using four general categories including “ timely L a w
using four general categories including “ timely L a w
Respond to 3 classmates discussions post 250 words each.
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 & Public Policy, 2(3), 457–460. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-9133.2003.tb00007.x
Hanink, P. (2013). Don’t’ Trust The Police: Stop Question Frisk, Comstat, And The High Cost Of Statistical Over-Reliance In The NYPD. Journal of the Institute of Justice and International Studies, 13, G1–.
Pepper, I., & McGrath, R. (2019). Embedding Employability Within Higher Education For The Profession of Policing. Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, 9(3), 319–328. https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-06-2018-0061
Seasonal Officer Training Academy. (2021). Retrieved July 7, 2021, from https://joinocpd.com/seasonal-officer-training-academy/
Vito, G. F., Walsh, W. F., & Kunselman, J. (2005). Compstat: The Manager’s Perspective. International Journal of Police Science & Management, 7(3), 187–196. https://doi.org/10.1350/ijps.2005.7.3.187
Willis, J. J. (2013). First-Line Supervision and Strategic Decision Making Under Compstat and Community Policing. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 24(2), 235–256. https://doi.org/10.1177/0887403411427355
Classmate 2 Stephanie
CompStat is short for Computer Statistics and is a system used by police departments to manage performance and achieve goals. (Bureau, 2013) Using four general categories including “timely and accurate information or intelligence; rapid deployment of resources; effective tactics; and relentless follow-up, CompStat pushes information sharing, accountability, responsibility, and the improvement of effectiveness in the force. (Bureau, 2013) Some benefits to using CompStat are the use of the statistics in continuous improvement models in the department and understanding what is being effectively actioned and what may need additional training or work. (Bureau, 2013) According to Dr. George Kelling of Rutgers University, the downfall is it is not all encompassing as the officer conduct, complaints, and other factors regarding department member conduct is not included. (Bureau, 2013)
The core principles identified in CompStat which can have a positive impact in an agency of 20 sworn personnel is more likely to be effective tactics and rapid deployment of resources. (Firman, 2003) This is because a small force would need to effectively use what they have as far as personnel and resources to ensure the best outcome for law enforcement activity. (Firman, 2003) The core principles identified in CompStat which can have a positive impact in an agency of 100 sworn personnel may be relentless follow-up as the resources are higher in the amount of personnel employed. However, in this environment the follow-up of incidents would be of great importance to ensure crimes and criminals were not forgotten or just pushed out of the spotlight until the next incident. (Firman, 2003) The core principles identified in CompStat which can have a positive impact in an agency of 500 sworn personnel would be timely and accurate information sharing as a department with 500 personnel would likely need constant communication to ensure all were operating under the same instruction and knowledge. (Firman, 2003) Improving the effectiveness of the force, officer responsibility and accountability, and pieces of each principle would be key in all the department sizes listed above and would be extremely important in ensuring the officer can comply to rules and work with great autonomy and discretion following ethical and legal behavior. (Firman, 2003)
The concept of a police profession is so important because crime prevention is the key to success in a city. (Firman, 2003) Being only reactive to crime after it is committed does not allow the public to feel safe about their homes and neighborhoods. (Firman, 2003) Creating an environment of crime prevention and to show a presence creates a better community-police relationship which makes better communication and cooperation between the two as well. (Firman, 2003) This is important in community policing and the more cooperation from the public, the better the police can serve their communities. (Firman, 2003)
Note: I have used LEEP since I was at my first duty station as an agent. We have used it on many occasions and many times in coordination with the FBI. It has some great training and resources available.
Bureau of Justice Assistance. (2013). COMPSTAT: ITS ORIGINS, EVOLUTION, AND FUTURE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES. Bureau of Justice Assistance. https://bja.ojp.gov/sites/g/files/xyckuh186/files/Publications/PERF-Compstat.pdf.
Firman, J. R. (2003). Deconstructing compstat to clarify its intent. Criminology & Public
Policy, 2(3), 457-460. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy2.apus.edu/10.1111/j.1745…
Classmate 3 Max: 1. Describe CompStat and identify the core principles of CompStat that can have a positive impact in an agency of 20 sworn personnel, an agency of 100 sworn personnel or an agency of 500 sworn personnel.
