Police Management And Operations

ILJ has conducted more than 65 comprehensive law enforcement management and operations studies throughout the country. Most of these studies have been performed for locally elected officials and have benefited police chiefs and sheriffs. Comprehensive studies generally last three to four months, with extensive time on site by ILJ staff. Results include detailed recommendations, supported by analytical data, to help agencies improve efficiency and effectiveness of operations; improve the quality of management, morale, and career development; use the latest information and communications technology for analysis, operations, and planning; implement community policing and fear reduction strategies; develop staffing and resource allocation plans; resolve conflicts between management and labor; manage drug investigations and drug enforcement operations; and revise policies and procedures to qualify for accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

Past Projects

Combat Deployment and the Returning Police Officer

For the U. S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Policing Services (COPS Office), ILJ conducted an exploratory study of law enforcement efforts to assist police officers who have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. The study included an extensive literature review; interviews with approximately 30 police agencies that provide various types of services to returning police officers; and consultations with police psychologists and other experts. The resulting publication, Combat Deployment and the Returning Police Officer, includes recommendations for future research, and for what police agencies can do now to better assist officers returning from combat zones and their families.

Guidelines for Starting and Operating a New Police Department

For the U. S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), ILJ studied why and how communities create new law enforcement agencies, and how these agencies implement community policing. The project included surveying more than 275 jurisdictions that received COPS start-up funding for police agencies; conducting in-depth telephone interviews with 30 of those agencies; completing an extensive literature review; and consulting with an expert advisory panel composed of police chiefs who had started new police departments. Based on this research, ILJ developed a guidebook for public officials that assists them in deciding whether a new police agency is warranted and, if they decide to proceed, guides them through the key issues involved in starting a new department.

Training Evaluation Model: Evaluating and Improving Criminal Justice Training

This project for the National Institute of Justice produced a training evaluation model that can guide evaluations of a wide range of criminal justice training activities. The project’s goal was to help U. S. Department of Justice agencies achieve more consistency and control over the training they funded. The first major task was to formulate a flexible evaluation model for outcome evaluations of criminal justice training programs. Next, the training evaluation model was tested by applying it to four federally funded training projects. The model provides a consistent way to assess whether to fund a training project or not, offers guidance for making improvements in training development, and can help increase the capacity of local and state criminal justice programs to conduct their own training evaluations.

Identifying and Measuring the Effects of Information Technologies on Law Enforcement Agencies

For the Office of the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), ILJ conducted two surveys of 290 COPS MORE grantees about their implementation of various information technologies obtained with grant funds, including: the reason for choosing those technologies; implementation and training approaches; changes in policies and procedures; and impacts of technology on the organization. ILJ’s Guidebook on Identifying and Measuring Impacts of Information Technologies, based largely on information from the surveys, was published by COPS, and provides detailed information on technologies such as automated field reporting systems; computer aided dispatch; and systems for records management, arrest and booking, and automated fingerprint identification.

Cross-Site Evaluation of Locally Initiated Research Collaborations

Under sponsorship of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), 25 locally initiated partnerships between police departments and research institutions worked together to assess problem identification methods, data collection and analysis, research design, and use of results. ILJ received an award from NIJ to do a cross-site study, summarizing elements such as problems arising in the partnerships, acceptance of the research teams into the police organizations, on-site time invested by researchers, turnover of key personnel, and other factors affecting successful partnership work. ILJ conducted cluster conferences and electronic (listserv) conferencing on specific police topics connected with the partnership research, such as domestic violence reduction, drug prevention, and crime mapping.

West Virginia State Police

ILJ carried out, in partnership with Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), a comprehensive management, staff resources, and training study for the West Virginia State Police (WVSP), providing results to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance of the West Virginia State Legislature. The WVSP is the primary public safety agency for all main highways and for the substantial rural areas of this state.

ILJ analyzed dispatched calls for service, self-initiated traffic stops, reported crime, miles driven, traffic accidents, and other data to assist WVSP in developing updated staffing standards and projecting future staffing needs. Recommendations focused on effective allocation of limited resources over time and geographic regions, best use of sworn versus civilian staff, consolidation of interagency enforcement tasks (such as for state DOT), and improved technology-assisted police training.

Metropolitan Police Department, Washington, D.C., Information and Telecommunications Systems

Dr. Tom McEwen and other ILJ information technology staff worked on the "Design and Implementation of Enterprise-Wide Information and Telecommunications Capabilities" project for the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). This effort replaced all major communications and information management systems in the Department. The MPD contracted with Mitretek Systems, Inc., in McLean, Virginia, to assess, plan, and design a modern information technology architecture, and ILJ was one of two subcontractors, assisting the effort with respect to the computer aided dispatch (CAD), records management system (RMS), and PPMS (early warning system). The systems were developed in support of the department’s decentralized community policing approach.

Evaluation of the Fairfax County, Virginia, Police Department's Police Management Information System

ILJ personnel conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the Fairfax County Police Department's Police Management Information System (PMIS). The system included several modules: Case History, Arrests, Master Name Index, Warrants, Juvenile Contacts, and Neighborhood Watch. The evaluation determined the department's current and future information requirements. The project included an evaluation of all functions of the current systems: data input methods; records management, retention, maintenance, and storage; audit trails; management reports; and on-line queries. Interface requirements with other agencies (General District Court, Office of the Sheriff, and Commonwealth's Attorney) were also examined. Alternative procedures for the collection and input of data reported in the field were investigated. These included direct dial-in procedures, dictaphone systems, optical character readers, and voice-activated systems. Estimates of the level of effort and costs to redesign the PMIS were included in the final report.

