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Thread: Law enforcement level of service for commercial centers?

  1. #1

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    Law enforcement level of service for commercial centers?

    Does anyone out there have a level of service standard for law enforcement in a commercial center where the local population (the usual basis for level of service standards) is small, but there is a large regional shopping area?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    I had that issue in my last town. I don't have anything statistically valid, but I ran a test using the entire county population. (City pop-25,000, County 53,000) Found that the number of budgeted positions was close to Level of Service standard for the larger population. I never went any further.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    You could:
    1. define your commercial area geographically, and then estimate the maximum number of people in that area, including average and peak itenerant populations, then
    2. Use those figures to determine a level of service needed.

    This would assume that the total geographic area population (residents & itenerants) would demand the same LOS as a "typical" municipal population.

    I have no idea if my approach has any validity...

    ICMA may have some resources on the topic.
    Last edited by SGB; 10 Mar 2005 at 1:23 PM. Reason: curect spaleng
    All these years the people said he’s actin’ like a kid.
    He did not know he could not fly, so he did.
    - - Guy Clark, "The Cape"

  4. #4
    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee
    I had that issue in my last town. I don't have anything statistically valid, but I ran a test using the entire county population. (City pop-25,000, County 53,000) Found that the number of budgeted positions was close to Level of Service standard for the larger population. I never went any further.

    What is the Level of Service standard for the area? I am looking for some standards for police to use in a master plan. i would like to establish some hiringgoals for the department.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Although we didn't do any scientific research, we used a ratio of one officer per 1,000 people. That ratio is based on the level of service provided in neighboring cities. We have a population of 58,000 and we have 58 officers. There is a recommended standard created by some law enforcment group (can't remember the name) and if I recall correctly, it was right around 1/1,000.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally posted by cololi
    Although we didn't do any scientific research, we used a ratio of one officer per 1,000 people. That ratio is based on the level of service provided in neighboring cities. We have a population of 58,000 and we have 58 officers. There is a recommended standard created by some law enforcment group (can't remember the name) and if I recall correctly, it was right around 1/1,000.

    Thanks -- that is of great help. everyone is complaing they don't have enough police protection. I am doing a facilities plan for the county and not an operations plan, but I am being dragged into the operations problems of the department. Luckly I have a excellant relationship with the police administration and they want some goals established that will help them preparing their budens. Thank you for your help....chrisinmd

  7. #7
    Cyburbian GISgal's avatar
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    HIGH DENSITY
    Adequate number of officers to provide an average response time of 7 minutes; under 4 minutes for Code 1 and 2 calls.
    MEDIUM DENSITY
    Adequate number of officers to provide an average response time of 10 minutes; under 5 min. for Code 1 and 2 calls.
    LOW DENSITY
    Adequate number of officers to provide an average response time of 15 minutes; under 6 min. for Code 1 & 2 calls.
    This is what the Town's consultant called for in proposed LOS standards.

    Because all future residential development within the Town of Menasha’s Sewer Service Area is projected to have a density of more than 3 units per acre, the High Density standards from Table’s 3 and 4 should be applied to all proposals for residential development inside the Town’s Sewer Service Area. Future residential development outside of the Town’s Sewer Service Area should be developed in accordance with the Low Density standards shown in Tables 3 and 4.
    “I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” - Thomas Edison

  8. #8

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    Thanks everybody. Hopefully additional responses will come in.

    We meet the 1 per 1000 standard with officers to spare and cannot even begin to keep up. Our town has a few more than 8,000 residents, but there are 11,000 jobs and massive volumes of through traffic.

    I have also been running some numbers on other VT communities today. The average sworn officers per 1000 is 1.81. I didn't think there was more crime in Vermont, but virtually all of our larger communities have well over 1 officer per 1000 population. Places like Burlington and South Burlington have over 2.

    I think I am going to use SGB's suggestion and try to come up with an "effective" population for Williston.

  9. #9
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    The 1 sworn officer per 1000 residents seems to be a respecyable number for many locales. However, in the old govt structures in the northeast (esp. those eploying unionized officers), you more than likely always find more. That is in large part due to the power of unions and long standing contracts with built in staffing requirements. If you're starting a department and proposing a limit, I'd suggest being thorough in your evaluation. A locality where I live is looking to start a local police force after massive growth and relying on start troopers. Initial estimates for yearly budgeting exceeded 2-3 million for a population less than 30,000 people. That didn't include equitment, training, cars, radios, etc.

    Look at it this way. The muni I live in has a decling pop of about 16000. We have about 2 sworn officers per 1000 and a very low crime rate, in fact serious crime is non-existent. The city has +/- 150 employees and the police department accounts for about 30 percent of the annual budget despite having 20% of the employees.

    But it's the contract. The contract states that the department must have 3 officers on duty at all times, as well as a supervisor. Meaning that in a city of less than 3 square miles, we have 4 officers bored out of their minds at 3 a.m. on a Tuesday morning while we have the same number busy at 3 a.m. on a Saturday morning.

    But unions fight change and NYS law (the dreaded Taylor law) make changes nearly impossible. It's why we pay a cop in my town $45,000 a year while only requiring a GED yet start teachers at $28,000 with a required masters degree.

    Seems like we have our priorities mixed up!

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Check out
    "Police & Law Enforcement Performance Standards and Levels of Service"
    http://www.mrsc.org/subjects/pubsafe/le/le-service.aspx

    Contents:
    Measuring Service Performance
    Community Surveys
    Community Feed Back forms
    Statistical Resources
    Program Goals and Measures in Budget Narratives
    Sample Annual Reports

    from The Municipal Research & Services Center (MRSC).
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

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