programs.

OPERATION HELP PROGRAMS--Social worker on police call to help with juvenile problems, provide help with remedial work on socioeconomic problems.

OPERATION HOT WHEELS--Use of stickers saying "This vehicle paid for by use of seized drug assets" or "confiscated by narcotics unit". They look good in parades, but some opinion says police driving confiscated vehicles puts the department in a bad light.

OPERATION IDENTIFICATION--Police provision of engraving tools and stickers for citizens to mark valuables for burglary prevention.

OPERATION NIGHT LIGHT--An enhanced supervision program involving police and correctional agencies in joint supervision or joint performance of functions such as neighborhood patrols or information sharing for persons on probation or parole and/or gang problems. Police/probation teams go out after curfew in various parks and street corners to demonstrate that probation and police officers are working together. (Boston PD)

OPERATION NIGHTSIGHT--Use of loaned, donated, or military-obtained nighttime video surveillance equipment to monitor hot spots or street corners; use of citizens by day to record license plates & use cameras, with or without film.

OPERATION PRESSURE POINT--reverse buy-bust stings aimed at demand reduction in war on drugs, develops list of users and snitches. (St. Clair, IL SD)

OPERATION SAFE STREETS--A weed and seed type program in which police use undercover tactics to remove undesirable people, and then move in with community organizing and development tactics.

OPERATION SENIOR SAFE SHOPPING--escort services for senior citizens, also called TRIAD programs for the elderly, which tends to be monopolized by Sheriff's departments.

PACE--Police Assisted Community Enhancement, refers to any sort of graffitti removal program where criminal justice employees and citizens work together.

PALS--Participate and Learn Skills or Police Awareness Learning Safety, a family-based program targeting a housing project, recruiting parental talent, and offering 20 or so after-school programs, such as basic skills, sports, music, dancing, hobbies.

PARENTAL REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAMS--Parents reimburse taxpayers for cost of processing and jailing repeat juvenile offenders. Also called parental accountability or responsibility programs, which sometimes jail the parents, and the movement for this first got started in Silverton, Oregon in early 1995.

PAROLE NOTIFICATION PROGRAMS--Use of door-to-door flyers or a web site database registry to notify community about returning ex-convicts for certain crimes. Also called sex offender notification programs, or Megan's Law, and don't generally apply to offenders released before 1997.

PATROL ACTIVITY CARDS--Rural/small town program in which night shift officers leave business cards in residents' newspaper boxes indicating date and time the area was patrolled and that all was quiet, and often combined with Neighborhood Watch on Patrol (NWOP). (Sagamore Hills, Ohio PD)

PEP--Parent Education Programs. Monthly meetings in which parents and extended family members of at risk youth participate in analysis of household structures, behavioral management strategies, and citizenship responsibilities. (Toledo, OH PD)

PEPKIDS--Parents, Educators, Police, Kids, involves a kind of scared straight program where everyone but the kid know its a mock arrest.

PERSONNEL REASSIGNMENTS--Officers with difficulty controlling their emotions, cannot endure verbal abuse, or who exhibit strong racial or class bias are reassigned to sectors where community relations are good, off the street, or to station house assignment.

POLICE ATHLETIC LEAGUES--Volunteer programs in conjunction with boys clubs or other business/fraternal organizations; solicit funds for baseball, football, basketball, track, boxing, and swimming teams. (Minneapolis PD)

POLICE-COMMUNITY RELATIONS INSTITUTES--Week-long meetings with various leaders to discuss in-depth problems; usually held in a university setting as administration of justice or brotherhood week; Public Education activities also called Symposiums.

POLICE CORPS--Federal loan guarantees, modeling after ROTC programs where 4-year college scholarships offered in return for 3-year obligation of police service.

POLICE MINISTATIONS--Establishment of decentralized neighborhood-based precincts in run-down storefronts around the city to guide confused citizens thru bureaucratic maze of municipal government and handle complaints such as uncollected garbage that require attention from other agencies; serve as little city halls; can also be placed in shopping malls. Varieties include the Koban model

POLICE-PROBATION-YOUTH DISCUSSION GROUPS--Informal peer group interactions similar to psychodrama where actual cases are discussed to provide knowledge of law and adequate explanations for police actions in specific incidents so that misunderstandings can be clarified before they become compounded.

POLICE TRADING CARDS--Decks of cards with information about individual officers handed out to 12 year olds as collectibles and to open lines of communication with youth. (Escanaba, WI PD)

POLICE WEEK PROGRAMS--Annual media events usually sponsored by Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc. and designed to awaken the public to the role played by police in the community; uses tours, talks, and demonstrations; sometimes called "Law Enforcement Day".

