Police officers on two‐officer units

Alejandro del Carmen (Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA)
Lori Guevara (Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Publication date: 1 March 2003


Presents results of a study which examined 50 US police officers perceptions regarding performance, applicability, effectiveness and safety issues when assigned to two‐officer units, compared with a one‐officer unit, for patrol operations in an urban setting. Half the group comprised an experimental area’s two‐officer units and half comprised a control area’s one‐officer units. It was found that officers generally agreed they would perform the same whether they were in a one‐ or two‐officer patrol car; that two‐officer units should be used at night and in areas where people mistrust the police, that two‐officer units could observe more than a single officer and respond more quickly to calls. However, most officers disagreed that two one‐officer cars could accomplish twice as much as one two‐officer car and that officers are more likely to be injured in two‐officer cars then in one‐officer cars. Notes the possibility of distractions, misunderstandings or disagreements taking place between partners sharing a vehicle for eight hours, as well as intrusion of privacy into an officer’s role/duty as a police officer.



del Carmen, A. and Guevara, L. (2003), "Police officers on two‐officer units", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 144-161. https://doi.org/10.1108/13639510310460332

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Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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