20 FUTURE TRENDS IN POLICING SURVEY RESULTS: TYPES OF ORGANIZATIONS WITH POLICE PARTNERSHIPS • Rotary Club • Lions Club • Mothers Against Drunk Driving • United Way • Child Advocacy Centers • Department of Health • Department of Corrections • Schools/Universities • Local Chamber of Commerce In addition to working with business owners, Columbus police had to work closely with court officials in several jurisdictions to obtain the lists of convicted thieves.
21 IMPLEMENTING STRATEGIES TO INCREASE EFFICIENCY Many police agencies responding to PERF’s survey about future strategies reported that they are deploying a wide variety of technological advances to improve services, and in some cases to save money. Table 3: PERF Survey Question: In the next two to five years, do you anticipate an increase in the following strategies? Strategy Percentage of Agencies Online crime reporting 82% 911 dispatchers sending / receiving text messages 74% Telephone crime reporting 61% “Reverse 911” to disseminate messages from police 60% Allowing crime victims to check their case status online 59% Non-sworn response to certain calls for service 57% Reducing Police Response to Minor Crimes The economic crisis of 2008 caused many police departments across the country to look for ways of saving money, and many considered whether they can afford to continue responding to all of the different types of calls for service. PERF’s “Future Trends in Policing” survey showed that most departments are moving toward online crime reporting and eliminating response by sworn officers to certain types of calls for service. One common area that is often mentioned as a possibility for reduced police response is thefts, burglaries, vandalism, or other crimes that were committed hours before the victim calls the police. For example, people return home from work or from being out of town and find their house has been broken into, or a bicycle has been stolen from their back yard. The theft probably occurred hours or even days before it was discovered. Is it an effective use of police officers’ time to respond to such a call? There is not a yes-or-no answer to that question. Some police officials acknowledge that it is unlikely that officers responding to such calls will find evidence that could lead to a burglary suspect being identified and convicted. But at the same time they realize that victims may feel traumatized, and victims like to have the opportunity to speak to a police officer about it. So police leaders are cautious about making any abrupt changes in response policies without having a sense of whether their communities will support the changes.