This article presents a short history of performance measures for policing and then describes a project that is attempting to develop a standardized suite of performance measures that are well-tested, reliable, inexpensive, and easy to use.
The job of the police has become increasingly complex as the role of the police has expanded to incorporate new responsibilities ranging from the creation of police-community partnerships to dealing with mentally ill persons in more humane and effective ways. It is no longer enough to measure response time, arrests, and clearance rates. Police managers need to know whether their agencies have the confidence of the community, whether members of the public believe that they are being treated fairly when they request services or when they are stopped by an officer, whether leadership is creating a positive work environment and culture of integrity, and whether services are being provided in a cost-efficient manner. The project reported in this article conducted field tests of performance measures, which found that producing this richer set of performance measures is feasible for a diverse set of police agencies. (Publisher abstract modified)
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