The New York City Police Department Patrol System Case Study

Nypd Case Essay

900 WordsNov 2nd, 20124 Pages

Columbia Business School
Revised December 18, 2000

The New York City Police Department Patrol System
The City of New York is divided into 73 precincts. These precincts are the basic managerial units for the operation of the familiar police patrol cars (called radio mobile patrols or RMPs) we see on the City streets. For staffing purposes the Police Department divides the day into three eight-hour tours of duty: 12 midnight to 8AM, 8AM to 4PM, and 4PM to 12 midnight. A particular police precinct such as the 26th, in which Columbia University stands, may have 6 patrol cars in the field during the typical 8-to-4 tour. In New York about 1200 cartours are fielded on an average day -- about 200 on the 12 to 8 tour, about 400 on the 8 to 4…show more content…

NYPD Patrol System Columbia Business School

p.1 © 1998, Linda V. Green

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Dispatchers are civilians who are responsible for assigning patrol cars to 911 incidents in the precincts they handle. They also monitor the status of incidents and patrol cars and input all relevant information to the central computer system. Dispatchers are typically responsible for 2 or 3 contiguous precincts. When a dispatcher receives a new incident, the information is automatically added to a computer screen for that precinct, and the job is added to the dispatch queue in priority order. When a patrol car from the precinct is available, the dispatcher will assign it to the next job in the dispatch queue. If the incident is a dangerous one, more than one car may be dispatched. All communications are via radio When a car is dispatched to a job, it first travels to the scene of the incident. If the incident is still active, the officers perform whatever tasks are called for and, when done, write up required reports and radio to the dispatcher a final status code. The amount of service time per car per incident (including travel time) varies greatly from incident to incident, but overall it averages about 30 minutes. Allocation of the 1300 car-tours among the precincts is a complex and sensitive issue. Precincts vary greatly in population, physical area, frequency of 911 calls, incidence, and type of crime and special needs. Moreover, the rate and type of

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Given varying rates of felonies and emergency calls to a city's police precincts, how should the police department best allocate its patrol cars?

Linda Green  | Fall 2010


The New York Police Department is constantly reviewing how to best allocate the 1,200 police cars assigned to its 73 precincts. Since each precinct has distinct attributes, with some traits such as a precinct's number of crimes frequently changing, the NYPD must also often tailor how it allocates its patrol cars, which respond to many of the city's annual 10 million emergency calls. In this case students examine how the police department organizes its patrol cars before creating an allocation based on a city with six precincts and data such as number of emergency calls and annual felonies.

Case ID: 080211

This case is used in core curriculum

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