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Police Administration and Key Effectiveness Factors

When evaluating the impact of a police force within a particular area and judging effective performance, the best indicator would be to examine repetitive police action in preventing the same types of crimes (Robinson & Tilley, 2009). What must be understood is that effectiveness in police action entails preventing the same type of crime or civil misconduct from recurring. This is usually done through direct police intervention in the form of arrests, warnings, citations and various other forms of preventive measures (Robinson & Tilley, 2009). If such actions continue within given areas where the police have already tried intervention before this represents an ineffective performance on the part of the local police force since despite their intervention the crime/civil misconduct is still occurring (Robinson & Tilley, 2009). For example, in cases where the police are attempting to crack down on the sale of drugs within a particular inner city neighborhood the usual actions they would undertake is to increase the number of patrols, arrests and investigations into the local community. If after such attempts the rate of drug proliferation within the area continues to be rampant this represents a failure of performance on the part of the police. While it may be true that there are numerous factors that should be taken into consideration when ensuring the long term prevention of certain crimes within a particular area, the fact is the local police force should take these factors into consideration and enact preventive measures in order to abate the spread of certain types of crimes within an area. Based on the statement of Sir Robert Peel it can be said that a truly effective police action would be one wherein it wouldn’t be repeated again within the near future due to the overall effectiveness of the action in preventing crime. It is based on this that when rating the performance of people within an agency it is best to examine the effectiveness of their performance from a standpoint of reduced repetitive crime rates which is indicative of an effective performance in preventing crime within certain areas. What must be understood is that a great amount of arrests, citations and warnings is not indicative of effective performance if the same actions keep on happening within a particular area (Robinson & Tilley, 2009). The goal of a police force is to reduce crime to such an extent within certain districts that the need for aggressive tactics is no longer necessary. Performance initiatives based on arrests, citations and other forms of police action are only effective if they lead to actual crime reductions. If it is noted that crime rates remain the same despite repetitive police action this is indicative of a problem with the method of crime prevention being employed and thus indicates a problem with performance. Based on this, the best method of evaluating the performance of individual police officers within a particular station is to monitor the rates of crime within the patrol areas of individual officers and see whether repetitive types of crimes and misconduct are occurring. If they are, this is indicative of poor performance on the part of the officer but on the other hand if they are not this indicates a sufficiently high level of individual performance. As for squad supervisors the same standard of repetitive crimes is also applicable but instead of being judged based on individual crimes rates in particular areas they are instead judged based on the overall repetitive crimes rates in the areas of all officers under their command. This particular strategy ensures that police action is focused on preventing crime from happening again rather than bringing in the most arrests or number of citations. As such when answering the question which is the “best” squad it is neither the one that brings in the most arrests consistently nor is it the one that is hardnosed, but rather it is the squad that is able to keep repetitive types of crime from occurring within their particular jurisdiction which is indicative of progressive and effective police performance.

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In certain organizations such as the call center industry the quantity of received calls or assisted customers is sought after rather than the quality of the call itself. In such cases measures utilized to measure the quality of performance were through the use of metrics wherein call center agents needed to achieve a certain degree of performance efficiency and standard in order to meet the demands of the company. Metrics can be described as standards of performance relating to the efficiency, quality, and speed by which a person is able to accomplish a certain task. By meeting or exceeding the set metrics of a company, agents are able to meet or go beyond performance standards thus showing their level of performance to upper management. It must be noted though that the use of this particular system is at times highly debatable since the overall quality of the call itself is sacrificed in order to meet set standards in efficiency, speed and number of calls taken. In relation to this, the same can be said of methods of measurement utilizing the number of arrests or citations a police officer has. While it may be true that such units of measurement are indicative of performance they do not properly indicate the resulting effectiveness of the approach (Robinson & Tilley, 2009). For example, a police officer can achieve the required 15 arrests per month and 25 citations that his supervisor requires however if the neighborhood he patrols in still has the same types of repetitive crime this is indicative of an ineffective method of approach in dealing with crime reduction. The best measure of performance for any police officer is not in the number of arrests or citations but rather in the drop of repetitive crimes within his area of patrol. If crimes go down in a particular area as a direct result of his actions this is indicative of an appropriate level of performance since this lessens the need for constant patrols and thus personnel can be allocated to more troublesome areas. It is based on this that a good officer is not measured by the number of arrests or citations he gives but rather in his impact in the area he patrols and whether repetitive crime rates go up or down.


Robinson, A., & Tilley, N. (2009). Factors influencing police performance in the investigation of volume crimes in England and Wales. Police Practice & Research, 10(3), 209-223.

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