Classmate 1 Micheal:
Describe CompStat and identify the core principals of CompStat that can have a positive impact in an agency of 20 sworn personnel, and agency of 100 sworn personnel or an agency of 500 personnel.
CompStat, in short, stands for Computerized Statistics, a program that was introduced to the policing world in the 1990’s by the New York City Police Department, revolutionizing police management (Vito, et al., 2005). The purpose of CompStat is a data collection program that gathers and shares information among commanders, supervisors, and other police personnel to maximize information sharing and crime control efforts (Hanink, 2013). In combination with the collection of data, this data is then collaborated and brainstormed to capitalize on the information available. Weekly meetings are held to collectively pursue the “crime control mission” collectively and proactively, with a direct interest in the Chief’s directives (Willis, p.241, 2013). With this information many ideas, suggestions, and crime control efforts can be discussed and assigned. CompStat combined with a multifaceted approach to policing through strategies, data, managerial accountability, and problem-solving is vital to its success (Vito, et al., 2005). I personally have experience with a system similar in my police department and it works great. Compstat contains the important element of capable and “solid” leaderships and management which is essential for CompStat and other programs like it, and most importantly the overall success (Fireman, p.457, 2003). An easy way to view this concept is all the data in the world means nothing unless there are measures being taken to address crime and quality of life issues discovered through the data.
CompStat is effective for an agency of 20 sworn or an agency of 500 sworn. The main difference is the manpower, resources, assignments and responsibilities of the personnel in crime control efforts and improvement of quality of life standards. This sometimes requires assistance from other departments or agencies internally (City/County/State/Federal Entities) and externally (Community Policing/Community Stakeholders). In smaller agencies the establishment of accountability and strong leadership is one of the best elements of CompStat to focus on (Vito, et al., 2005). For discussion purposes, an agency of 20 sworn will be evaluated. An agency of 20 sworn lacks the manpower and resources that a department of 500 sworn has at their disposal. That being said, the responsibility of leadership becomes more important and goals and objectives need to be clear. In a smaller agency, it can be assumed that the area of responsibility is probably smaller as well. This means, any problems or issues could easily be identified through community policing efforts. Dedicating specific personnel or specific directives for all beat officers would allow officers to effectively identify crime patterns for quick responses, in which a designees or liaison is assigned to communicate with the public (Vito, et al., 2005). This information would then be disseminated to command and supervisory staff to come up with directives, strategies, and assignment to target issues, using mechanisms such as problem-oriented policing or community policing. Establishing foot patrols, targeting offenders, utilizing the public for assistance, and building strong community relationships would be much easier in a smaller jurisdiction. Calls for service would also likely be smaller as well, allowing for statistics to be gathered simply in a spreadsheet, rather than spending unnecessary funds on computer software and subscriptions. The concept of CompStat can be utilized in an effective way and “has risen to celebrity status in the law enforcement field” (Fireman, p.457, 2003).
Why is the concept of a police profession so important?
The concept of the policing profession is the level of expertise and professionalism that is required of police officers in today’s society. With frequent updates in legislation and case law that is rooted in opinions and politics, the level of expertise of officers is expected to be the highest of quality and of the highest standards. Police officers are tasked with responsibilities and are required to have knowledge and abilities of many professions that require collegiate degrees including: therapists, teachers, emergency medical technicians (EMT’s), protective services officers, lawyers, counselors, mediators, etc. The duties of a police officer require a broad range of knowledge and skills to upon initial employment, as well as future career development to include communication, leadership, teamwork, and decision making (Pepper, et al., 2019). College courses included in the program offered at the Southern Police Institute, located at The University of Louisville, titled the “Administrative Officers Course” provides instruction in problem-solving, organizational behavior, management/personnel, law, and current trends (Vito, et al., 2005). These are essential attributes of a police officer. Traditionally, police officers attend an academy where a plethora of physical, mental and practical skills are learned in just a short period of time. This is quite difficult as academies can be as approximately as short as 6 weeks (250 hours) as in the Ocean City Maryland’s Seasonal Police Academy. Although this meets a training requirement, as a police professional I can say with confidence that this does not prepare a new recruit for the responsibilities they will be taking on. The dynamics and complexities of modern policing make decision making vital and higher learning essential prior to on the job training, knowledge and experience (Pepper, et al., 2019). Higher education is a pre-requisite in many professional police agencies, as expectations are higher and the highest of candidates are sought. Given this fact, the traditional blue collar policeman will one day be revered and held to the same standard as a Doctor or Lawyer, with salaries that are reflective. In my opinion and based on recent realities of culture and social norms, the real task will be finding those willing to take on the responsibilities, difficult requirements, and the split second decisions for the risk (physical/mental/legal) inherently involved.
Fireman, J. R. (2003). Deconstructing Compstat To Clarify Its Intent. Criminology
Classmate 1 Micheal: