An excerpt from my newly revised book, How to Rate Your Local Police: A New and Revised User’s Guide:
- Low crime rates show that a police agency is efficient and effective.
- A high arrest rate shows that the police are doing a good job.
- A high rate of police officers to citizens means high quality police services.
- Responding quickly to citizens’ calls for services show that a police agency is effective.
These are a few of the standards by which the public judges the quality of a police agency. But none of these standards provides an accurate measure of how good or bad a police agency is: none of them can tell us how effectively a police agency is dealing with problems of public safety and order. How then, can you tell a good police agency from a bad one? What kinds of things should we be looking for?
Until you begin to ask the RIGHT questions, you will never be able to rate your police intelligently and realistically.
In the meantime, ask your friends and colleagues to FOLLOW this blog and engage in the discussions!