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Police officer scheduling using goal programming

Dragana Todovic (Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia)
Dragana Makajic-Nikolic (Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia)
Milica Kostic-Stankovic (Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia)
Milan Martic (Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 18 May 2015



The purpose of this paper is to develop a methodology for automatically determining the optimal allocation of police officers in accordance with the division and organization of labor.


The problem is defined as the problem of the goal programming for which the mathematical model of mixed integer programming was developed. In modeling of the scheduling problem the approach police officer/scheme, based on predefined scheduling patterns, was used. The approach is applied to real data of a police station in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


This study indicates that the determination of monthly scheduling policemen is complex and challenging problem, which is usually performed without the aid of software (self-rostering), and that it can be significantly facilitated by the introduction of scheduling optimization approach.

Research limitations/implications

The developed mathematical model, in its current form, can directly be applied only to the scheduling of police officers at police stations which have the same or a similar organization of work.

Practical implications

Optimization of scheduling significantly reduces the time to obtain a monthly schedule. In addition, it allows the police stations to experiment with different forms of organization work of police officers and to obtain an optimal schedule for each of them in a short time.


The problem of optimal scheduling of employees is often resolved in other fields. To the authors knowledge, this is the first time that the approach of goal programming is applied in the field of policing.



Todovic, D., Makajic-Nikolic, D., Kostic-Stankovic, M. and Martic, M. (2015), "Police officer scheduling using goal programming", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 295-313.



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