PREVENTIVE PATROL--Avoidance of predictability, police told to patrol unsystematically to increase visibility; basis of Kansas City Experiment which showed this didn't work very well.

PROBLEM-ORIENTED POLICING--use of crime problem analysis, proactive contacts and creative thinking, focuses on community decay and problems that can only be solved using nonarrest options.

PROJECT PATHE--Positive Action Thru Holistic Education, a typical school-based program involving student input, basic skills tutoring, change in disciplinary climate, career and mental health counseling.

PUBLIC EDUCATION PROGRAMS--Attempts at generating support for more police, salary increases, or equipment, telling how cooperative citizens can avoid becoming a victim and showing how to work more effectively with police thru dissemination of information to the media via news conferences or media ride-alongs.

PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICERS--PIOs are assigned full-time to public relations duties, or in small departments as the juvenile officer; they establish police-media guidelines and funnel op-ed pieces to the media. Most of the issues surrounding media relations relate to access and videotaping at crime scenes.

PUBLIC RELATIONS PROGRAMS--Billboards, slogans, bumper stickers, and much more, including programs-of-the-month intended to serve needs of police and information needs of the public. (St. Marys, PA PD)

QUALITY SERVICE AUDITS--Callback programs to users of police services to elicit feedback on citizen satisfaction with services. Often used as part of personnel decisions.

RIDE-ALONG PROGRAMS (Example is Carbondale, see Example #2)--Hostile or critical members of community invited to accompany patrol officers to observe the complexities of police work and evaluate the experience, officers, and the department as a whole; often a standard part of university internship experience.

ROADS (Realistic Options, Alternatives and Decisions) PROGRAM--an educational tour which is intended to allow area youth the opportunity to witness first hand the consequences of criminal activity and the harsh reality of incarceration.

SAFE HOUSE PROGRAM--Houses in high-crime neighborhoods with signs of helping hand in windows where children can duck into in case of trouble or upon seeing suspicious characters.

SECTOR PATROL--Small town program in which city is divided into sectors based on common attributes such as population density, occupant age, housing style, etc., and an officer is assigned to each sector responsible for holding meetings to identify problems.

SELECTIVE RECRUITMENT PROGRAMS--Psychological tests given to police applicants to examine if desirable for police work; includes sentence completion tests, authoritarianism scales, preference schedules, personality inventories to test for emotional or character disorders such as a desire to legitimatize criminal impulses.

SENIOR/CHILD I.D. PROGRAM--gives citizens a permanent record of identifying information to their family members. The ID card provides fingerprints, height, weight, eye color, hair color, distinguishing marks, and other descriptive information. It is recommended that this card be kept with a family’s important documents

SOUND BITE PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS--Efforts to come up with snappy, little sayings that get the police message across, like "You Booze, You Lose" or "Click It or Ticket". (Alabama Click It or Ticket)

SPEAKERS BUREAU PROGRAMS--Departmental offers to provide list of different speakers on specialized topics such as narcotics, canine corps, or traffic control for any community group, leaving behind topical pamphlets but avoiding debates.

SPLIT FORCE POLICING--Idea of using one portion of force for responding to calls regularly and another portion assigned to directed patrol.

SPOUSE SUPPORT GROUPS--Group counseling for officers and their spouses that acknowledge marital problems and provide help to avoid divorce.

STOREFRONT OFFICES--Police ministations to reach out and touch the public, often coupled with foot patrol; sometimes used in sting operations where police pose as fence.

STRATEGIC PLANNING--Planning to achieve an organization's potential; is both a document and a process that consolidates mission, defines new roles for everyone, focuses upon changing the organizational culture, and remains flexible.

STREET LIGHTING PROJECTS--Fear of crime reduction strategies involving citizen-officer cooperation on design and placement of street lights.

STRICT GUIDELINES ON USE OF EMERGENCY TECHNIQUES--Supervisors enforce elimination of superfluous police cars at crowd-attracting scenes and the abuse of sirens, flashers, and high-speed driving to attract unnecessary attention.

SWAT--Social Weapons and Tactics. A program designed for multifamily housing areas that educates landlords/managers/rental owners about CPTED principles and strategies so that steps can be taken to remove problem residents before police action is necessary. (Aurora, Colo. PD)

TALKING CORVETTE--Police corvette, with car seized from drug dealer, that is equipped with tape recorder so passerbys can listen to the story about how the car came into police hands. (San Jose PD)

TALKING MOTORCYCLE--Police motorcycles equipped with tape recorder in saddlebags so parked motorcycle can carry on a conversation about cycling safety and the police role to passerbys.

