Cover: Book Review

Book Review

Urban Police Patrol Analysis, by Richard C. Larson

Published 1972

by Jan M. Chaiken


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Larson's book is a comprehensive statement of current knowledge related to operational analysis of police patrol. The book demonstrates that improving police patrol effectiveness involves familiarity with queuing theory, geographically distributed stochastic processes, search theory, and other topics; simple mathematical formulas are no longer adequate for the complex task of allocating and dispatching patrol forces. Larson approaches the problem of minimizing response delays to high-priority incidents by developing analytical and simulation models to calculate the two components causing them: queuing time and travel time. Policy options open to patrol commanders are addressed. Results suggest that many police departments could substantially improve the overall level of patrol service and also reduce the total number of patrol manhours.

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