A Simulation Model of Police Patrol Operations

Executive Summary

by Peter Kolesar, Warren Walker

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Presents a nontechnical overview of the Police Patrol Simulation Model that was developed at the New York City-RAND Institute (See RAND/R-1625/2.) The report is designed to help city administrators and police department officials understand when simulation should be used, how it works, what information it provides as output, and what data and computer resources are needed to use it. Since the simulation is large, complicated, and expensive to implement and operate, a description is given of the circumstances in which simpler models might be used instead. The simulation program tracks each of many calls for service from their receipt in the dispatching office, through the dispatch of cars, arrival of cars at the scene, completion of work, and the cars' return to patrol activities. Its primary use is in the analysis of proposed deployment policies. Results are reported in terms of response times, dispatching delays, and the activities of the police patrol cars. Sources of further information are listed.

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