Arvada, Colorado, Police Department Management Audit

The city of Arvada, Colorado, contracted with ILJ to conduct a management audit of the police department. The department was poised to move forward with a new police chief, and ILJ provided recommendations on organizational structure, sworn versus non-sworn position needs, roles of the chief and bureau commanders, service delivery through the patrol division, and new methods of management favorable to delivering community policing.

Montgomery County, Maryland, Police Department Staffing and Resource Allocation Study

This staffing and resource allocation study for the Montgomery County, Maryland, Police Department involved extensive data collection and analysis to (1) determine current staffing requirements and (2) develop a methodology for future staffing and resource allocation. ILJ researched and reviewed all laws, regulations, procedures, and directives that mandated the responsibilities of the police department and identified all functions the department was required to perform and the services that were actually performed.

ILJ also identified activities and functions that could be delivered through alternative methods, such as: contracting out; using civilians in place of sworn officers; adopting new technologies; modifying procedures; delegating to other agencies; and restructuring services. Recommendations were made about the most efficient organizational structure to manage the functions and responsibilities identified and a methodology was developed for determining staffing levels and allocating all personnel within the department by function, rank, and classification for the most efficient and effective delivery of services to the public. The final report was fully accepted by the county executive and council, who implemented most of the staffing recommendations

Handbook on Issues and Practices in Patrol Allocation

For the National Institute of Justice, ILJ prepared several chapters of a report on methods of analyzing patrol staffing needs and techniques for developing new patrol allocation plans. Chapters included alternative methods of handling police calls for service, allocating personnel to meet predetermined objectives, scheduling officers in the most efficient manner, and determining the number of patrol units by geographic area and time of day. The material contained examples of both manual and computer model techniques to assist in patrol allocation. The report was intended for medium-sized and small police departments that had limited resources for analysis.

Patrol Staffing and Allocation for Community Policing, Tempe, Arizona, and Hayward, California

ILJ worked with the police departments in Tempe, Arizona, and Hayward, California, to develop patrol staffing plans to help these agencies implement community policing. This unique project included developing new computer-aided dispatch service codes for community policing and making adequate patrol officer time available to engage in community policing activities.

Evaluation of Community Crime/Problem Resolution Through Police Directed Patrol, Baltimore County, Maryland

In this study for the National Institute of Justice, ILJ and the Police Executive Research Forum evaluated the use of problem oriented policing and directed patrol techniques in the Baltimore County, Maryland, Police Department. Problem solving was implemented in one of the department's three patrol areas and involved 350 officers. Major project elements included:

  • Freeing up patrol officer time by expanding the department's alternatives for handling calls for service
  • Expanding crime analysis functions to identify community and business problems
  • Training supervisors and patrol officers in problem identification, analysis, response, and assessment.

Staffing Needs in the Dallas, Texas, Police Department

ILJ provided consulting on staffing to the Dallas Police Department, which has 2,600 personnel. ILJ evaluated the adequacy of current staffing levels, projected trends in demand for police services for the next ten years, and proposed proper staffing levels to meet current and anticipated demand. ILJ also developed a methodology to enable the city to conduct its own future staffing studies.

National Study of Police Vehicle Pursuit Policies

For the National Institute of Justice, ILJ studied the effectiveness of stringent police vehicle pursuit policies in reducing accidents associated with pursuits. The study included before and after comparisons of accident data in four major police agencies: Nassau County, New York; Phoenix, Arizona; Mesa, Arizona; and St. Petersburg, Florida. These agencies had recently implemented stringent policies on vehicle pursuits. The study also included legal research on civil liability related to police vehicle accidents attributed to pursuit situations.

Police Use of Deadly Force

For this study, ILJ assisted the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in collecting data on police shootings from over 150 police departments. ILJ analyzed the data and produced findings and comparisons for the final report. The study resulted in a major publication recently cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in a landmark decision on police use of deadly force.

Meriden, Connecticut, Police Department Management and Operations Study

On behalf of the city of Meriden, Connecticut, ILJ studied the management, organizational structure, staffing, information needs, and possibilities for alternative service delivery for the police department. Organization-wide policies and procedures, which facilitated a transition to community policing, were recommended. ILJ specified necessary steps in terms of planning agreements, finances, human resources, training, and field operations.

Beat Design, Patrol Allocation, and Patrol Work Schedules, Bridgeport, Connecticut

After a comprehensive six-month management and operations study for the Bridgeport, Connecticut, Police Department, ILJ provided follow-up consulting services to the department to determine the actual number of patrol units to be fielded, best mix of one-officer and two-officer units, alternative and contingency scheduling plans for patrol officers, and design for new patrol unit beats.

Police Employee Drug Testing

For the National Institute of Justice, ILJ prepared a comprehensive manual, Police Drug Testing. The manual discussed testing methods, maintaining and documenting chain of custody, legal considerations, management-union relations, and other issues. Detailed examples were included from the police drug testing programs in Chicago, Miami, Washington, D.C., Honolulu, and Louisville.

Sample Publications and Products

Management study reports are confidential and not available for viewing. Please contact Ed Connors at ILJ for more information –

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