TASK FORCE--Participative, horizontal and vertical planning and team-building process that reduces the traditional distance between ranks, jurisdictions, solicits street-level ideas, reactions, and promotes organizational change and development; also used to describe various committee formations.

TEAM POLICING-- Combining patrol, traffic, investigative operations into teams mixed with generalist and specialists permanently assigned to specific geographic area with total responsibility for crime control, community relations, manpower allocation; wearing of uniforms is often made optional and job titles can be changed to anything the officer wants to be called.

TRAFFIC SAFETY AIDES--Use of trained citizen paraprofessionals in handling of traffic problems, similar to traffic warden programs but no weapons and no responsibility for non-traffic calls; often involves high school students.

TRIAD--A national program bringing law enforcement together with community organizations, businesses, and senior citizens to build partnerships in order to help older adults in two areas: improving quality of life and reducing criminal victimization.

UNIFIED INVESTIGATOR & PATROL OFFICER--Expansion of patrolman's duties by permitting follow-up investigations of crime occurring on beat and discretion regarding when and how detectives will be called.

URBAN COALITION AND JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT PROGRAMS--Inner-city youth summer initiatives for students under 17 and unemployable who start their own company & function under own management with help of teacher-director.

URBAN PROTEST SQUADS--Team of officers screened for even temperament and awareness of social problems who patrol high-crime projects, orienting investigations to social causes of crime concentrating on keeping teenagers in school and public services such as rat control & preventing exploitation of poor by businesses.

VERTICAL POLICING--Foot patrol in hi-rise buildings, but can refer to bicycle patrol in some cities, usually found where lots of skyscrapers or CBD office buildings. Everyone in the building becomes the eyes and ears of the police department.

VICTIM SUPPORT PROGRAMS (Example #2)--Police-initiated self-help groups, such as "Survivors of Homicide Victims".

VICTIM-WITNESS PROGRAMS--Efforts by police or courts to notify concerned parties about progress and disposition of case; also involves protection, compensation, and referral to other services.

VOLUNTEER POLICE AUXILIARY UNITS--Carefully screened volunteers organized into neighborhood patrol teams to alleviate problems of inadequate manpower; often used at special events such as disasters, riots, or disturbances. (Glendora, CA PD)

VOLUNTEER POLICE ENHANCEMENT UNITS--Volunteers used to enhance shorthanded divisions of the agency, such as school resources, and used to prepare crime info bulletins, document crime trends, process requests for traffic accident reports, provide info on student involvement with crime, analyze false alarms, review 911 calls, monitor noise violations, and assist with data entry and/or centralized records. (Oceanside, CA PD)

WALL OF SHAME-- Efforts to use shame-basic tactics, humiliation or stigmatization to punish and/or deter offenders such as drunk drivers, sex offenders, cyberpredators, or white collar criminals; includes Phoenix and Long Island's practice of putting pictures of DUI offenders on billboards, special license plates in Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington State, roadside cleanup crew jackets which say "I AM A DRUNK DRIVER" as in Tennessee, and numerous examples of posting deliberately shameful items on the Internet. 

WEED AND SEED (Example is Tacoma, see example #2)--Use of operations such as clean sweeps, raids, jump-outs to rid area of drug supply problem, then setting up programs such as ASAP and job fairs to focus on demand problem.

YOUNG ADULT POLICE COMMISSIONERS--Students elected by their respective student bodies serve as police commissioners, are sworn in by the mayor, and meet monthly with city officials. (New Haven, Conn. PD)

YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS--Private and public sector initiatives involving cooperation between probation & schools to provide work-study opportunities usually during summer with guidance counseling, instructor reachout, guaranteed employability; sometimes called neighborhood youth corps, job corps, or VISTA.

YOUTH SERVICE BUREAUS--Diversion programs for youth in trouble who need social services, employment, training, education, housing medical care, family counseling, psychiatric care, or welfare; should be voluntary participation and not coercive mandate or part of probation surveillance.


REGIONAL COMMUNITY POLICING INSTITUTE LINKS

OTHER LINKS

Last updated: July 04, 2011
Not an official webpage of APSU, copyright restrictions apply, see Megalinks in Criminal Justice
O'Connor, T.  (2011). "Police Structure of the United States," MegaLinks in Criminal Justice. Retrieved from http://www.drtomoconnor.com/megapolice.htm accessed on July 04, 2011.