Sunday, April 25, 2010

One or Two?

One officer cars or two officer cars? The age old question of what to do? I generally favor one officer cars in low crime areas, as a single officer can handle most problems. Simple reports, minor traffic accidents, barking dogs, most minor crime calls can be handled with only one officer. The single officer unit puts more cars on the street and has more officers in more places than the two officer car. Response time is critical in most major events and having more units spread out on a given area will give you a faster response time.

Two officer cars have the advantage of having two officers together all the time. Crimes in progress are better served with more officers. Most single criminals will be less likely to confront two officers than one. I favor two officer units in moderate to high crime areas.

I don't support only fielding one officer units. In those areas were one officer units are the norm, twenty percent should still be two officer units. Those units can the be primary units for the more dangerous calls for service. All traffic stops and urgent calls should have a second unit dispatched until the incident is resolved; that's what the SGT Says.


Bob G. said...

SARGE: nailed the TEN RING dead-on with this post!

In LOW crime areas, a 1-officer car is just fine (and we have areas of OUR city that would work perfectly in that regard).
Conversely, we have blighted areas (unfortunately like MY neighborhood) where having a 2-officer car would help to no small degree.
And if TWO cars roll on a call, we would have FOUR officers on scene.
That (imho) would be a good, and more effective use of human resources in "the badlands" of town.

As it stands now, if THREE officers respond to a call (like the one down our block last week), we have THREE CRUISERS on scene.

Now, if a call precipitates the "need" for more boots on the ground, it can be had much easier with 2-officer cars, while NOT depleteing the cruiser fleet elsewhere throughout the city.

We're understaffed as it is (per capita vs the national average), so I would think that savings are more abundant when fewer cars are around with the same number of officers.
Then again, there is the whole "take home car" issue (which works damn well in nice neighborhoods up NORTH...where all the officers seem to live)

There are a few more dynamics in this mix that many department chiefs never seem to take into consideration.

Excellent post.

Bunkermeister said...

Thanks Bob G. I have worked areas with both and their are advantages of both, and a good chief will deploy both types of units.

It always looks like a riot when four one-officer cars double park out in front of a call!