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Patrol division of police department

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The patrol division of a police department is the lifeblood of how and where a majority of information flows into the organization. For police departments that either plan to or have already implemented a community policing program or project, one particular division that police officials address is patrol. The patrol officers of the department's patrol division perform a battery of tasks while interacting with community members and business owners. Those tasks can and do include handling calls for service, writing crime reports, solving problems, and being visible. One area of patrol that community policing programs promotes is foot patrols.

Another form of patrol that police departments utilize is bicycle patrols. Bicycle patrols are typically popular in downtown areas, shopping malls, and business communities because of their ease in maneuverability but more so because of the closer interaction the officer has with the citizens that work and patronize the various businesses.

Historically, what did a police patrol consist of? Explain.

What were the traditional policies regarding community relations? Explain.

Conduct a search, or contact your local law enforcement agency to find out if the department has a foot patrol, bicycle patrol, scooter patrol, horse patrol, etc.

Discuss the types of different patrol programs that the department has implemented. You will want to address at least 2 patrol programs, if possible.

Answer the following for each program:

Where is the patrol program typically implemented? Explain.
Is the program utilized year-round, or is it seasonal? Explain why.

What is the stated purpose of the program? Explain.

What is the public opinion of this program? Explain.

How effective is this program at fulfilling its intended purpose? Explain.

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Due to the fact that policing was established well before the invention of the automobile, a typical police patrol was usually conducted on foot within the area that was within the jurisdiction of that particular policing agency. In early or ancient times this patrol consisted of patrolling the villages or other urban areas in order to enforce the laws that were put into place by the ruler of that area and that particular time. Policing agencies were usually units of the Army or military force in that area and in addition to patrolling their quadrant, these are the policing agencies patrols also consisted of randomly stopping and searching any individual suspected of crimes without the need of a search warrant etc. A very important part of early policing also included patrolling the borders of the area ruled by a particular chain or monarch etc., and individuals in their property could be searched and or confiscated by these patrols. In essence, in a historical sense a police patrol consisted of enforcing the laws of the ruler of government, gathering intelligence on possible criminal activity, preventing and or stopping civil uprisings and other formal disorder, and protecting the property of the ruler of government first and foremost, as well as protecting the property of the population of a given area.

In the early history of policing the traditional policies regarding community relations seem to be rigid and impersonal, largely due to the fact that police did not engage with the community in a coordinated and or ...

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  • Criminal Justice, Elizabeth City State University
  • Master of Public Administration, North Carolina Central University
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