Types of Police Patrols
Police patrols play a key role in accomplishing the task of the police. Patrol officers handle calls and make decisions on how best to handle situations at hand. Police personnel assigned in various methods of patrol utilize patrols in order to eliminate crime, accidents and incidences. Types of policing include foot patrol, motorcycle patrol, vehicle patrol, horse, air, marine and specialized patrols among others (Ortmeier, 2006). These patrols use different patrol techniques such as directed, random and strategic patrol techniques. Some techniques combine several types of patrols.
Planned random patrol involves unexpected and the occasional appearance of the police in specific places. Random appearance creates an omnipresence which helps to curb crimes through the element of surprise. Random appearances can be done through foot, vehicle, motorcycles, horses and air patrols. Another patrol technique used by officers is community patrol. This technique uses police officers familiar with the site and utilizes combinations of foot, vehicle and horse patrols. This patrol approach aims at securing community gatherings and comfort of residents. On the other hand, strategic patrols target areas where crime has been extremely high based on history and accessible information. Helicopter patrols can be used in this case, and police can request for backup when needed
The oldest patrol was by foot and has remained relevant to date. Foot patrol creates key relations between police and the residents needed to create a beneficial relationship. This relationship creates trust, so citizens feel free to volunteer information regarding planned crimes in the area. Foot patrol is proactive in nature and reduces citizen fear of crimes. Police conducting patrols conduct pedestrian stops and address disorder incidents (Elizabeth et.al, 2013). The police also use cars to conduct patrols especially when handling the vast majority of crimes. Vehicles are more efficient than foot patrol in terms of mobility and speed of response to a large area. They can also effectively respond to crimes involving criminals with motor vehicles, . Police also use motorcycles and bicycles in conducting patrols. This form of patrol offer access to narrow spaces and high traffic situations. The effectiveness of this form of patrol can be realized when pursuing suspects and responding to crime areas that require a lot of maneuvering such as crowded areas (Menton, 2008). Other advantages of these patrols are their visibility and cost effectiveness. However these two are dangerous to ride, and their effectiveness also depends on the weather.
Police use horse patrols in patrolling large public events, and it is effective in cases of riots. Some police departments also use air patrols in exceptional cases such as the hunt for a fugitive. This form of patrol is highly efficient in handling and responding to criminal activities. Helicopters can pursue criminals fleeing in vehicles and also allow wide coverage. They can also be used in the transportation of criminals over long distances, but it is expensive to purchase helicopters and maintain the equipments. Specialized cases also use water patrol. This is a specialized form of patrol and can only be utilized in areas with a high water traffic and coast line. This patrol also requires specialized personnel, and it is expensive to buy boats and train the police on operating them. However, this method is highly effective in handling and responding to water safety violations. It has also been used effectively in apprehending criminals on water traffic.
Conclusively, irrespective of the method utilized the primary goal of the officers is to serve and protect. In order to achieve the effectiveness of the patrols, specially trained officers should be used in respective crime situations.
Elizabeth, R. G., Ratcliffe, J. H., Larren, J., & Wood, J. (2013). Exploring the Relationship between Foot and Car Patrol in violent Crime Areas. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management. 36, 119-139.
Menton, C., (2008). Bicycle Patrols: An Underutilized Resource. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management.31, 93-108.
Ortmeier, P. J. (2006). Introduction to Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle river, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.