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Explaining Police Activities Across Urban Neighborhoods: Graduate Research Fellowship Program, Executive Summary

NCJ Number
Date Published
13 pages
This study examines the activities of both community oriented and traditional beat officers across neighborhoods within a single city.
The study examines the factors which influence officers' activities during their typical work day in Cincinnati, Ohio. It attempts to determine whether officer activities vary across neighborhoods and assesses whether variation is unique to community policing or is also a characteristic of traditional policing. In addition, it assesses the extent to which various characteristics of neighborhoods and officers influence the activities of both traditional and community police officers. The study used systematic social observations, surveys of police officers, land use data, census data, and crime data. The study found that: (1) officers spent almost no time on foot patrol; (2) motorized patrol consumed approximately 26 percent of officers' days; (3) officers spent approximately 16 percent of their time on crime-related activities; (4) crime-related activities and patrol together consumed 43 percent of officers' days; (5) traffic enforcement, order maintenance, and service activities occupied 5 percent or less of officers' days; (6) officers spent about 8 percent of their day on nontraditional police activities such as ordinance enforcement, community-based service, problem-focused tasks, information gathering and meetings with other service providers; and (7) officers spent about 19 percent of their time on general administrative duties such as roll call and shift preparation, 10 percent en route to locations and waiting for the arrival of other police and 10 percent on personal time (e.g., meals, personal errands). Notes, references

Date Published: January 1, 1999