CompStat, short for Computer Statistics, is described by David Weisburd simply as a strategic control system that was developed in New York City to gather and disseminate information on the NYPD’s crime problems and track efforts to deal with them. While a straightforward enough purpose, actual realization of such a goal is a very complex and logistically intensive undertaking. First, it’s important to note the context in which CompStat was born – the early 1990’s. During this time New York City, as well as the rest of the country, was experiencing record-setting levels of violent crime. To capture the severity of these crime levels, consider the following two data points: in 2020 Chicago was the deadliest city in the U.S. (in terms of absolute numbers) with 524 homicides. In 1990, NYC had 2,245 homicides. That’s a quick but poignant glimpse at the scale of the problem. As you could imagine, this type of unprecedented violence had the residents and leaders desperate for answers and CompStat was one of them. While quantifying just how much the levels of crime were mitigated by CompStat is beyond the scope of this response but it certainly played a part.
The stated goal of CompStat was to address the broad, bureaucratic brush that was preventing the adoption of new theories, studies, and strategies that could reduce crime and improve quality of life. Individual precincts were unable to develop strategies based on what they were seeing on the road. Rather, they were forced to abide by department-wide strategies put out from headquarters that did not care about whether or not they were effective. One of the primary ways in which CompStat addressed this was by providing accurate data on crime and tracking patterns and the effectiveness of control methods. Interestingly enough, though created within the paradigm of a 30,000+ member department, its principles can still be applied to those with 20, 100, or 500 personnel. This is because CompStat, and programs made in its likeness, encourage active and engaged leadership, the gathering of real world data, and problem solving. The hierarchy needed for implementation already exists within modern police departments, regardless of size, which is what makes CompStat so scalable. Every department has a chain of command that has clearly established levels of responsibility and decision-making, starting at the patrol officer and continuing up through the supervisor positions of sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and on. Whether accountability flows from 10 officers to 2 sergeants to 1 lieutenant, or from 300 officers to 50 sergeants to 8 lieutenants, each level is being reviewed and managed. Similarly, the encouragement of initiative and recognition of those who are actively seeking and proposing new ways to solve the problem occurs just as well, if not better, when dealing with a smaller group. It’s easier to track ideas and efficacy when dealing with more manageable numbers. And finally, the gathering of data is also a size-neutral endeavor. A police department already documents reported crimes and so will have within its own servers the data to analyze. Indeed, as with most things, the scaling up of a program is usually the more difficult task compared to scaling down. And so it is with CompStat.
2. Why is the concept of a police profession so important?
The concept of a police profession, which is to say requiring that law enforcement be a vocation with specialized knowledge and training, is vitally important to any civilized society. Its importance is succinctly captured by Timothy Shilston when he notes in his paper, Six Dimensions of Police Accountability, that in developing nations and/or those recovering from war and civil strife, the reform and establishment of policing services is considered one of the foundational elements needed for the attainment of national stability. To me, the inevitable end result of “reform” and “establishment’” is the creation of a professional police force.
To go further with this idea, I should highlight what some of the hallmarks of a profession are. Generally speaking, a formal set of qualifications, guidelines, procedures, and training form the structure of any profession. In order to meet these goals, those wishing to work in said profession must undergo education, on-the-job training, and/or assessments to insure that they’re capable of performing the job. Law enforcement has adopted these tenets and to be a police officer one is required to demonstrate an aptitude and learn the foundational knowledge in an academy; prove they are able to adequately apply this knowledge in the real world through a Field Training Officer (FTO) program; and then continue to receive and pass annual training in order to maintain certification. It’s hard to argue that they should receive anything less when they’re trusted and imbued with the authority of the Government over its people.
Which brings us to the main point, police officers possess the authority to restrict the freedom of the citizenry in order to compel compliance with the law, search and confiscate their property, and hand out punishment for noncompliance. This kind of power brings to mind a quote from Luke 12:48, which states “To whom much is given, much will be required.” When this authority is abused, applied incompetently or unprofessionally then it has grave consequences on people’s lives and undermines society’s trust in the institution. To prevent such things from happening, treating police work as a profession is a must. Furthermore, though I touched on the primary features of a profession, one thing that I believe is implied but should be addressed explicitly is the idea of accountability. For me this would fall under the umbrella of assessments, but its importance in this realm cannot be understated. Because of the damage that can be done the need to aggressively monitor and address poor performance is crucial, as well.