Patrol units are the most essential part of any police force. Patrol makes up the majority of police time. There are many types of patrol units, and every police force allocates their officers differently. Some of the types of patrols include foot, bicycle, motorcycle, air and water patrols. Each type of patrol has its benefits as well as its drawbacks. Also, each type of patrol has certain aspects where it is more effective in or better suited for a particular task.
Almost all police departments in the United States have foot patrols. However, while this is true, foot patrols only account for four percent of all the patrols in the country ("The Police on Patrol" 4). Foot patrol is the oldest form of police patrol. There are many benefits to having foot patrols as part of a department. One of the main benefits of foot patrols is the contact the officers have with the citizens in the area that they are assigned to. This is extremely advantageous because it allows the officers on patrol to develop a relationship with the citizens, which causes the people to be more trusting of the officers and more likely to come to them with information regarding crimes committed. Another advantage of foot patrols is that they are proactive in nature. They try to seek out the small problems and address them before they escalate into larger problems and crimes (Hess and Wrobleski 106). Finally, according to the Newark Foot Patrol Experiment, while foot patrols may not reduce crime, it does reduce the fear of crime by citizens because they see their communities as safer.
Foot patrols also have their disadvantages. One of the most obvious disadvantages is the lack of mobility. Because they are on foot and do not have a patrol car to get around it, they are not able to cover a large area and cannot respond quickly to calls in surrounding areas. Also, they are not able to pursue suspect in vehicles.
Motorcycles and bicycle patrols have many of the... [continues]
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