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Differentiating the "Beat" from the "Post"

What is a beat? How does a beat compare to a post? How can we improve the coverage of beats and posts within policing systems to improve communities?

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A police "beat" is derived from the idea of neighborhoods where an officer would be assigned and was to become "involved with problem solving with the community" (Oettmeier and Brown, 1998:13; Thibault, Lynch & McBride, 2004:13) in order to become a problem solver, rather than an enforcer. This philosophy was used by Lee Brown when he was chief of the Houston Police Department. An early model of community policing, it was called "Neighborhood-Oriented Policing (NOP). (Thibault, et al, 2004:13)

A post is the physical location where troopers are assigned to enforce the law in a particular geographical area. For example, in Kentucky the state police are divided and among the divisions are the East Troop and the West Troop. Each ...

Solution Summary

A police "beat" is derived from the idea of neighborhoods where an officer would be assigned and was to become "involved with problem solving with the community," to become a problem solver rather than an enforcer and to focus on neighborhoods, while the "post" is a geographical area to be covered by the officers who report to "troop commanders." The evolution of goals and theories leads into the present day systems, by whom they were established and the programs they involve.

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