Colin Bolger, P. (2011), "Observations regarding Key Operational Realities in a Compstat Model of Policing", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 34 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/pijpsm.2011.18134aae.002Download as .RIS
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Observations regarding Key Operational Realities in a Compstat Model of Policing
Article Type: Perspectives on policing From: Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, Volume 34, Issue 1
Dean Dabney,Justice Quarterly,2010,pp. 28-51,Vol. 27
This study examined the potential problems faced by police agencies implementing the Compstat model. This model is a managerial strategy which uses crime mapping, and analysis, to promote problem solving techniques and accountability throughout the organization. As such, agencies must:
gather accurate intelligence;
design effective tactics;
respond to problems with the deployment of personnel and resources; and
assess the impacts of the deployed strategies.
This process is thus described as a blend between the hierarchical structure of the professional model and the outcome orientation of community policing. Critics argue, however, that the model does more to reinforce the entrenched professional model structure, rather than to move the organization toward a long-term, outcome-oriented focus.
Dabney (2010) uses ethnographic research methods to determine the reality of Compstat implementation throughout the rank and file, as well as the administration, within two motorized patrol beats. These beats were selected due to high police resource allocation and adequate self-reported Compstat implementation. During the data collection period, interviews were conducted with patrol officers, line supervisors, investigators, and tactical units during ride-alongs. Likewise, administrative personnel were observed and interviewed during Compstat meetings and roll call sessions.
As a result of this extensive research inquiry, Dabney (2010) found little saturation of the model beyond the administrative personnel. Despite the intended strategic message, most officers viewed the model as serving nothing more than an auditing function. Both patrol officers and low-level supervisors simply received the message that command expected them to produce a certain number of arrests or citations. Dabney (2010) attributes this failure to sergeants who communicated a message of increased law enforcement productivity without the overarching strategic goals. These mid-level supervisors, who have seen their job role become more administrative and less supervisory, do not appear to have the skills required to handle the key component of the Compstat model and serve to undermine the process.
P. Colin BolgerUniversity of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA